Woman's Suburban 
Democratic Club                                
   of Montgomery County, Maryland

August Newsletter  - Volume 1, Issue 6



Upcoming WSDC Events

Upcoming Obama Campaign Events 

"Are you 'In'?" House Parties  

The Board Report  



           Health Care Reform 

           State Budget 

It Takes a Village 

Help Wanted 

It's Time to Renew Your Membership 

Political Book Club - October 

Calling all Peace Corps Members 


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, Sheila Fyfe, Lenna Israbian-Jamgochian and Beth Tomasello for their contributions to the newsletter.




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.   

Redwood Restaurant and Bar, 7121 Bethesda Lane, BethesdaGirls


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 and his daughter, Deborah Kalb

12 noon,  Courtyard by Marriott, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase

Cost: $23 members; $25 guests


Marvin KalbEnjoy 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. Go to www.mcWSDC.org to register online. Want to learn more, check out this article on the Kalbs and their book.  


Tuesday, October 18


District 18 House Party with Obama for America

Time (to be determined)

Home of Beth Tomasello

7010 Hillcrest Place, Chevy Chase


Calling all District 18 residents! Join us for our first house party to learn about the plans of Obama for America in Montgomery County. Click here for more information.  


Thursday, October 20

WSDC Monthly Luncheon: Steve PearlsteinPearlstein

12 noon, Normandie  Farm Restaurant, Potomac


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.



Tuesday, October 25


District 15 House Party with Obama for America

Time (to be determined)

Home of Ginger Macomber

11905 Tallwood Court, Potomac


Calling all District 15 residents! Join us for our second house party to learn about the plans of Obama for America in Montgomery County. Click here for more information.



Monday, November 14


Gayle Tzemach LemmonAn 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.




Wednesday, September 14


Obama Victory Fund 2012 - Reception with David Axelrod

5409 Spangler Avenue, Bethesda (Westmoreland Hills)

6-8 p.m.

Tickets: $200 Friend / General Reception

             $1000 Co-Host / Special Co-Hosts and Co-Chairs Reception

             $5000 Co-Chair / Special Co-Hosts and Co-Chairs Reception  


This Obama for America campaign event is being held at the home of WSDC member Mary Jane Checchi and John Culver.  In addition to being hosted by a WSDC member, this event was organized by WSDC members Lucy Freeman, Ellie Kleinman, Minh Le, Betsy Loyless, Jane Merkin, and Beth Tomasello. This is an early opportunity for Montgomery County Democrats to hear from David Axelrod on the strategy for winning in 2012 and a chance to ask your questions about the direction of the campaign. To RSVP and donate, click here.  For more information, please contact Andrew Smith at andrew.smith@barackobama.com.




Obama 2012 HQ

3750 University Boulevard West, Kensington

Monday-Thursday, 12 noon to 8:30 p.m.

Friday, 12 noon to 6 p.m.


All hands on deck! Help out in the Obama campaign headquarters. Make calls, conduct in-person and telephone interviews, enter data and help prepare for upcoming events.



Monday, September 5


Kensington Labor Day Parade and Street Festival

Meet at Safeway, 10541 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington

3 shifts: 9-11:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; and 1-3:30 p.m.


Recruit volunteers, register voters and hand out materials.


Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

Meet at Java Junction, 5 South Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg

12 Noon-3 p.m.


Recruit volunteers, register voters and hand out materials.


To learn more and RSVP for these events, go to www.ofamd.org.





Working with Obama for America (OFA), we have scheduled the first two house parties of the 2012 campaign.  (See dates and locations under "Upcoming WSDC Events.")  We plan to hold eight - 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!  More details will be mailed and posted on our website next month.





Director Chair

In 2007, WSDC surveyed its members to determine the demographics of our club, what members enjoyed about the club and what members thought should be changed. In conjunction with WSDC's 55th Anniversary in 2012, WSDC's Board of Directors has convened a Strategic Planning Workgroup to evaluate the surveys in light of the club's mission, and in light of both changes in women's lives and in Montgomery County in the last 55 years. This workgroup has been asked to prepare proposals for the Board of Directors to help the Board set new directions and to position itself for member growth and retention in the coming years. The group will begin its work in September and make its recommendations to the Board of Directors in early 2012.


Members of the Strategic Planning Workgroup are Carole Brand, Carmela Cowgill, Ellie Kleinman, Abby Marshall, Leni Preston, Madeleine Siegel, and Beth Tomasello. If you have any suggestions, please send an e-mail to wsdc44@gmail.com.




Article9Redistricting: Common Sense Should Rule

Governor O'Malley's Advisory Commission on Redistricting held a hearing in Montgomery County on Wednesday, August 10. This was one of 12 hearings being held throughout the State. The chair kicked off the hearing by telling us that they were here to listen to our views and ideas. Every speaker stressed that politics should not be the moving force in drawing up the new maps. However, from all that we read in the news, politics undoubtedly will play a prominent role.


The General Assembly will convene in a special session on Monday, October 17 to consider the Governor's congressional redistricting plan. And the Governor will submit the state legislative redistricting plan to the General Assembly when it convenes on January 11 for its 2012 regular session.


Speakers raised the following points:

  • All stressed that districts should be contiguous and compact, with neighborhoods kept whole, and that politics should not drive the creation of the new maps.
  • Gerrymandering or creating districts for political purposes results in citizens failing to get adequate representation and feeling disenfranchised.
  • While one speaker did not object to a Congressional district encompassing part of Montgomery County and part of Prince George's County, he did object to the current plan that contains non-contiguous areas without shared common interests.
  • Some of the lines are drawn in such a confusing manner that even the elected officials are not sure whom they represent. One speaker who resides in Montgomery Village noted that the neighborhood was split in such a way that both Congressional offices in District 4 and 8 repeatedly replied to requests for assistance by maintaining that the person did not reside in his or her district.
  • Several speakers advocated single-member districts to enhance minority representation.
  • Delegate Ana Sol Guttierez was the only elected official who spoke. She encouraged the Commission members to focus on the significant growth of the Hispanic population in Montgomery County during the last decade. She urged that the Governor's plan recognize this growth.
  • The biggest applause of the evening was in response to a speaker who said he would join in any effort and do whatever he could both financially and legally to defeat any plan that looks like the current one.

Article10Health Care Reform: Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventive Services at  

No Additional Cost 

Effective August 1, 2012, insurance companies must cover key women's preventive health services without co-pays, co-insurances or deductibles, such as contraception, breastfeeding support and screening for gestational diabetes, HIV infection and domestic violence. Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius recently made this announcement as part of the Obama Administration's strategy to improve the health of all women as well as our children and families. For example, contraception and other preventive care are essential to our ability to stay healthy and detect disease early. During these difficult economic times, some women continue to struggle to purchase contraception due to high insurance company co-payments and other fees. This decision means that cost barriers will no longer stop women from getting the health care we need.


Article11State Budget;  Maryland Faces Another Billion Dollar Shortfall

Our state is facing a $1.1 billion shortfall for the Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on July 1, 2012. As a result, our state legislators will have to make critical decisions in the months ahead regarding how we close our budget deficit and meet the needs of our citizens. Maryland's primary response to the current economic crises has been to dramatically cut state spending. In fact, since 2008 our state policy makers have cut more than $5 billion in health services, education at all levels, roads and nearly every other function. A new report by the Maryland Budget & Tax Policy Institute recommends several revenue options to encourage Maryland to take a more balanced approach to our current shortfall. You can access the full report here






We need your help creating a vibrant Club and we solicit your ideas and participation. And the most valuable contribution you can make to the Club is - you guessed it - your time. Sharing your skills and expertise with us and joining a committee are fun ways to meet other members and make new friends while helping the Club accomplish its goals. Go to www.mcWSDC.org and click on "Volunteer" to complete the volunteer form.




Produce Written Newsletter: In addition to our monthly online newsletter, many members have requested that we mail a newsletter on a quarterly basis. In order to do this, we need someone to lay out the Help Wantednewsletter and send to the printer. Are you able to do this? Do you know someone who might be able to help us? If so, please contact us at wsdc44@gmail.com.


Alma Mater Outreach: To help get the word out about our programs, WSDC would like to contact the alumni associations of our upcoming speakers' colleges and universities. But to do that, we need your help! Are you an alumna of any of these speakers' schools? If so, please let us know by sending an e-mail to wsdc44@gmail.com.

  • Marvin Kalb - City College of New York, Harvard University, George Washington University
  • Deborah Kalb - Harvard University
  • Steven Pearlstein -Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Gayle Lemmon - University of Missouri School of Journalism, Harvard Business School



Annual dues-paying time has arrived. By now you should have received our renewal package for 2011-2012. Payment is due by September 1. We hope that each of you will return the form that was enclosed with the letter, or go online at www.mcWSDC.org and click on "Renew Now."




The October 19 selection is The Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman. The New York Times called it "a smart and engaging group biography of four larger-than-life justices appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt." If you're a fan of SCOTUS history, you won't want to miss this one.


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.  

If you're interested in seeing what other books have been discussed, please go to www.mcWSDC.org and click on Political Book Club.  




We'd still like to hear from those of you who served as a Peace Corps volunteer, staff member, or as an accompanying family member - or if you have someone in your family who's served. The Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary in September and we want to honor your service at our September luncheon. E-mail Susan Elwell at susbelwell@gmail.com .



 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