Your New Democratic Women's Club of Worcester County Web Site is Now Live!

Check It Out at

This is just the beginning - we will continue to make it bigger and better in the coming weeks and months! Send feedback to Sue Challis at
Thank you to all the contributors to this project that will benefit all of us!

Many thanks to Sally Moore, our web developer - and to our friends at the Talbot County Democratic Central Committee for introducing her to us.

DWC Social Activities!!! Come Out and Join the Fun!
Breakfast Club - Join DWC members for breakfast and conversation at local restaurants. We meet the second Thursday of the month at 8:30 a.m. Email to join this lively group.

Walking - The Walking Group meets Tuesdays at 11 a.m. (weather permitting). Join us walking around Stephen Decatur Park in Berlin. We walk and talk and share views . Contact Debra Fisher-Reynolds at

Book Clubs - (NOTE CONTACT CHANGE) If you are a paid up DWC member and are interested in joining an existing book club or starting a new book club, please contact Debi Koczen-Doyle at It's a great way to make new friends, challenge your mind and have fun. We have several active book clubs and always welcome new members.
Political Action Committee (PAC) Report

The Political Action Committee (PAC) is embarking on a long-term research project to address the question: How do we reach non-voters?
We need your help and your ideas. Join us on the 2nd Monday of each month at 2 p.m. by Zoom. Email Joan at for the link.
We plan to explore other research on voting. We are hoping to identify the demographics where there is a high number of non-voters. Then we want to reach out to the community leaders for those areas: ethnic, age, race, location. After that, we will talk to them about how they view the problem -- what have they tried? Are there ways we can work together to promote and encourage voting with this population?
Then we will develop an action plan and be ready for the 2024 election.

Strong Schools Worcester County
We have a SSWC newsletter to keep interested members informed about developments with the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future and also about developments regarding the budget for our schools. We are also watching very closely the comments made by Katie Addis (School Board, District 6). We plan to have a large turnout at the March 21 School Board meeting, which is being held at 6 p.m. We are keeping in touch with School Administrators and the nonprofit Strong Schools Maryland to do what we can to accomplish smooth implementation of the Blueprint. If you would like to get on the list for the newsletter, email Joan Roache at Current and past issues of the newsletter are also on our new website, under the Strong Schools section.

If you'd like to join us at future Board of Education meetings, they are held the third Tuesday of each month usually at 12:30 p.m. at the Board of Education Building in Newark. Contact Joan at for more information.

PAC Postcarding Work Sessions **Note Change in Schedule**
We have been busy writing every Wednesday in February and March. The attendees have written on various issues and legislation to our School Board, our Commissioners, Del. Hartman, Sen. Carozza, Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Jones, Rep. Harris and Senator Cardin. We have also written postcards in support of Jennifer McClellan's Virginia election, to New York voters asking them to call their representatives to pressure McCarthy to expel George Santos, and in support of Janet Protasiewicz for the Wisconsin Supreme Court!

We plan to pause the Work Sessions beginning this week and will schedule future ones as needed.
Watch the Action Alerts for information on future sessions. Thank you to everyone who has participated!

Proposed Legislation
As mentioned last month, the PAC has been following some proposed legislation that will impact us. Here's an update on bills!
There are bills relating to:
  • environmental/climate change, including one that will require Worcester County to prepare a climate crisis plan, and several relating to green energy. Most have had no votes to get them out of committees
  • education, including several on the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, recruiting teachers, and Gov. Moore's Service Year Option program. No voting out of committee here yet either.
  • guns, including the Gun Safety Act of 2023. Passed on Senate side with amendments
  • Good News! The constitutional amendment - Right to Reproductive Freedom - passed both houses! Other bills relating to protecting women's rights to reproductive freedom as well as protecting patients and providers from investigation from another state that does not protect these freedoms are still in committee.
  • on-farm composting and anerobic digestion. The one which some groups feel might encourage the construction of more chicken houses (CAFOs}) passed unanimously.
  • The Comprehensive Health Education Framework bill passed on the House side (misrepresented vocally by some local legislators, but actually would change nothing in Worcester County Public Schools).

If you're interested in a full list of the bills the PAC is following, email Gail Jankowski at for a copy of the Tracking Chart. If you would like to write testimony for any bills, Gail can walk you through that process -- it's easy.
EMERGE Maryland Training Could be Coming to the Eastern Shore!
Do you know a Democratic woman who would like to run for office?
Queen Anne Dems have told us they hope to have a training on the Eastern Shore this summer

EMERGE Maryland is seeking to identify, recruit, train and provide networking opportunities for Eastern Shore Democratic women who are contemplating a run for public office. EMERGE wants to offer a one-day workshop this summer to prospective candidates here on the Shore if they can identify a minimum of 15 registrants. Workshop hours are expected to be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at a location TBD. The cost is $35 per attendee. If you are interested in this workshop, contact Crystal Woodward, QAC Democratic Central Committee, at by April 1.

To learn more about EMERGE, go to

REMINDER: The DWC has a scholarship fund available that could cover the cost for this workshop for you. Contact Joan Roache at for information!
Continued Progress on the ERA - A Piece of Women's History Since 1923!

There has been some movement on the ERA in Congress this month! About time. The ERA is 100 years old this year. In 1923, three years after women won the constitutional right to vote, Alice Paula and Crystal Eastman wrote and presented the first version of the ERA at the 75th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. In December 1923, the resolution was first introduced in Congress by Senator Charles Curtis (R-KS) and Rep. Daniel R. Anthony, Jr. (R-KS), Susan B. Anthony's nephew.
Between 1923 and 1972, the ERA was introduced in every Congressional session. The language was changed and support for the amendment grew among both political parties. In 1972, nearly 50 years after it was first introduced, Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN) authored a new version of the ERA which passed the House and Senate with the required two-thirds majority. The amendment was sent out for ratification by three fourths of the states, with a seven-year time limit to do so.
States initially rushed to ratify, 22 within the first year. Then, progress slowed over the years. By 1977, two years before the deadline was set to expire, only 35 of the 38 states needed had ratified. When it became clear that ratification would not occur by the deadline, legislation was introduced in Congress to extend the time limit for ratification to June 30, 1982. Since 1982, the ERA has been reintroduced in every session of Congress. Concurrently, state advocates in the 15 unratified states continued to press to ratify the ERA in their state legislatures.
In 2017, Nevada became the first state to ratify the ERA after the expiration of both deadlines. Illinois followed in 2018, and in 2020, Virginia's General Assembly passed a ratification resolution, bringing the number of state ratifications to the required 38.

2023: Updated Resolution Language
There is still pushback on the adoption of the ERA because some of those in opposition say the deadline for ratification has long since passed.
Since early this year, the ERA Coalition has worked with the offices of Senators Ben Cardin and Lisa Murkowski, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, to draft yet more updated language for the resolution to remove the ratification time limit from the ERA. The updated language proposes that the joint resolution 208 (as agreed to in the Senate on March 22, 1972) to ratify the ERA is indeed valid as part of the U.S. Constitution, having already been ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.

On February 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the ERA, the first congressional hearing on the amendment in 40 years. Supporters, opponents and constitutional lawyers testified.

Where We Are Now

The Senate Democratic leadership has promised a vote on the ERA this year. The timing is not clear. The Democratic Women's Club and Indivisible members have been thanking Senator Cardin for his ongoing leadership in this fight. We need to continue to express our support to members of Congress and make the 100th anniversary of the ERA the year it's finally made part of the U.S. Constitution!!

In honor of Women's History Month, at the March 20 DWC meeting, we will embrace activism and write short postcards to legislators in support of both the ERA and reproductive rights.

We will supply pens, postcards, stamps, instructions and ask for small donations to help cover the cost. We look forward to seeing you this Monday!

Here are excerpts from President Biden's Proclamation for Women's History Month 2023:

The full participation of women is a foundational tenet of democracy. Women -- often women of color -- have been on the frontlines, fighting for and securing equal rights and opportunity throughout our country's history as abolitionists, civil rights leaders, suffragists, and labor activists. Women continue to lead as advocates for reproductive rights, champions of racial injustice, and LGBTQ+ equality. Throughout history, these women have opened doors of opportunity for subsequent generations of dreamers and doers. As community leaders, educators, doctors, scientists, child care providers, and more, women power our economy and lead our Nation. As first responders and service members, they stand watch over our lives and liberties. As innovators, entrepreneurs, and essential workers in every industry, they represent the very best of America.

Ours is the only Nation in the world established upon a profound but simple idea -- that all people are created equal. My Administration is committed to upholding that idea and to making its promise real for every American. That is why I created the Gender Policy Council to advance gender equity and equality across the Federal Government. I have signed historic legislation to ensure equal protection for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the workplace, and I strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, Finally, in December 2022, I was proud to sign the Respect for Marriage Act and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ and interracial couples.

My Administration will continue to defend reproductive freedom to ensure that all Americans -- regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identify, or income -- have the ability to make the choices that are right for themselves and their families. I continue to call on the Congress to pass a Federal law restoring the protection of Roe v. Wade so all women in every State have the right to choose. And my Administration released the first Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis to save lives and address systemic discrimination that many women face every day in our health care system, including women of color, women in rural communities, and women with disabilities.

This month, as we continue our work to advance gender equity and equality, let us celebrate the contribution of women throughout our history and honor the stories that have too often gone untold. Let us recognize that fundamental freedoms are interconnected; when opportunities for women are withheld, we all suffer, and when women's lives are improved, we all gain. Let us strive to create a Nation where every woman and girl knows that her possibilities know no bounds in America.

Governor Moore Forms Alliance on Abortion Rights with 20 Governors
"As long as I am the governor of Maryland, our state will be a safe haven for abortion rights," Moore said last month, "... and we're going to make sure that Maryland is a safe haven for abortion rights long after I am governor of this state.
"However, despite years of hard-fought progress, reproductive rights in the United States are under attack like never before. That's why I've joined the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a coalition of 21 governors working together to protect and expand reproductive rights in our states. " This is the largest such coalition ever convened.
Here is the joint statement from the governors:
"As governors representing nearly 170 million people across every region of the country, we are standing with all people who believe in reproductive freedom and health care. We are standing with them to say, 'enough.' In the last year alone, over 36 million women lost access to critical health care, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Medication abortion - one of the safest forms of health care for decades now - may be stripped from our clinics and hospitals nationwide. Doctors face criminal prosecution for providing care. Extremists are trying to restrict access to contraception -- and we know they won't stop there. In the face of this unprecedented assault by states hostile to abortion rights and their enablers in the courts, we are pledging to work together to strengthen abortion firewalls across America. This fight isn't over."
Moore said in conclusion: "I am proud to stand with other governors in the fight to expand and protect reproductive freedom. While some states have decided to move toward restricting women's rights, I assure you that here in Maryland, we will always protect them."
Contact Walgreen's - Ask them to change their policy on access to abortion drugs! Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, access to abortion pills has muted some of the effect of the severe restrictions on abortion that 14 states have imposed. Abortion opponents have responded by trying to reduce access to those pills.
The most effective and safest method of medication abortion requires two drugs -- mifepristone and misoprostol. In approving this regimen in 2000, the FDA imposed restrictions on mifepristone because of questions then about its safety. Among other rules, patients were required to visit a clinic, a doctor's office, or hospital to receive the medication.
In 2021, during the pandemic and after President Biden took office, the FDA lifted the in-person requirement. The shift opened a new avenue for telemedicine abortions. In about 30 states, women could legally end their pregnancies at home, with pills prescribed through an online consult and mailed to them.
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, demand surged for abortion pills by mail. But opponents of abortion have a counterstrategy. They want to block the use of mifepristone not only in states with abortion bans but also nationwide. There is a lawsuit pending in Texas to challenge the FDA's approval of the medication 23 years ago. Apart from that suit, the national divide over abortion is now playing out in pharmacies.

In January, Walgreens, CVS and other companies said they would apply for a newly available certification from the FDA to dispense both medicine abortion drugs in states where abortion remains legal. But 21 Republican attorneys general -- including four in states where abortion is still legal -- threatened legal action against the pharmacy chains. In response, Walgreens has promised NOT to provide the pills within any of those states.

What can you do?

Call the Office of the Walgreens CEO to protest the new policy. Call 847-315-2500; ask for the operator, and have him/her transfer you to customer relations. Once there, you can leave a message for management. You can also email these two Walgreens executives: Rick Gates, Senior Vice President, Pharmacy and Healthcare, or Lisa Badgley, Senior Vice President, Operations,

Message: Mr. Gates and Ms. Badgley: I am appalled that Walgreens has chosen to stop selling abortion medication in 24 states. Some of those states, like Alaska, Kansas, Iowa and Montana, still have legal abortion. This decision to put your corporation's benefit above the health and well being of your customers is cowardly and appalling. Women will be placed in horrible and even dangerous situations because you chose not to help when you could. Until you reverse this shameful decision, I choose not to shop at your stores and I will encourage others to do the same.

(Ideally, please personalize the suggested message, and please make sure you sign it!)

Calendar of Events

Democratic Women's Club of Worcester County

DWC General Meeting
Monday, March 20, 2023
10 a.m. (coffee and conversation, 9:30 a.m. - NOTE - Please bring your own coffee or beverage)
Speakers: Ms. Denise Shorts, Chief Academic Officer, PK-8 and Dr. Annette Wallace, Chief Safety and Academic Officer, Grades 9-12, Worcester County Public Schools. They will discuss the Blueprint for Maryland's Future.

Worcester County Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, March 21, 6 p.m. (NOTE CHANGE OF TIME)
Board Building, Newark, Maryland
Join us and WEAR RED! Please come to this BOE Meeting!
If you plan to attend and/or speak, email Joan Roache at so we know who to expect.

Democratic Club of Worcester County General Meeting
Thursday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.
Ocean Pines Community Center, Marlin Room
Speaker: Melissa Reid, Director of the Calvin Taylor Museum

Marriott Residence Inn, Ocean City
Thursday, April 6, 5 to 7 p.m.
Hope to see you there!

DWC Political Action Committee (PAC) Meeting
Monday, April 10, 2 p.m. via ZOOM
Watch your email for Action Alerts for details and the Zoom link

DWC General Meeting
Monday, April 20 , 10 a.m.
Ocean Pines Community Center, Assateague Room
Speaker: Gabby Ross, Assateague Coastkeeper

The annual Kennedy-King Dinner will be held April 23, 2023 at Lighthouse Sound.
We will publish more details as they become available. Put it on your calendar now!

DWC Spring Luncheon - Monday, June 19, will be held this year at Harrison's Restaurant, Ocean City. Location is set - More details to come on this popular once-a-year event in the coming weeks!


Recap of February 20, 2023 DWC General Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. by Co-President Debra Fisher-Reynolds, who welcomed attendees and introduced one new member. Debra requested that everyone fill out a postcard to be sent to Rep. Andy Harris.

Speaker: Vice President Susan Buyer introduced guest speakers Dr. Nichole Hollywood, Board President and Mark Delancey, Executive Director of Salisbury PFLAG, a vital resource and advocacy group for the LGBTQ+ community. They discussed the information in a handout regarding the mission of the Chapter in support, education and advocacy. Dr. Hollywood said that Salisbury has several firsts in LGBTQ+ recognition in Maryland, including the first Rainbow Crosswalk. They mentioned that the Salisbury Pride Parade will be June 24 and that information will be coming soon regarding information booth space and sponsorship opportunities. They also noted current legislation and went through how to establish a MyMGA account to track bills and submit testimony.

General Meeting/Business Meeting:
Ellen Karawczak announced the formation of a new book club for any interested members.
Susan Costanzo asked for donations of prom attire for an upcoming event. Contact her at 410-251-7790.
The minutes and treasurer's reports were approved as posted in the DWC Newsletter.
Website update: Joan Roache said that the site is in its final edit stage.
Political Action Committee (PAC):
postcards to Andy Harris - photos were taken of attendees with their postcards
Next PAC meeting is March 13, 2 p.m. via Zoom
Drinking Liberally at Marriott Residence Inn Thursday, March 2, 5 to 7 p.m.
Joan urged members to sign up to help with the St. Patrick's Day float March 11
Strong Schools Worcester County: Joan discussed legislation for increasing wages for support employees. Upcoming School Board Meeting March 21 - special time 6 p.m.
ERA: Susan Buyer said we should thank Sen. Cardin for introducing the newest resolution - perhaps writing postcards on Wednesday
Membership: $15 dues for 2023 due now.

Maggie Miller calling all artists to help plan a possible art show and sale at Burley Oaks later this year?
Next DCWC meeting is Thursday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m., Ocean Pines Community Center
Next DWC Meeting is Monday, March 20, 10 a.m. Speaker will be Dr. Annette Wallace, Worcester County Schools.
Save the date for the Kennedy-King Dinner April 23.
The meeting was concluded at 11:25 a.m.

Submitted by Dana Barney, Recording Secretary


The DWC newsletter is published monthly. Please submit articles and other items for consideration to: by the 10th of each month. Sue Challis, Editor