Woman's Suburban 
Democratic Club                                
   of Montgomery County, Maryland

July Newsletter  - Volume 1, Issue 5



4 Dates to Save

A Message from the President 

The Board Report  

The Suggestion Box 

Calling all Peace Corps Members 

Martin Luther King Memorial Dedication Coming Up    

3 Important Issues on Tap


            Health Care Reform

            The Environment 

Political Book Club - August 


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


Article14 DATES TO SAVE:


Mark your calendars now for these upcoming events. For more information on locations and registration, watch for future e-mails and daisy cards - or visit our website at www.mcWSDC.org.


Thursday, September 8


Happy Hour

5:30-7 p.m.   Happy Hour 7-14-11


Happy days are here again! Please join us at our Democratic happy hours - always featuring lots of fun and great political conversation. Members and potential members are welcome, so bring your friends. Happy hours are held the second Thursday of each month. See you there!

Monday, September 12

WSDC Monthly Luncheon: Marvin Kalb & Deborah Kalb

12 noon


Enjoy a tasty lunch and a conversation with the Kalbs. Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb and his daughter Deborah Kalb will discuss their book Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama. They'll explore the question "Under what circumstances should the U.S. go to war?" Don't miss it.


Thursday, October 20

WSDC Monthly Luncheon: Steve Pearlstein

12 noon


Pick up some Pearlsteins of Wisdom from our guest speaker Steve Pearlstein, Pulitzer prize winning business and financial columnist for The Washington Post. You'll want to hear his predictions for the economic state of the nation.


Monday, November 14


An Evening with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon


The author of the New York Times bestseller The Dressmaker of Khair Khana will discuss how one woman in Afghanistan managed to survive under the repressive rule of the Taliban. Don't miss this fascinating talk about the status of Afghan women and the resilience of the human spirit.



Jane Merkin


I'm honored to be leading the Woman's Suburban Democratic Club into this crucial election season. Luckily, we'll be building on our just-completed, outstanding two years under former president Susan Elwell's leadership. My plans? To continue Susan's excellent work - because with 2012 on the way, we have a lot to do (and much to look forward to).


As you may know, the Board has been putting together an exciting program for next year. We'll continue our monthly luncheons, our Montgomery County 101 series, and our recently initiated Happy Hours. And with the Presidential election just around the corner, the Club will be shifting into high gear in October.


Working with Obama for America (OFA), we'll kick off a series of house parties, one in each legislative district. These parties will help our members - but especially our working members who can't often attend our daytime events - to get to know each other in an informal and fun setting. The parties also will give us the chance to learn more about OFA's campaign plans and what we can do to help re-elect Obama-Biden next year - and we will re-elect Obama next year! Stay tuned for more details on house parties in next month's newsletter.


Our most recent Happy Hour was a huge success. We had close to 30 members and potential members attend. Elected officials also have joined us. The Happy Hours are a great way to meet other members and to introduce friends to the Club in an informal atmosphere. If you haven't yet attended one, be sure to do so this fall.


One more thing: I want to continue to open up the Club, to hear your ideas and welcome your suggestions. We're heading into a crucial election season and want to have all hands on deck in a concerted effort. Please call me at 301-656-4345 or e-mail me at jpmerkin@verizon.net with your thoughts, ideas, questions and inspirations. In the meantime, I hope you're having a great summer. See you soon.







Welcome to the WSDC Board of Directors! The following Board members were appointed to serve from 2011-2013:  


   Communications:                           Julie Noble

   Education:                                     Lucy Freeman

   E-mail Coordinator:                         Sybil Cantor

   Historian / MCDCC Liaison:             Madeleine Sigel

   Hospitality:                                     Natalie Bouquet

   Legislation:                                     Lenna Israbian-Jamgochian

   Membership:                                   Deedee Montgomery

   Parliamentarian:                              Dorothy Barthelmes


As past president, Susan Elwell will continue her service on the Board.




 Suggestion Box

Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great speaker at a future WSDC event? Or would you just like to get more involved with the overall work of the Club? If so, please e-mail Jane Merkin at jpmerkin@verizon.net or visit www.mcWSDC.org and click on VOLUNTEER to complete the "It Takes a Village" volunteer form.  





Did you serve as a Peace Corps volunteer, staff member, or as an accompanying family member? Do you have someone in your family who's served? If so, WSDC wants to hear from you. The Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary in September, and we'd like to honor your service. (If you've volunteered for a comparable non-governmental organization, we'd like to hear about that, too!) E-mail Susan Elwell at susbelwell@gmail.com .



Martin Luther King Jr.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will be dedicated on Sunday, August 28, the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King's timeless "I Have A Dream" speech. For more information, visit www.dedicatethedream.org.


Did you work for civil rights in the 1960s? What were your experiences? Share your story by contacting Susan Elwell at susbelwell@gmail.com or 240-277-3137.






All states are required to redistrict every 10 years, following the census. This process affects Congressional, state legislative, county council and school board districts.


Governor O'Malley recently appointed a five-member Advisory Commission that will hold 12 hearings throughout the state. In Montgomery County, hearings will be held Wednesday, August 10 at 7 p.m. at the Universities at Shady Grove, Building # 1 Auditorium, 9630 Gudelsky Drive in Rockville. If you are concerned with the boundaries for the Congressional or legislative district in which you live - or if you want to hear more about how it might change - we urge you to attend this hearing and make your voice heard.


More information about the hearing - as well as instructions on how to sign up to testify - is available at: http://planning.maryland.gov/PDF/redistricting/2010docs/GuidelinesPublicHearings2011.pdf


The General Assembly will convene in a special session in October to redraw the boundaries of the state's eight Congressional districts. Redistricting for state legislative districts in the General Assembly will be taken up in January during the General Assembly's regular 90-day session. For the latest redistricting information, go to: http://www.mdp.state.md.us/Redistricting/


Article10Health Care Reform

WSDC is an active member of the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform, working to help with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. During the past several months, the coalition continued its efforts to expand patient access, including:


  • Working with the state legislature to help establish one of the first Health Insurance Exchanges in the country, which went into effect June 1 through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2011. The Exchange will allow Marylanders to compare rates, benefits and quality among plans - to help individuals and small employers find insurance products that best suit their needs. The coalition now is working with the newly appointed Exchange Board and Advisory Committees, which have already begun to meet.  
  • Calling on Maryland's Congressional delegation to protect some of our most vulnerable families by opposing further cuts to Medicaid - while recognizing the difficult budgetary decisions our representatives face. To read more about the potential impact of the proposed cuts to Maryland's Medicaid program, visit: http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/maryland.pdf .  


Article11The Environment

Every year following the General Assembly, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters issues an environmental scorecard reflecting the votes of our senators and delegates on conservation issues that matter most. These votes have long-term ramifications for our community, and the scorecard is your tool to see how well your elected officials performed. Did they represent your values? Did they vote with you in mind?


Click here to see how your elected officials voted: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/58632390?access_key=key-1s9qestsz7biqkzfmo73  


Then, call your legislator to ask him or her to explain any anti-environmental positions. For example, if your legislators threatened our air quality by voting to increase incinerator limits - or by providing tax breaks to the coal industry while other state programs that serve our neediest families were put on the chopping block - you should definitely ask them to explain why. Not sure who your elected officials are? Look them up at: http://mdelect.net/.




Having just completed Justice Stephen Breyer's Making Democracy Work, the Political Book Club is heading up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with our August 17th selection: Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow.

The book club meets the third Wednesday of every other month, 10:30 a.m. at members' homes. A facilitator leads the discussion for each book. Want to join the conversation? New members are always welcome. Contact Estelle Stone at estelles@webtv.net.   


   Keeping members better informed, better connected and more politically effective since 1957   


Woman's Suburban Democratic Club
Jane Merkin
Woman's Suburban Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator