May Newsletter  - Volume 7, Issue 8


You may click on one of the above titles to go directly to that subject, or simply scroll down the newsletter.     

Thanks to Sybil Cantor, Teddi Pensinger, Linda Kolko, Enid Light, Fran Rothstein, Emily Shetty, Marilyn Smith, Mary Lou Fox, Melanie Kreidich, Riki Sheehan, Joan Riggs, Paul Schwartz, Beth Tomasello, Judith Heimann, Betsy Loyless, Barbara Noveau, and Ashley Rhinehart for their contributions to this newsletter.  

The next newsletter will be published at early summer. In the interim, information will be sent out via email and social media (Facebook and Twitter).  


I simply can't believe that two years have gone by, and my term as WDC President is coming to an end.  It's been both an honor and a pleasure to serve as the leader of this truly amazing Club. I will continue to be involved serving as a member of the Board and assisting with our Membership Committee. I want to thank my Board for the outstanding support that they have given me.  I also want to thank each and every one of you who support WDC in various ways whether it is on a committee, attending our events, registering voters, planning our many activities, and so forth.  This Club would not be successful without all of your efforts.  I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of you, and am looking forward to working with you in the future as we move toward the 2018 election cycle.  All of us need to commit our energy, talent, and will to electing more Democrats starting right here in Maryland with our Governor.  Let's do this!

T his June will be our biennial general membership meeting to elect officers for the 2017-19 term and vote on revisions to the WDC by-laws.

We look forward to your continued support of the Club, and your willingness to volunteer to help.  We especially need a Volunteer Coordinator to manage all of our wonderful volunteers.  Click here to volunteer for this position or for any of the other amazing opportunities to help WDC [

Saturday, June 3
11:00 AM to 2 PM.
Lafayette Park, Pennsylvania Ave NW & 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001

On Saturday, June 3, 2017, Americans in DC and in cities all across the county will freely gather for the #MarchForTruth to demand an impartial, independent investigation into Trump's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 Presidential Election. For more information about the #MarchForTruth, visit

Saturday, June 3 
MD Democratic Party's Summer of Resistance & Renewal
2 PM - 3 PM
Lawyers Mall, Blayden Street Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Thursday, June 6 
Happy Hour ImageHappy Hour  - ALTERNATE LOCATION
5:30 to 7 PM  
Not Your Average Joe's
8661 Colesville Road, Silver Spring

Our April Happy Hour at Not Your Average Joe's was such a rousing success that we're going back! Not Your Average Joe's is on the corner of Colesville and Fenton directly across the street from the Fillmore Theatre. There's a parking garage across the street, entrance on Ellsworth and on Roeder, and another garage with the entrance on Wayne Avenue. There is also metered street parking within a few blocks. NYAJ's is also two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro. 

Want to meet new people and talk politics?  Join us at the next WDC Happy Hour. Every second Thursday of each month, Democrats who are passionate about politics gather to relax and network with WDC members and their guests. Whether you want to meet elected officials, make new friends, form new business contacts or just have fun, the WDC Happy Hour is the perfect place to meet and greet fellowDemocrats.  Members and potential members are welcome, so come and bring your friends

Saturday, June 10

Register VA Voters Event with Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County
Start time: 10:00 AM
New Virginia Majority Offices, 3801 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305.

Virginia has a critical governor's election in 2017 and we are volunteering with the New Virginia Majority Education Fund to register voters. Monthly Event, and every Second Saturday onward! All members and nonmembers are welcome!

Must RSVP, please email to: with the subject line June 10 Voter registration. If you could tell Melanie whether you want to go Door to Door or sit at the table that would be helpful. This is a nonpartisan monthly event, so no partisan clothing.  What is the New Virginia Majority? To learn more, please click here.

There are new volunteer opportunities to do voter registration at Wolf Trap on some Thursdays. If you are interested, sign up here.

Saturday, June 10
Book Signing Party with journalist and author Paul Schwartz

As many of you know, super WDC volunteer Paul Schwartz has written a book.  A Citizen's Perspective  is a compilation of columns that Paul Schwartz wrote for the Montgomery County Sentinel  during the 2016 election cycle. The columns begin in February 2015 and address the broad issues of race and societal challenges, the need to improve our communities, the political landscape and attempts to undermine citizen participation, the impact of Supreme Court rulings, campaigns and candidate interviews, and the economy and economic inequality. Throughout the book, Schwartz focuses on the challenges we face as a nation and the deep hypocrisy with which too many politicians approach those problems.

Hosted by Beth Tomasello & Riki Sheehan on Saturday, June 10, 4-6 pm
Where: Home of Beth Tomasello, 7010 Hillcrest Place, Chevy Chase
Copies of A Citizen's Perspective will be available for purchase.
RSVP: or 301-656-0969

Paul Schwartz is one of Montgomery County's finest private citizens. He served as an official with the federal government for 37 years working first for U.S. Customs at the World Trade Center and, later, at headquarters in Washington as the director of Trade Enforcement. He served in the Department of Homeland Security when that department was created in 2003 and completed his federal career at FEMA post-Katrina. After his retirement from federal service, he joined a subcommittee for the National Commission on Children and Disasters led by Mark Shriver, worked as an advocate for gun safety in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy and the passage of Maryland's Firearms Safety Act of 2013, and also has worked in support of Congressman John Sarbanes' efforts to reform campaign financing. He currently serves as a member of Montgomery County's Committee on Public Election Funds. He is the State Legislative Committee chair of the Maryland Federation of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and a proud member of the Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County.

Wednesday, June 14
Immigration 101:  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Detention Centers
7:00 PM
Silver Spring Civic Center- Great Hall
Silver Spring, MD 20910
The WDC is one of the co-sponsors of this important and timely event! Let's support our immigrant neighbors!
This event seeks to update activists on key immigration topics. We'll be watching two short documentaries "Immigrants for Sale" and "Pursuing the Dream: A DACAmentary" followed by a panel discussion with local DACA students.

Sign up now to reserve your spot at a local screening of "Immigrants for Sale" and "Pursuing The Dream - A DACAmentary"! Join local DFA members, friends and neighbors for a screening and discussion of Brave New Film's powerful 2015 documentary. You may sign up  here.

Monday, June 19
WDC Dinner and "A Report from Congress" with U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin 
following the Biennial General Membership Meeting

Cash Bar and General Meeting at 6:30       
Dinner with Jamie Raskin at 7:00 PM
Bethesda Marriott (Pooks Hill), 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 

Cost: $30 for Members/$35 for Guests
Free Parking 

To make your reservation, send your check to Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 or reserve online at   by Friday, June 16.

Questions about the event? Contact Shebra Evans at , 703-786-5848.

Congressman Jamie Raskin proudly represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and serves on two Judiciary subcommittees: The Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice; and the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation. He also serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Committee on House Administration. Raskin is the Freshman Representative on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair and Liaison to New Members, and a Senior Whip for the House Democratic Caucus.

For more than 25 years, Congressman Raskin has been a professor of constitutional law at American University's Washington College of Law. Prior to his time in Congress, Jamie was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He quickly earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis, and delivered a series of landmark legislative accomplishments.

This will also be our biennial general membership meeting. Please  click here to view the notice of the meeting sent to WDC members.  At this meeting we will elect officers for the 2017-19 term.  Please  click here  to view the proposed slate of officers. We will also vote on revisions to the WDC by-laws. Please   click here to view the updated by-laws



The WDC and DoTheMostGood are collaborating on providing support to Democratic Party campaigns across the country.  We need your help with the following:  

Phone Bank Hosts open their homes to volunteers. They work with our Action Leads to make sure all of our volunteers have a great experience. Great Phone Bank Hosts are gracious, dedicated to fostering a sense of community, and making volunteers feel comfortable and welcome.  

Action Leads set up and manage phone banks (and other events) while representing DoTheMostGood and J Walkers and assisting volunteers. They collaborate with Phone Bank Hosts and other leadership to ensure that events run smoothly from top to bottom. Great Action Leads enjoy interacting with volunteers, have an eye for detail, and are patient and flexible.

Leadership time commitment: Many Hosts and Action Leads are on our schedule weekly. Events typically run 3-3.5 hours from set up to close.  Others participate bi-weekly or more sporadically. We are happy to have your help whenever possible. Interested or just want to learn more? Sign up at here. or email  

Thanks!  Let's keep up our tradition of helping to elect Democrats across the USA!

 Letter from the MCDCC:

Dear Democrat,

We are now accepting applications for the At-Large position on the Central Committee vacated by Johntel Greene. Applicants may be male or female, must be 18-years or older, be a registered Democrat, and reside in Montgomery County. A vote to select a nominee is scheduled at the Tuesday, June 13 meeting at 7:30pm at our office at 3720 Farragut Avenue, Suite #303, Kensington, MD. 

The application deadline is Monday, June 12 at 5:00 p.m. This deadline also applies to endorsements for candidates. Applications must include a 1-page cover letter stating the position applied for, and confirmation of residency. In addition to the cover letter, applicants may include a resume of no more than 2 pages that includes current and/or past positions in the precinct organization or other elected positions, employment information, a history of involvement in past political campaigns, volunteer history for the Democratic Party, and current or past membership in MCDCC-chartered Clubs and Caucuses or other affiliations related to Democratic organizing or involvement. 

Applications may be mailed to the Central Committee office at 3720 Farragut Ave. #303, Kensington, MD 20895, emailed to, or dropped off at the office at the address above. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to give Committee members time to review your application before the June 13 meeting. No applications or endorsements will be accepted after the deadline. 

A confirmation email will be sent to you when we receive your application. That email will have additional information about the process for filling the vacant position. For questions, please e-mail us at

MC DEMS FORUM:  CONNECT WITH YOUR COUNTY PARTY                                                                                                                      by Marilyn Smith
Karen Britto
The County Council chambers were jammed-packed with enthusiastic Democrats eager to learn more about the structure and role of the Party's Central Committee (MCDCC) at WDC's MC Dems Forum on April 27, 2017. Ready for purposeful action, representatives of existing and burgeoning organizations as well as residents from across the county were treated to an excellent overview of the Party's dynamics.

Expertly organized and artfully facilitated by WDC VP Fran Rothstein, the timing was superb as the date marked the 100th day of the current administration in Washington. The goal of the evening program was to provide the kind of information folks require to propel the new activism to the voting booth. While the over 140 members who attended are typically well-informed as to politics and the political challenges we must face, most are not as familiar with the inner workings and structures of the county Democratic Party.

In a highly professional and communicative manner, seven WDC members spoke to the group; each expertly addressing a different element of the County Central Committee. Speakers included:

             Nienke Grossman, post-election WDC member, providing a rationale for new activists and newly formed resistance groups to connect with the County Party and with each other;

            Dave Kunes, Central Committee Chair, noting Governor Hogan's conservative agenda, such as repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, lack of meaningful response to hate crimes, and limited success on job creation;

            Karen Britto, who chaired the Central Committee for the better part of a decade, who provided a history of the growth of the Montgomery County Democratic Party;

            Emily Shetty, WDC Advocacy Committee Co-Chair and Central Committee Vice Chair, sharing insights into the strategic planning process;

            Brenda Wolff, Central Committee member, talking about how legislative districts work;

            Luisa Arevalo, Central Committee member and Latino Dems chair, explaining the precinct organization;

            And, Carole Brand, describing the myriad functions and activities of a precinct chair. 

Audience listens intently.


Pam Holland

Another great social media training was conducted by WDC Member Pam Holland. Over 20 people attended and learned how to enhance our use of  Facebook  and Twitter to help advance the Democratic party. Thanks to  Dave Kunes , Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee for hosting us at their offices. A great space for training!

Becoming Experts



                                                               by Enid Light
If it's the second Thursday of the month you can bet that the WDC is having the best happy hour ever! Tonight at the Bethesda Lebanese Taverna we had an overflow crowd and our current members were joined by around a dozen enthusiastic new members!   Board members Linda Borst Kolko, Fran Rothstein, Riki Poster Sheehan, Teddi Pensinger, Joan Gervino, Sybil Cantor, and Bonnie Wicklund greeted and networked with our fabulous new members!  
Our  #Real   Men Join WDC is rocking and gift memberships are increasing! Let's get to WDC 1000 Strong!



What a fantastic MCDCC Gala this year! The WDC was well represented there! Kudos to WDC board members Ashley Rhinehart and Emily Shetty, the co-organizers with Brian Kildee. Congratulations to MCDCC chair Dave Kunes and the entire team! 

Former WDC President Carole Brand received the Rosalie Reilly Lifetime Service Award
MCDCC Chair Dave Kunes and WDC President Linda Kolko



Carmela Cowgill, Shruti Bhatnagar, Fran Rothstein and Linda Kolko

                                by Emily Shetty and Fran Rothstein

WDC's Advocacy Committee supports legislative initiatives that disproportionately impact women and families at the state and county levels.  Our current advocacy priorities focus on criminal justice, healthcare, economic security, and children and youth. 

In the criminal justice space, we applaud the legislature for passing legislation clarifying that a rape victim is not required to physically resist in order to receive justice.  Rape victims sometimes opt not to resist because fighting back could further endanger them. This legislation makes it clear that a victim is not required to physically resist in order for her case to move forward. We are also thrilled that in Montgomery County's just-released Council budget, the Council included funds for safe supervised visitation/safe exchange sites. This is a critical effort that WDC partnered with CourtWatch Montgomery on to make sure that families with protective orders have a safe location for supervised visits with children.

Despite last year's Justice Reinvestment Act, Maryland remains in desperate need of reform on important criminal justice issues.  We continue to work with our coalition partners and elected officials on several additional initiatives including terminating parental rights for rapists; keeping guns out of the hands of individuals convicted of violent crimes; and ending juvenile life sentences without the possibility of parole.

WDC advocates saw greater success in our health care priorities. We supported the fracking ban for three reasons: (1) its negative effects on health, including an increase in pregnancy-related complications, and an increase in rates of asthma and other bronchial conditions; (2) its negative effects on the environment, contaminating drinking water, soil, and air; and (3) its negative effects on land values in Garrett and Allegheny counties, where tourism is a major source of revenue that would likely disappear.

We were thrilled that the HOPE Act passed, which included important maternal mental health provisions as well as increased access to behavioral health care services by ensuring stability for community-based clinics so they can keep their doors open. 

In the face of threatened repeal of Obamacare, we worked hard to retain its provisions for Marylanders, including protecting funding for Planned Parenthood.  Maryland is now among the first states include this state-level protection.

We partnered with the Working Matters Coalition on our economic security priorities.  The Healthy Working Families Act (allowing workers to earn safe and sick time) passed and is awaiting the governor's signature. We also joined in the Fight for 15, which would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.  We supported similar bills at the County level (sick leave passed; the Executive vetoed the minimum wage increase), and had hoped to see both measures pass in the 2017 state legislative session.

Among bills we supported that relate to children and youth, the legislature passed a prohibition against suspending or expelling young children (pre-K through 2nd grade).  Suspension and expulsion, which falls disproportionately on boys and children of color, can have lifelong negative impacts for those children and for society; prohibiting those practices deals a major blow to the school-to-prison pipeline.  We also joined the successful efforts to expand Maryland students' access to food in schools, and to increase rights for families of children with disabilities relative to child care facilities and to Individual Education Programs (IEPs).  


                                                                    by Mary Lou Fox, Consumer Health First

It is important to pay close attention to the efforts in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), to the Senate.  We anticipate that we are in for weeks, if not months, of negotiations.  On May 22, Jeananne Sciabarra, CHF Executive Director, and Mary Lou Fox, CHF Board member, did a Teach In called Protecting Our Healthcare which included an overview of the ACA, the AHCA and the huge impact on consumers and families if some version of the AHCA is passed.  Review the presentation .

Unfortunately, we know that process changes to Medicaid are a key target of these negotiations.  To address that, Consumer Health First is leading a collaborative of some 20 organizations with outreach to many more. We will be prepared to respond to any proposed changes at the Federal and/or State level. Learn more from:

  • An article in Maryland Matters about our Medicaid Collaborative and the town hall meeting in Baltimore this week.
  • A Baltimore Sun opinion piece written by Congressman Elijah Cummings, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless, Kevin Lindamood.

See our website  for more information on the report and read our latest newsletter .

Don't forget to like us on Facebook; we're listed as Woman's Democratic Club, Montgomery County.
WDC also has a Twitter account!   Our Twitter handle is @WomansDemClub .   Be sure to follow us!  


Suggestion Box  

Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great speaker at a future WDC event?  If so, please send an e-mail to




A lso, our Education Committee is seeking ideas for future programs in the Montgomery 101 series; if you have issues or subjects about the county you would like to learn about or study, please email Lucy Freeman at or call 301-654-8115.



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Woman's Democratic Club
Linda Kolko, President
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator