of Montgomery County, Maryland
February Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 5
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.
Thursday, March 1
District 20 House Party with the Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club and Obama for America
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Home of Jean Bailey
517 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring
If you're a District 14 resident who's planning to hit the pavement for Obama-Biden, you won't want to miss this opportunity to hear first-hand from Obama organizers about how you can help. Meet with your fellow WSDC members - and don't forget to bring your friends. To RSVP, contact Jean Bailey at 202-421-5552 or email@example.com
Thursday, March 8
Redwood Restaurant and Bar,
7121 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda
Want to meet new people to talk politics? Join us at the next WSDC Happy Hour. Every second Thursday of each month, Democrats who are passionate about politics gather to relax and network with WSDC members and their guests. Whether you want to meet elected officials, make new friends, form new business contacts or just have fun, the WSDC Happy Hour is the perfect place to meet and greet fellow Democrats.
Monday, March 19
Mapping Maryland 2012: Redistricting Roundtable
10:30 a.m. - 12 noon
The Jane E. Lawton Community Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase
Have you ever wondered how redistricting really works? Here's your chance to find out more about Maryland's new Congressional and state maps - how they were drawn up, how they comply with the Voting Rights Act, and what districts you live in. Join us for a fascinating conversation about a topic very few voters truly understand with Matthew Verghese, Maryland Democratic Party and Michael Sriqui, Common Cause. Information will be available on whether you've been redistricted into a different Congressional or legislative district. To RSVP, contact Lucy Freeman at 301-654-8115 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, March 29
Luncheon with Laura Meyers, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington
Courtyard Marriott, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase
Cost: $23 members; $28 non-members
"DECISION 2012: In Women's Hands?"
Election 2012 is "supposed" to be about the economy. But improving economic data, the Komen controversy, and the volatile Republican Presidential race have all helped push issues such women's health and reproductive rights to the forefront. Join WSDC as Laura Meyers, executive director, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, discusses what's happened so far - and what could be next. To RSVP, send a check made payable to WSDC to Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817. Or register online at www.mcWSDC.org by noon, Tuesday, March 27
Saturday, April 21
Doubletree Hotel, 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda
(between Cordell Avenue and Battery Lane)
General membership meeting to vote on the Board-recommended proposal to remove the word "Suburban" from our name.
Luncheon with Michael Sheehan
"Conventions and Debates: Past, Present and Future"
Michael Sheehan is a pre-eminent media advisor for the Democratic party, corporations and non-profiits He has coached speakers at every Democratic convention and presidential and vice presidential candidates for debates since 1988. He will discuss the impact and changing nature of conventions and debates using video clips to show highs and lows as well as share behind the scene stories.
UPCOMING CAMPAIGN EVENTS
Obama 2012 HQ
3750 University Boulevard West, Kensington
Ongoing: Re-engaging Past Volunteers
On Wednesday evenings and Saturdays, the campaign is reaching out to engage thousands of volunteers from the 2008 campaign and following up with supporters who contacted them online. Come to campaign headquarters to experience the energy and enthusiasm by making calls with the team! Give an hour or two and click on one of the links below to RSVP for:
March 3: Voter Registration in Virginia
Gather with fellow Obama supporters in Montgomery County as we prepare to caravan to Virginia to register voters as part of an Obama campaign national day of action. Meet at B-CC High School at 9 a.m. Click here for details and to RSVP.
Call for Loaned Computers
The Obama campaign must equip three field offices in Montgomery County and needs dozens of computers. Do you have a computer you can loan through Election Day, November 6?
They're looking for equipment with:
- Minimum of 2 GHZ processor speed
- 1 GM of RAM
- Flat screen monitor (optional)
- Keyboard and mouse
They would like to wipe everything from your computer's hard drive and install their own software. Or they can leave your hard drive intact, disconnect it, and use their own hard drive, if you prefer. If you'd like to donate it after Election Day, the campaign will give your computer to a nonprofit that will refurbish it for a school or a low-income family.
If your computer meets the specs listed above, you can drop it off at their office in Kensington during office hours: M-F 12 - 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The address is 3750 University Boulevard West, Kensington. If you can't bring it in, please click here.
Obama Postcard Project
Members are invited to participate in the Obama Postcard Project being led by the Leisure World Democratic Club. The idea is to write personal messages of support for Obama and members of Congress and to stress the importance of voting. The purpose is to help elect Obama, hold the Senate, and take back 25 House seats. Postcard writers are asked to stamp their cards before turning them in. By September, when the battleground states are clear, OFA will print labels of targeted voters in selected swing districts. If you are interested in holding a house party or writing cards, please contact Martha Robinson at email@example.com or 301- 288-7322.
Sunday, March 18
6th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FORUM
2 - 4 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
Activity Center at Bohrer Park
506 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg (next to Gaithersburg High School)
Please join all the Democratic candidates for the 6th Congressional District:
- Charles Bailey, Washington County
- John Delaney, Montgomery County
- State Senator Rob Garagiola, Montgomery County
- Ron Little, Montgomery County
- Milad Pooran, Frederick County
Moderator: Laslo Boyd, political consultant and Gazette columnist.
Sponsored by District 17 Democratic Club, District 19 Democratic Club, District 39 Democratic Club and the African-American Democratic Club
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 25
"WOMEN FOR CARDIN" EVENT
International Brotherhood of Electrical Works (IBEW)
4371 Parliament Place, Lanham
For additional details, call 301-437-3512 or e-mail email@example.com.
NEWS FROM THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Early Voting Volunteers Needed
The MCDCC needs volunteers to help staff early voting polling sites, give voters rides to polling places and serve as poll watchers. Volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, Sunday, March 25 (noon to 6 p.m.), Monday, March 26, Tuesday, March 27, Wednesday, March 28, Thursday, March 29.
Early voting locations:
- Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Aspen Hill
- Germantown Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown
- Marilyn Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
- Montgomery County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville
- Silver Spring Civic Center, 8525 Fenton Street, Silver Spring
Please contact Jonathan Prutow (firstname.lastname@example.org) to volunteer. They will need your desired date, time and location.
The Annual Democratic County Brunch
Sunday, March 4
Doors open at 12:30 p.m.
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Road, Rockville
Join WSDC members and other Democrats at this annual event. WSDC will be putting together tables and we encourage you to attend. If you would like to sit with us, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. Bronze cube tickets are $50 ($60 at the door); silver circle tickets are $150 each and gold Ellipse tickets are $250 for 2 tickets. To purchase tickets, go to www.mcdcc.org and look for the link on the home page.
DEE DEE MYERS SURVEYS CURRENT POLITICAL LANDSCAPE TO RAPT AUDIENCE AT FEBRUARY 10 LUNCHEON
By Bonnie Wicklund
Press Secretary to former President Clinton and author of the New York Times bestseller Why Women Should Rule the World, Dee Dee Myers spoke about the critical importance of empowering women - especially in politics - and analyzed the coming election in light of her own experiences.
Her premise, she said, is that when women become part of the decision-making process in any field - particularly in politics and business, where their numbers are still not on par with men -the conversation and framework change in fundamental ways. Diverse opinions in a group lead to better solutions, she asserted, and research bears this out. For example, companies with the most women in leadership positions tend to be more profitable.
Myers said she is encouraged that more women are running for the U.S. Senate this year than ever before. However, she believes that women are still judged by different standards. Appearance matters more for women, for instance: "How many conversations have you heard about Hillary Clinton's hair?" Citing another example, she said that Nancy Pelosi was probably the most effective Speaker of the House since Sam Rayburn, measured by how much legislation she got passed and how well she controlled her caucus. But the general public had a negative view, considering her "bossy and opinionated."
Regarding the upcoming election, Myers said that she thought President Obama's State of the Union speech had created a good platform for framing the economic issues. The Republicans will try to shift back to social issues when the economy shows signs of improvement, as evidenced by the recent furor over whether faith-affiliated institutions like hospitals and universities should be required to offer preventive health options to women, specifically birth control. The Administration could have done a better job of presenting this policy, she said, but it is 100% right on the issue of giving women access to preventive health care. There is broad support in the general public for this, which is why the Republicans are framing the issue as one of freedom of religion.
Asked why communication in general from the present White House has not been stronger, Myers answered by comparing the strengths and weaknesses of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton, she said, was an emotional politician, which occasionally created problems, but he was very good at making the connection between values and policy clear to voters. Obama, by contrast is "the world's most rational man," and he came to the job believing that it was only necessary to explain the reasons for policy decisions without appealing to people's feelings. His recent emphasis on fairness in our society is evidence that he is beginning to internalize these connections. In addition, polls show that his personal approval rating remains high, in contrast to the public's view of the Administration's policies.
To answer a question about the Occupy Wall Street movement, she expanded on the theme of fairness. While the movement has not developed a cohesive message - in contrast to the Tea Party - it has already influenced the shape of the election by "tapping into something deeply felt," that things are rigged against ordinary people and basically our society has become unfair. This is helpful for Democrats, particularly on the issue of taxes.
Questioned about whether she thought Hillary Clinton might be asked to run as Vice President instead of Joe Biden, Myers responded, "Zero chance, for several reasons." It would not gain the ticket anything politically and moreover "would make the president look weak." Finally, she said she thinks Hillary Clinton is sincere in wanting to take a break from public service and political life - which she has been doing for more than 20 years - to take a step back and assess her options, which might very well include another run for the Presidency in the future.
RECLAIMING YOUNG LIVES: A BRIEFING ON JUVENILE JUSTICE PRACTICES
by Marian Kisch
Montgomery County offers a wide array of options for juveniles who get into trouble. These were delineated by county and state officials at a special WSDC Education Committee briefing on February 23. The consensus was that the main focus is to offer appropriate support early on to keep youngsters from committing worse offenses, with greater consequences. The breadth of services is impressive.
Speakers included Margaret Burrowes, assistant state's attorney and chief of the Juvenile Court Division; George Simms III, assistant state's attorney and chief of the Community Prosecution Division; Georgine DeBord, team mediator, state's attorney office of Montgomery County; Robert Green, warden, Montgomery County Department of Corrections; Nicole Beatty and Caitlin O'Brien-Masonis, case management specialists at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS).
When a juvenile (younger than 18) comes into the system after being arrested or cited, he/she first goes through an intake procedure at the Department of Juvenile Services at which health issues, home situations and mental conditions are taken into account before recommendations are made as to disposition. Many low-level cases are resolved at this level, yet others are determined to be serious enough to warrant adjudication at court. Whenever possible, the system attempts to help juveniles turn their lives around, so they don't have to be burdened with a "mistake" they made at a young age.
Several programs are in place to help with these issues, with various agencies, such as DJS, child welfare, school districts and health and human services, working together to select the best course. Some address truancy issues through monthly review boards (74% improved attendance) and a truancy court at two county middle schools, which averaged 75% improvement in attendance and tardiness. Another multi-agency project at John F. Kennedy High School has served 53 families this year to improve academic performance and reduce risk factors of delinquency.
A voluntary teen court for first-time 12 to 17-year-old offenders deals with alcohol, theft, destruction of property and weapon possession (excluding guns). Last year 401 cases were heard in a courtroom before a jury of their peers. Sanctions can include community service, restitution, apology letters and educational programs.
Some cases for second degree assault, theft and destruction of property can be resolved by binding agreements with trained mediators; ten such cases were resolved last year. Many juvenile cases have a drug or alcohol component. Drug court for those 14-18-year-olds meets once a week in juvenile court. Participants are given help regarding sobriety, education and personal development.
Juveniles who enter the justice system have committed a "delinquent act," something that would be a crime if committed by an adult. In some cases, such as armed robbery or second degree murder or rape, they can be bumped up to adult court. The rules are different for juveniles. There are no jury trials; they go before a judge. Even the vocabulary is different. Juveniles are not defendants; they're respondents. Instead of guilty, they're "involved," and so on.
Judges for those deemed "involved" in committing a delinquent act can issue a warning, probation, assignment to rehab, home electronic monitoring, restitution to the victim or commitment until age 21. Parents are involved in their children's cases and can be ordered to pay for lawyers, victimization restitution and attend classes with their child. Judges are usually guided by what will act as a deterrent to committing a future delinquent act, what will rehabilitate and what will hold the person accountable.
When juveniles are placed in detention, it's usually within the county or state, but a small percentage are sent out of state when local facilities cannot handle them, such as in some sex crimes cases.
When juveniles are let out on probation, they are assigned a probation officer to make sure the contract is being lived up to, such as performing community service or going to counseling. If these are met, a juvenile may be released; regardless, a juvenile must be released at age 21, as the department's jurisdiction ends.
Robert Green, warden at the Montgomery County Department of Corrections, usually has a few juveniles (10 at this time) awaiting a hearing or placement. He praised the juvenile justice system but strongly believes it should be local (Montgomery County), not under state control. Green has instituted several programs to help inmates, especially in the educational arena-bringing up reading and math levels while they are incarcerated.
Although determined to do more, Montgomery County continues to be a leader in finding new ways to help at-risk and troubled youth.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEWS
During the 2012 session of the General Assembly you will be receiving legislative updates. We also encourage you to check our website ( www.mcWSDC.org) for the most current information on what's happening as well as advocacy events that may be of interest.
POLITICAL BOOK CLUB
Our April 18 selection is Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President, in which Ron Suskind describes the behind-the-scenes action during and after the economic meltdown of 2008.
The June 20 selection is Age of Greed by Jeff Madrick, who argues that the relentless pursuit of outrageous wealth in the last 40 years has helped lead to America's decline.
In Assassin's Gate - our selection for August 15 - George Parker revisits the United States' misadventure in Iraq and how American intervention to remove Saddam Hussein has changed the dynamic of the Middle East.
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.
EVENT CANCELLATION POLICY
We have found out, once again, how difficult it is to predict the weather. The weather forecast for Saturday, January 21 was in constant flux that made it impossible for us to make a decision as to whether or not we should hold our events until that morning.
In case of a cancellation in the future, we will follow the same procedures we did on Saturday: we posted a notice on our website (www.mcWSDC.org); an e-mail was sent to our members; and we telephoned those who had RSVPed for the luncheon. Therefore, if you are planning to attend an event, it is more important than ever that you register in advance so that we can contact you directly if the need arises.
Keeping members better informed, better connected and more politically effective since 1957