Woman's Suburban 
Democratic Club                                
   of Montgomery County, Maryland

April Newsletter  - Volume 2, Issue 7



Upcoming WSDC Events

Upcoming Campaign Events 

A Message from the President  

Do You Know a Graphics Designer or Website Developer? 

MCDCC News: Call for Applications for Summer Interns  

Call for Applicants for the Charter Review Commission 

Planned Parenthood CEO Laura Meyers Addresses March Luncheon 

"Women are Watching" Website 

Political Book Club  

Suggestion Box 


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 and Marian Kisch 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.



Saturday, May 5


District 39 House Party with the District 39 Democratic Club and Obama for America

2:30 - 4 p.m.

Home of Darrell Anderson

406 Grove Avenue, Washington Grove


If you're a District 39 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 Darrell Anderson at darrellanderson01@comcast.net or 301-963-8555.  



Tuesday, May 8 

jailMontgomery 101 Goes to Jail
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Montgomery County Correctional Facility, 22880 Whelan Lane, Boyds

 If you learned a lot from "Reclaiming Young Lives," WSDC's February educational program, you won't want to miss this trip to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. And even if you did not attend the session, we hope you'll join us. You'll hear a general overview of the facility from Warden Rob Green, and then tour the facility. The program will wrap up with a Q&A session. To RSVP, contact Lucy Freeman at 301-654-8115 or dorset4708@yahoo.com.


Thursday, May 10


Happy Hour    Girls

5:30-7 p.m.   

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.



Thursday, May 31


55th Anniversary DinnerMadeleine Albright

6:30 p.m. Reception; 7:15 p.m. Dinner (followed by book signing)

Normandie Farm Restaurant, 10710 Falls Road, Potomac

Cost: $ 55


What a great way to celebrate WSDC's anniversary: America's first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will join us to discuss Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, her moving new memoir about the Nazi invasion of her native Czechoslovakia. (You'll be able to buy the book and get it signed, too.) Secretary Albright will also talk about women's progress in the last half-century and salute our 55 years of Democratic activism. Don't miss this sure-to-be-memorable evening.



Saturday, June 16


Garden Party

Special Guests:Congressman Chris Van Hollen (8th congressional district)

Congressman John Sarbanes (3rd congressional district)

Congressional Candidate John Delaney (6th congressional district)

3 - 5 p.m.

Home of WSDC member Mary Jane Checchi and John Culver

5409 Spangler Avenue, Bethesda


Here's your chance to meet all of the Democratic candidates for Montgomery County's three Congressional districts - and enjoy garden splendors with your fellow WSDC members. Join us at this informal gathering as we welcome summertime and hear from our candidates about gearing up for fall.




Obama 2012 HQ

3750 University Boulevard West, Suite 303, Kensington



Ongoing: Mobilizing 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! Calling hours are 5-8:30 pm on Wednesdays and  10 am -2 pm on Saturdays.


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 mnr.rer@gmail.com or 301-288-7322.

Maryland Democratic Party Gala


Monday, May 7

VIP reception at 6 p.m.

General reception at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner at 7 p.m.

Martin's Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive, Greenbelt


Join your Democratic friends at MDP's annual gala with special speaker political commentator Bill Press. Tickets begin at $250 per person. For more information, please contact Andrew Lee at alee@mddems.org or 443-569-4972. To purchase tickets online, go to www.mddems.org/gala2012.




Montgomery County Democratic Party Spring Ball and Awards Gala


Saturday, May 12

6 - 11:30 p.m.  

North Bethesda Marriott Conference Center

5701 Marinelli Road

Tickets: $100


A fabulous evening of fun: a reception, both live and silent auction, dinner and dancing! To RSVP, go to www.mcdcc.org .




Book Signing Party with Mark ShriverMark Shriver


Saturday, June 9

4 - 6 p.m. ญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญ

Details to follow


Join Mark Shriver as he discusses his book "A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver". Books will be available for purchase and signing.





WSDC held a general membership meeting Saturday, April 21 to vote on the proposal to amend the By-laws by changing the name of the Club to "Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County, MD". According to our by-laws, a 2/3rds vote of members present and voting is required to amend the By-Laws.


Over 100 members attended the meeting and the final vote was 82 in favor of the proposed name change and 28 opposed to the name change. Since that constituted more than the required 2/3rds, the By-laws will be amended with the revised name.


I know there were strong feelings on both sides of the issue and I can only repeat what I said at the meeting:


The Club will be the same tomorrow as it is today: we will have the same programs, the same activities, the same history, the same traditions, the same role within the Democratic Party and the same respect from our fellow Democrats, including our elected officials.


We need to remember that we are the Club that sponsors the "Kiss and Make-Up Party" every four years following the non-presidential primary election. We need to extend to each other the same respect and forgiveness we expect Democratic candidates and their supporters to extend to each other. We should all be gracious winners as well as gracious losers.


The name change committee will present a plan to the Board as to how to implement the change. I anticipate that such a roll-out will not occur until the fall.


I want to thank those of you who participated in the general membership meeting for your support of the Club and I look forward to continuing our work together




As a result of the vote to change the name, we are looking for a graphics designer and website developer to design a new logo for the Club and redesign our website.  If you know someone who might be willing to help us out with either of these tasks, please send name and contact information (including e-mail address) to wsdc44@gmail.  This is not pro bono as we will pay for these professional services. 





The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) has a 6-week summer intern program. Interns work in the MCDCC office Tuesday-Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm. In 2012 the program runs June 19 through August 2, with no program scheduled for July 3-5. MCDCC expects to have 6-8 summer interns. Intern duties may include coordinating mailings, contacting new voters, work on the MCDCC website, developing materials, helping support precinct officials and Democratic candidates, and other tasks as needed. Students have the chance to interact with Democratic elected officials and learn the nuts and bolts of running a grassroots Democratic organization.


This is an unpaid, part-time internship. Mature high school and college students may apply. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in Democratic Party activities, basic office skills, good language skills, and work well with others. Applicants should be Montgomery County residents, at least 15 years old, and able to provide their own transportation. Those who are old enough to register to vote (16 years and older) should be registered Democrats; for those who are too young to register, we ask that at least one parent be a registered Democrat.


Applications and resumes should be received no later than 5 pm on May 18, 2012 (please note this is a revised deadline).


Student Service Learning hours: students are responsible for arranging this through their school.


The MCDCC office is located at 3720 Farragut Avenue, Kensington, just north of the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and University Boulevard. Parking is free, and a Ride-On bus stop is nearby.


To get an application form, for more information or if you have questions, please contact Ms. B.J. Angstadt at the MCDCC office, 301.946.1000, or email Montgomerydems@msn.com.





The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants to fill two vacancies on the Charter Review Commission. The Commission meets once a month: 8 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month in the Council Office Building in Rockville. Deadline for applications is now May 16 at 5:00 pm.


The County Charter was amended in 1976 to provide that a Charter Review Commission be appointed by the County Council every four years to study the Charter. The Commission researches and evaluates Charter issues raised by the County Executive, County Council, other government officials, and the public. Commission reports are submitted no later than May 1 of every even-numbered year. These reports contain recommendations concerning any proposed Charter amendments.


The Commission is composed of 11 residents of the County, five of whom are appointed from a list of names submitted by the County Executive. No more than six members can be from the same political party. Since one Republican and one Democrat have had to resign from the Commission, applications are being accepted from Democrats, Republicans or from applicants who decline to affiliate with a party, or is a member of another party officially recognized by the Board of Elections.


Applicants should submit letters of interest with a resume to: Roger Berliner, President, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Maryland 20850 by 5 p.m. on May 16. Resumes should include professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home and office telephone numbers and an e-mail address. Letters and resumes submitted are made public as part of the appointment process. Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time.


For more information about the Charter Review Commission or how to apply for consideration to become a commission member, call Linda Lauer at 240-777-7979.


                                                                                           By Marian Kirsh

Laura Myers, CEO of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington (PPMW), spoke about theLaura Meyers Luncheon

various services offered by Planned Parenthood, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, as well as the need to support its continuing efforts for women and men. She shared with club members her personal connection to this work through her mother and grandmother, who had an illegal abortion in the 1930s because she couldn't afford to raise another child. 


PPMW serves 30,000 people each year, 5,000 in Montgomery County. It has five health centers, one in Virginia and two each in D.C. and Montgomery County (Gaithersburg and Silver Spring). Ninety percent of what PPMW does is preventive care, including well-women visits and cancer screenings, including 3,000 breast exams each year. Abortions are a small part of what PP does, about 3 to 4% nationally, 10% in this area.


"Family planning is the core of what we do," she said. "It's a wise public health investment and important to the well-being of women."


Planned Parenthood continues to add to its menu of services; nonsurgical sterilization and non-cutting vasectomies will be offered starting this summer. It also offers HIV and sexually transmitted Infection testing. And PP is not just for women; approximately 6% of its clients are men.


Outreach is an important component. The Get Yourself Tested (GYT) campaign is targeted to young people through house parties and social media. "We want them to make healthy decisions before they have sex and to get tested before they start." Meyers reported that 80% of teens have sex before they graduate from high school.


She's also working with parents and schools to get the information out. According to Meyers, 90% of parents want their children to learn about sex in the school, while reserving the talk about values for the home. "It's ridiculous to think that abstinence education works; it doesn't," she said.


Both federal and state health initiatives have the potential to impact Planned Parenthood. Contrary to what some think, Title X funding subsidizes family planning only, not abortion. Meyers pointed out that PP is sometimes the only medical provider low-income women see. New Hampshire, Texas and other states are considering phasing out this funding. Both Virginia and Maryland have been dealing with the abortion issue, although Meyers says that Maryland funding should be OK because of pro-choice legislators and governor. Virginia is a different matter. This state attached funding to nursing home regulations. "If Planned Parenthood is giving an abortion pill to someone, what does the width of the hallway matter?" Meyers predicted most health clinics in Virginia would be forced to close, but PPMW is planning to build a new health center building there, following the new requirements, so they can serve the state's residents.


Meyers called the Virginia ultrasound and abortion waiting period requirements "all about humiliating women." She pointed out that most women who have abortions already have children and that this is not a frivolous decision. "To insinuate anything else is insulting." To advocate for funding, PP public affairs staff is promoting grassroots efforts, including registering patients in Virginia, so they can vote for prochoice candidates in upcoming elections.


In referring to the Susan G. Komen incident, Meyers said: "It felt like a friend slapped us across the face." She pointed out that PPMW receives no grants from the foundation, but other affiliates do. Funding in one state was used to provide a mobile unit to offer breast exams for the homeless.


Meyers admitted that working in this field requires courage, for both doctors and workers. Planned Parenthood works closely with the Department of Justice and the FBI to provide security to all.


"When women have a choice as to when to have a child, families are stronger and children are healthier." That's what Planned Parenthood is trying to promote.



Article13CHECK OUT THE "WOMEN ARE WATCHING" WEBSITE at www.womenarewatching.org


This past year, we have been witnessing the most aggressive legislative attacks on women's health and rights in a generation. The 2010 elections dramatically changed the U.S. Congress and state legislatures nationwide, leading to a wave of efforts to restrict access to lifesaving health care, including breast exams, cancer screenings, and birth control. Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, anti-women's health leaders in Congress and the states have been spending their time introducing and passing bills restricting women's access to health care. In fact, lawmakers have introduced more than 1,000 reproductive health bills in legislatures across the country, the majority of which seek to undermine women's health.


That's why Planned Parenthood has launched "Women are Watching" that is Planned Parenthood Action Fund's 2012 campaign to educate women across the country about the unprecedented attacks on women's health and where candidates stand on pivotal health care issues, empower women to hold anti-women's health candidates of either party accountable, and work to elect pro-women's health candidates up and down the ballot.


In all branches of government, the future of women's health hangs in the balance. In 2012, women have the power to choose which candidates will ultimately determine whether our health will be supported and our health care remains accessible.






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 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.  



 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 send an e-mail to  wsdc44@gmail.com or visit www.mcWSDC.org and click on "Volunteer" to complete the "It Takes a Village" volunteer form.




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



Woman's Suburban Democratic Club
Jane Merkin.President
www.mcwsdc.org     wsdc44@gmail.com
Woman's Suburban Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator