of Montgomery County, Maryland
October Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 2
UPCOMING WSDC EVENTS:
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.
Tuesday, November 1
Montgomery County 101 Visits the Montgomery County Council
Tuesday, November 1
100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
Next up for our Montgomery County 101 series: a visit to the Montgomery County Council. Join us at the County Council building when we attend a Council session, tour the facilities and have lunch with Council members.
Wednesday, November 9
District 16 House Party with Obama for America
7 - 8:30 p.m. (Program to begin at 7:30 p.m.)
Home of Lucy Freeman
4708 Dorset Street, Chevy Chase
Calling all District 16 residents! Join us for our third house party to learn about the plans of Obama for America in Montgomery County. Click here for more information. RSVP to 301-654-8115 or email@example.com .
Thursday, November 10
Redwood Restaurant and Bar,
7121 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda
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. See you there!
State Delegates Heather Mizeur (standing left), Susan Lee (seated center) and Ariana Kelly (seated right) join WSDC members and guests at the October happy hour.
Monday, November 14
An Evening with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
6:30 p.m. Lite Supper with Wine; 7:15 p.m. Program
Courtyard by Marriott,
5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase
Cost: $25 members; $27 non-members
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. To RSVP send check, payable to WSDC, to Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 or go online to www.mcWSDC.org by Friday, November 11 at noon.
Wednesday, November 16
District 17 House Party with Obama for America
7 - 8:30 p.m. (Program to begin at 7:30 p.m.)
Home of Elly Shaw-Belblidia
340 Tschiffely Square Road, Gaithersburg
Calling all District 17 residents! Join us for our fourth house party to learn about the plans of Obama for America in Montgomery County. Click here for more information. RSVP to 301-216-9549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPCOMING CAMPAIGN EVENTS
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.
Sunday, November 6
Maryland Democratic Party Luncheon honoring Senator Barbara Mikulski
1 - 3 p.m.
The Marriott Inn and Conference Center, UMUC
3501 University Boulevard East, Hyattsville
Please join us at the upcoming Maryland Democratic Party luncheon
celebrating Senator Barbara Mikulski's induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame. As the longest-serving female US Senator, Barbara Mikulski's accomplishments have not only had an impact on Maryland, but the nation as a whole. This luncheon will be a great way to honor Senator Mikulski's hard work and dedication.
General admission tickets are $75. If you are able to attend, please purchase tickets at www.mddems.org/mikulskilunch or contact Andrew Lee at email@example.com or 443-569-4972.
Tuesday, November 8
Virginia "Get Out the Vote" Calling and Door-to-Door Canvassing
Election Day is November 8 for Virginia State and House races. Help us get out the vote in Northern Virginia! For more information, call the OFA headquarters: 240-242-5750.
CONGRESSMAN VAN HOLLEN'S ANNUAL OPEN SEASON FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFITS FORUMS
Experts on federal health insurance plans and representatives of health insurance carriers will be present at both sessions to discuss various health plan options, the impact of new health care reforms and answer individual questions. These forums are being held in cooperation with the Maryland Federation of chapters of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
Monday, November 14
9 a.m. - 11 a.m. (panel begins at 9:30 a.m.)
Holiday Park Senior Center
3950 Ferrara Drive, Wheaton
Thursday, November 17
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. (panel begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Executive Office Building
101 Monroe Street, Rockville
If you need special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, please call 301-424-3501 by October 26. For additional information or directions, call 301-424-3501.
"ARE YOU 'IN'?" HOUSE PARTIES
Working with Obama for America (OFA), we have held the first two house parties and scheduled the next 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! Check our website www.mcWSDC.org for additional details.
THE BOARD REPORT
At its October 12 meeting, the Board voted to make a $500 contribution to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee's capital campaign for additional computers and software updates to develop a greater online presence. If you would like to make a personal donation (of $25, $50, etc.), please send a check, payable to MCDCC, to MCDCC, 3720 Farragut Avenue, # 303, Kensington, MD 20895-2110. Or go to www.mcdcc.org and click on "Contribute," and then click on "Capital Campaign." Each donor of $50 or more will be acknowledged in the MCDCC's monthly newsletter and on their website.
The Board also voted to make a $400 contribution to the Maryland Democratic Party for their luncheon honoring Senator Mikulski. (For additional information on the event, click on "Campaign Events."
We decided to continue our tradition of collecting monetary donations for a non-profit at our annual holiday tea in December. This year we will be contributing to Manna Food Center, which strives to eliminate hunger in Montgomery County through food distribution, education and advocacy. We urge everyone to support this effort. More details will be available closer to the date of the event.
General Assembly Special Session on Congressional Redistricting
The U.S. Constitution along with our State Constitution requires Maryland to redraw its congressional and state legislative district lines every 10 years following the National Census. This process helps to ensure that changes in population are taken into consideration, so that the number of voters per district are roughly equivalent. This process began with the 2010 Census.
After public hearings, review and analysis of proposed plans and a special session, Governor O'Malley signed Senate Bill 1, emergency legislation creating new districts for congressional elections based on the 2010 census. These new districts will be in place in time for the Congressional primary of 2012. State legislative redistricting is expected to move ahead next year, with adoption in time for the 2014 State Legislative Election.
There were some major changes to Maryland's congressional districts. To find out if your congressional district has changed click here .
Maryland's Atlantic coast contains a vast, untapped energy source - wind. This energy source has the power to provide clean energy, create local jobs, establish long-term electric price stability and produce the equivalent of two thirds of Maryland's current electricity needs.
During the 2011 Maryland General Assembly session, advocates worked hard to pass legislation to enable the construction of an offshore wind farm off the Ocean City coast. Unfortunately, this bill was not brought to a vote during the 2011 legislative session, with legislators citing the need for an offshore wind study.
A town hall forum is now scheduled for Thursday, November 3 at 7 pm at Mid County Community Center in Silver Spring. For more information about the event and to make your voice heard click here.
STEVEN PEARLSTEIN TELLS HARD TRUTHS AT OCTOBER 20 LUNCHEON
by Bonnie Wicklund
Speaking to an overflow crowd at Normandie Farm Restaurant, Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein gave a sobering assessment of our country's economic problems, and offered solutions that will be neither easy nor popular.
"This is a dangerous time for Democrats," he began. Despite genuine fears about their prospects in next year's elections, "there is a tendency among Democrats to believe that because of Republicans' 'nutty' ideas, they will never win and we were right all along." Republicans have created an "alternative reality" for themselves, including such "nutty" ideas as the 9-9-9 tax plan; the belief that complying with government regulations costs business $1.9 trillion annually (which, if true, would be 14% of our $15 trillion economy); that abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting the budget without touching Defense, cutting all foreign aid to poor countries, and returning financial regulations to pre-2007 status will solve our economic problems.
But Democrats, he warned, have their own economic fantasy: that we can solve our budget crisis just by taxing rich people and having more fiscal stimulus. In reality, he asserted, we will need to raise taxes on all who make more than $100,000, and take on senior citizen benefits. Fiscal stimulus is effective as a short-term fix in situations of financial panic; it worked quite well in 2007-2008, avoiding another Great Depression. More fiscal stimulus right now would simply add to the deficit and re-inflate the old bubble. Unless we understand how we got to this point - by consuming more than we produced for the last 20 years, engendering a trade deficit that is now 6% of GDP - we cannot succeed. What is needed, he asserted, is a fundamental restructuring, no longer relying on the old drivers of economic growth such as real estate, finance, health care, retail and the public sector. The reality is that the prices of things, including labor, had gotten seriously out of whack. And it is markets, not the government, which will effect most of these changes, already underway.
Our country's standard of living is going to be reduced, and this involves "really hard" choices and trade-offs. His recommendations include reforming the tax code: getting rid of special interest deductions to allow lowering tax rates; making long-term investments in infrastructure, education and worker training; and putting a ceiling on health care costs - "the gorilla that eats everything" - by lowering the level of incomes of health care providers and shareholders.
Asked what President Obama can do to be successful, Pearlstein answered that first he must give people some hope, and be unafraid to tell hard truths. The country is more willing to hear bad news and to make sacrifices than politicians give them credit for. The Democrats should consider this an opportunity to tell what has to be done, and to persuade voters that they are the party to be trusted to spread the pain more fairly, instead of saying "Vote for us and there will be no pain."
Twenty-five Years in the Making by June Jeffries
After a delay forced by Hurricane Irene, the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial on the National Mall was dedicated on October 16 -- a glorious fall morning -- before a crowd of thousands. I, along with family and friends, was there. But there was no place else that I should have been. I felt the same way the morning that the memorial was opened to the public on August 22.
It was with a sense of awe and respectful silence that we entered the plaza and saw the statue for the first time. Scores of press were there - radio, TV, local, national, international. What they couldn't see were the photos on my Blackberry, of me and my family with Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, a close friend of more than 30 years. As I walked around, with Mrs. Parks in my purse, I felt connected to Dr. King and to the very beginning of his rise to prominence. Would the Martin Luther King, Jr. that the world came to know have even existed without the courageous act of this quiet woman, who was dedicated to social justice? Whatever the answer, Mrs. Parks would have been deeply moved by this memorial.
The idea for the memorial came from a handful of men in the Washington, D.C. area, members of Alpha Phi Alpha, the fraternity that Dr. King pledged at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Through the years, the Alphas worked tirelessly to make the monument a reality. They raised millions of dollars from individuals, organizations, and corporations - all of whom helped create this tangible recognition of the struggles of many, of the cruelty to many, and of the injustices done to many. The memorial inspires some controversy, but I have not talked to one person who has not been moved by the walk through the "Mountain of Despair" and into the plaza to the massive "Stone of Hope." And I think that Dr. King, who did not shy from embracing controversy in his lifetime, would have approved.
Many persons spoke at the dedication: politicians, King family members, Dr. King's closest aides, noted figures of the civil rights movement. Rev. Bernice King, the Kings' youngest child, delivered impassioned words. She talked about her mother's role in the movement, her partnership with her husband, and the recognition that Coretta Scott King deserves.
Perhaps the most anticipated remarks were President Barack Obama's. In the year I was born - 1954 - America could not have envisioned a black President, or a day that would see a memorial dedicated to a black man on the National Mall. But that morning, we truly felt the words of Abraham Lincoln, uttered nearly 150 years ago: It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this.
POLITICAL BOOK CLUB - DECEMBER
The December 21 selection is The Majesty of the Law by Sandra Day O'Connor, a backstage glimpse of a lifetime in the law by the Supreme Court's first female justice.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're interested in seeing what other books have been discussed, please go to www.mcWSDC.org and click on Political Book Club.
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 send an e-mail to email@example.com or visit www.mcWSDC.org and click on "Volunteer" to complete the "It Takes a Village" volunteer form.
IT'S TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
Annual dues-paying time has arrived. By now you should have received our renewal package for 2011-2012. Payment was 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."
Keeping members better informed, better connected and more politically effective since 1957
Woman's Suburban Democratic Club
Woman's Suburban Democratic Club