Summer Newsletter  - Volume 6, Issue 9


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

Thanks to Emily Ackerman, Sarah Barnett, Tracy Dhyani, Andrea Grossman, Mila Johns, Linda Kolko, Melanie Kreidich, Enid Light, Betsy Loyless, Ginger Macomber, Stacey Maud, Barbara Noveau, John Pensinger, Teddi Pensinger, Ashley Rhinehart, Joan Riggs, Fran Rothstein, Paul Schwartz, Riki Sheehan, Emily Shetty, Nancy Walker, and Bonnie Wicklund for their contributions to this newsletter.

We will publish the next newsletter at the end of September. In the interim, look for our emails and social media news (Facebook and Twitter). 


Fran Rothstein,  WDC President

As your new  president, I want to thank you for your confidence in me, and in our other elected officers and committ ee chairs (see the complete Board list here ). Look for more information about our new Board members in forthcoming newsletters.

Aided  by an exploding roster of volunteers, we are planning an exciting ride over the next two y e ars - highlighted, we hope, by helping keep Virginia's governorship in Democratic hands and defeating Governor Hogan here in Maryland.

We had a sell-out crowd for our Biennial Meeting June 19, where Congressman Jamie Raskin  reminded us that, despite threats from the White House and the Republican majority in Congress, our nation's institutions are resilient and will survive. (Read Congressman Raskin's message here ). In my acceptance speech at our June Biennial Meeting, I set out three goals:

  • Strengthening our County and our State by advocating for progressive Democratic policy objectives, keeping ourselves and our fellow Democrats informed through our luncheon/dinner speakers and our education programs, and building alliances with other Democratic Clubs, issue-oriented coalitions, and the political groups that have emerged since November 9th;
  • Strengthening our Party by intensifying the work WDC has always done to support Democratic candidates and increase voter involvement, with a new emphasis on strengthening our Party structure at the county and state levels (see the description of PACE, our new Political Activism and Civic Engagement
    Committee, later in this newsletter); and
  • Strengthening our Club by connecting each of you to our work, encouraging you to join committees, and providing the high quality programs, events, and speakers for which WDC has been known for 60 years.
If you are a new member who isn't yet involved, or a longtime member who wants to do  more, get in touch with our Membership and Outreach committee; we'll put you to work.  We are only as effective as our members are active.

And our members are really active! Most recently, three WDC members were  appointed to fill vacancies on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee:  Suzi Kaplan, Enid Light, and Danielle Meitiv. Congratulations, all.

As we start our new program year, I want to thank our nominating committee (chair  Margaret Hadley, with Marian Kisch, Teddi Pensinger, and Bonnie Wicklund) for  identifying such a strong slate of officers.

In addition to electing new officers at our biennial meeting, we voted to revise our by- laws (see the approved by-laws here ). Thanks to those who served on the by-laws review committee (chair  Betsy Loyless, with Sybil Cantor, Charlotte Crutchfield, and Beth Tomasello.)

Thanks also to outgoing Board members Dorothy Barthelmes, Lucy Freeman, Judith  Heimann, Betsy Loyless, Madeleine Sigel, Beth Tomasello, and Bonnie Wicklund who contributed so much to WDC over many years.

And, most of all, thanks to Past President Linda Kolko, for her encouragement, her  wisdom, and her friendship. WDC would not be the force it is today without Linda's  leadership.




Dr Jill Biden
The WDC is honored and grateful to announce that Dr. Jill Biden will be our speaker at this very special event. Mark your calendars now and save the date and time,  Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m . (cash bar, dinner beginning at 7:15 p.m.) for our 60th Anniversary Celebration at the Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD.  More details will be forthcoming soon.

Jill Biden, wife of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, is a mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, a health policy advocate, an author, and a proud military mom. With the February 2017 launch of the Biden Foundation, Dr. Biden and her husband will continue their commitment to strengthening the middle class, protecting women and children against violence, and supporting community colleges and military families.

Dr. Biden is the first spouse of a sitting Vice President or President to have held a paying job, serving as a community college English professor, a position she continues to hold today. A highly sought after speaker, Dr. Biden also serves as Chair of the Board of the global humanitarian organization, Save the Children.


WDC August Happy Hour

Did you have fun at the July WDC Happy Hour? Or did you miss it? Our final Summer Happy Hour will be August 10; it will be really great! So plan to join us in Rockville at the Trapezaria Mediterranean Kuzina located at 11 N Washington Street, (301) 339-8962

Take Metro, or park free in the lot behind the restaurant, with easy step-free access to the restaurant.

Please join us. You'll get to know WDC members, prospective members, elected officials, and candidates who are eager to talk politics and policy. You can count on discussions of breaking news, progressive actions, and advocacy plans.

We've planned a Special Membership Event: If you give a Gift Membership or join during Happy Hour (with a check or cash), you will be entered to win a prize! Here is a hint about the prize: Samovar Restaurant is across the street. Might your prize have a Russian theme? Anyone who gives three or more gift memberships at Happy Hour will win a special prize and be recognized and toasted on the spot  #WDC Gift Membership. #Party Together #Real Men Join WDC #WDC 1000 Strong #Join.Engage.Act 

Stay tuned for more information on the September Happy Hour, which will be held in the Silver Spring/Wheaton area.

See WDC at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

If you visit the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair on Wednesday, August 18,  don't  forget to stop by the Democratic Party Booth and say hi to the WDC volunteers who are  staffing the booth that day.

Help with Voter Registration for Disenfranchised Virginians!

On April 22, 2016, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an historic executive order  restoring the voting rights of an estimated 206,000 disenfranchised Virginians who had  served their sentences for a felony conviction. Unfortunately, on July 22, 2016, the  Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Gov. McAuliffe didn't have the authority for such a  proclamation, and called for state registrars to cancel the voter registration of all felons  who had registered to vote under the Governor's order. After the decision, Gov.  McAuliffe pledged to move quickly to ensure the 13,000 people who had registered to  vote before their rights were stripped away by the court would be able to cast ballots  this fall. His administration processed each felon's paperwork individually to comply with  the ruling, and Gov. McAuliffe said he would continue to sign orders until he had  completed restoration for all 200,000 of these Virginians.

DoTheMostGood and the Woman's Democratic Club are working with New Virginia Majority to conduct phone banks in Montgomery County, contacting disenfranchised  Virginians to inform them that they can get their voting rights back. Jim Crow-era laws  took away the voting rights of citizens with criminal convictions; we are working hard to  get these rights restored.

Sign Up here using our Phone Bank Scheduler. Look for the "Restore Rights" phone  banks.

SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, September 16 for the
13TH  Annual Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club Summer Fest
1:00 - 5:00 PM
Home of Tom and Amy Hucker
10 Stockton Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901

All Democratic office holders have been invited! Food and soft drinks provided by GSSDC. Suggested contribution: $20 per adult; $10 for seniors and Young  Dems.   For more information, contact Emily Ackerman at 301-565-2483 or by email at

Net proceeds will be donated to the family of Jonathan Shurberg (see In Memoriam,  below).


Judge Charles Woodward
The WDC mourns the loss of WDC member Charles Woodward, who died on June 21. Judge Woodward served in the Maryland House of Delegates and on the Maryland District Court for Montgomery County. He was a past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association. The Club extends its condolences to his family. 

Attorney Jonathan Shurberg
WDC mourns the loss of attorney Jonathan Shurberg, who died on July 20. Jonathan was a popular blogger, a former candidate for D 20 state delegate, and a lively member of the County's Democratic family. The Club extends its condolences to his sons.

Setting the PACE of Activism for WDC
By PACE Co-Chairs Barbara Noveau and Nancy Walker

This summer, WDC launched a new committee, Political Activism and Civic  Engagement (PACE), bringing together and increasing the Club's long-standing party- building activities. PACE's mission is to strengthen the Democratic Party and help elect  Democrats within Montgomery County and Maryland, and, on occasion, in other states.

PACE will enhance WDC's core mission of electing Democrats by:

  • Working to increase Democratic voter registration and turnout in Maryland:
    • Serve as a resource to the MCDCC Precinct Project with committed and experienced volunteers, and encourage WDC members to become Precinct Chairs and canvassers;
    • Serve as a resource to the Maryland Democratic Party's statewide voter contact efforts to better understand the concerns of Maryland voters, and organize opportunities for WDC members to become active canvassers in MoCo and beyond; and
    • Continue WDC's long-standing voter registration efforts, potentially expanding numbers and types of voter registration activities, and broadening the list of locations.
  • Working to increase support for Democratic candidates in general elections, locally and regionally:
    • Host WDC phone banks and canvass efforts in support of Democrats running for office at the State and County level;
    • Partner with other MoCo Democratic and activist groups to engage in phone banking and canvassing for Democrats in MoCo, Maryland, and (as appropriate) Virginia; and
    • Support events that provide voters with opportunities to learn where the candidates stand on important issues.
  • Organizing WDC involvement in national initiatives such as the Women's March or the March for Truth.
If this work appeals to you, join the PACE team now, while plans are being developed  and organizing is getting underway. We hope to have an initial meeting in August; if  interested, contact PACE Co-Chair Barbara Noveau at .


Stacey Maud, Email Coordinator
Meet Stacey Maud, Email Coordinator
Stacey wants to live in a world where keyboard warriors use their skills as a positive  force for collaboration, information sharing and positive change.

Her passion for activism brought her to the DC area almost a decade ago,  where she's worked on various political and issue based campaigns including  many women's issues and held communication roles in Organizing for America, the community  organizing project founded to promote President  Obama's legislative priorities. She currently works as treasurer on the campaign  of Maryland's newest Senator, Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).  

Stacey comes from an international communication and organizational  development background, where, with Nelson Mandela, she launched the first up- market mall in a previously disadvantaged area of South Africa; established  operations for the New Partnership for African Development; promoted business  development between the US and Africa through the US Commercial Service; and  later helped organize philanthropic giving during the Ebola crisis.

Meet Tracy Dhyani, New Member Coordinator
Meet Tracy Dhyani, New Member Coordinator
In her words: "I've been a Marylander since 1988. For the next 28 years, I raised four  children, carpooled, and pitched in at our family business, ABW Appliances. Politics  were not on my to-do list.

I tuned into our political process seconds after the last presidential results. In February I  attended the MoCo Women's Legislative Briefing, which led me to WDC membership.  The WDC has given me a base to branch out.  Their Lobby Day in Annapolis showed  me Maryland politics up close and personal. A WDC Fracking Forum led me to become  a Sierra Club volunteer. Every WDC event has led to a better understanding and  engagement with politics.

I'm so excited to have been appointed as the WDC New Member Coordinator!  Now, my  to-do list includes increasing WDC membership. And the best method to increase  membership is by word of mouth. So spread the word!  I will, along with Judi Casey who  has agreed to become a team leader for Rockville (Potomac). I look forward to  engaging with all of you as we continue to grow WDC!"

Meet Mila Johns, Volunteer Coordinator
        Mila Johns, Volunteer Coordinator
In her words: "I'm an active member of the Montgomery County Woman's Democratic  Club and recently became the WDC's Volunteer Coordinator. In this role I serve as one  of the first points of contact for new members, designing the initial membership forms,  collecting and collating members'; information, and working to build and manage our  new membership database. These efforts help WDC identify members with specific  interests or in certain regions to more efficiently mobilize our most important resource:  our members.

I'm a lifelong Marylander, born and raised in Baltimore City. I attended the University of  Maryland, College Park, for my undergraduate studies and American University for  graduate school. I hold a B.A. in Government & Politics and an M.A. in Middle Eastern  Studies. My professional experience is as a national security analyst, focusing on issues  related to the Middle East and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN)  terrorism at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to  Terrorism (START). I've been a Montgomery County resident for over a decade; I've  lived in Bethesda and the Town of Chevy Chase since 2010 with my husband Devin, a  faculty member at the University of Maryland, and our 11-year old daughter Alannah,  who will be attending to the new Silver Creek Middle School in Kensington this fall, and  our Sheepadoodle, Pimm, who is in training to be a service dog!

I am a passionate and dedicated advocate of reproductive justice issues. For the past  13 years, I have been a pro-choice clinic escort with the Washington Area Clinic  Defense Task Force (WACDTF) and I currently serve as the group's Training  Coordinator, managing and coordinating training across Maryland, DC, and Virginia. I  am also a member of the Montgomery County National Organization of Women (NOW),  Women in International Security (WIIS), and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy  (YPFP)."


Last April, WDC hosted "It's Your Party"; a forum about the Central Committee, at which speakers made a pitch for people to volunteer as precinct chairs. Here's how to do it:

The dues cycle for WDC is from September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018 so expect to receive a membership renewal notification. (Any new member who joined the WDC after May 1, 2017 is considered a full member through August 31, 2018.) If you are not certain about your dues status, please check with Sybil Cantor ( ).  

WDC appreciates your continuing support.  Your membership dues ($35 per member; $25 for members 35 years and younger ) pay for Club mailings; subsidize events, programming, and the annual New Member dinner; and support the important work of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Democratic candidates with campaign contributions. All non-renewing members will be purged from the membership list in February. 

Honor a good friend or colleague with a gift membership to the WDC so she or he can enjoy the many benefits our club offers.  You can click  here  to buy a gift membership on-line, or watch for a gift membership form with your renewal notice.

The 2017 membership directory will continue to be available at WDC events to all current dues-paying members. Please review your listing in the directory. If you find any mistakes, please email us the corrections at   or call WDC Past President Linda Kolko at 301-785-1342. Please note that if we did not receive your renewal by February 1, you were not listed in the 2017 Membership Directory.

  Click  here   to renew your Membership or join the Club!  Thank you.


Sharing your skills and expertise and joining a committee are great ways to meet other members and make new friends while helping the Club accomplish its goals.
The Communications Committee needs writers to prepare articles for our newsletter and photographers for our Facebook page and newsletter.  Interested?  Contact Teddi Pensinger (

The Membership and Outreach Committee is aiming for more geographic diversity among WDC members and WDC event sites. Can you help recruit WDC members from your community? Can you suggest new venues for Happy Hour and other WDC gatherings? Can you reach out to your local elected officials, candidates, and members of other progressive organizations to come to Happy Hours? If the answer is yes, consider volunteering as a Membership and Outreach Team Leader. Our newest Team Leaders Tracy Dhyani and Judy Casey (Potomac and Lower Rockville) have scheduled our first ever Happy Hour in Rockville (August 10 at Trapezaria, 11 N Washington St, from 5:30-7. To join the Membership and Outreach Committee, please contact Enid Light ( ) or Andrea Grossman ( ) .

Look for us on Facebook.  We're listed as Woman's Democratic Club, Montgomery County.  URL 

WDC also has a Twitter account!    URL: 

Username and handle: @WomansDemClub Please 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 wdcmcmd@gmail




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Woman's Democratic Club
Fran Rothstein, President
Woman's Democratic Club
Stacey Maud
Email Coordinator