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May Newsletter  - Volume 3, Issue 8





Upcoming WDC Events

Club Members Tour Gettysburg Battlefield  

Obamacare House Parties  

Democratic Political Strategist Celinda Lake Enthralls Audience at May 19 Tea 

Facebook Page    

Political Book Club

Volunteers: It Takes a Village 

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, Teddi Pensinger, Stacey Maud, and Ellie Kleinman 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.womansdemocraticclub.org.   


Monday, June 3 


John Sarbanes

June Luncheon with guest speaker Congressman John Sarbanes and Biennial General Membership Meeting


12:00 p.m.

Courtyard Marriott

5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase

Cost by mail: Members, $25; Guests, $30

Cost online: Members, $26; Guests, $31 


Congressman John Sarbanes has represented Maryland's Third District in the United States Congress since 2007. The Third District spans portions of three counties : Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Montgomery. In the House of Representatives, he has been appointed to the Committee on Energy and Commerce where he serves on the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade

This will also be our biennial general membership meeting to elect officers for the 2013-2015 term and vote on the proposed amendments to the by-laws. Please click here for the official announcement of the meeting and click here for the report of the nominating committee. 


Thursday, June 13

Happy Hour    

5:30-7 p.m.  

Lebanese Taverna

7141 Arlington Road, Bethesda


Want to meet new people and talk politics?  Join us at the next WDC Happy Hour. Every second Thursday of each month, Democrats who are passionate about politics gather to relax and network with WDC members and their guests. Whether you want to meet elected officials, make new friends, form new business contacts or just have fun, the WDC Happy Hour is the perfect place to meet and greet fellow Democrats.  




by Ellie Kleinman


On Friday May 3rd, 11 members of the Woman's Democratic Club drove to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a guided tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield.  In addition to the battlefield tour, the group toured the Visitor's Center museum, and viewed both the historical movie and the Cyclorama.  The tour guide provided the group with a very detailed understanding of the events leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg, along with many details of the battle itself. The Museum and the Cyclorama (a 360 degree painting of the battle) also provided many visuals of what the battle looked like back in 1863.  An enjoyable and educational day was had by all!  


Gettysuburg Trip
Club Members Take a Break Near the Visitor's Center During the May 3rd Tour.






The District 15 house party was held on May 7th.  Leni Preston, Chair, Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform and lead advocate for "Getting It Right" in implementing health care reform in Maryland, briefed our members on how the Affordable Care Act of 2010 affects individuals and how Maryland is implementing it.  In the February newsletter, Mary Lou Fox summarized Leni's briefing at an earlier house party.  We are repeating this important information below:

Some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are already in effect such as allowing dependent children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents ' plan and the elimination of preexisting conditions for children. Beginning in 2014 affordable insurance options will expand coverage through state exchanges for:  


  • Medicaid expansion to cover adults up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL);
  • Advanced tax credits for adults from 138 - 400% FPL to help pay premiums;
  • Tax credits for small businesses to afford insurance for their employees.


Maryland's Health Benefit Exchange has been established and expanded by State law in 2011 and 2012 to offer all Marylanders the opportunity to buy insurance as individuals, as a family or as small businesses in a marketplace called the Maryland Health Connection (www.marylandhealthconnection.gov)  Beginning with Open Enrollment in October 2013, individuals and families who are uninsured or who purchase their own Individual insurance can go to the Maryland Health Connection to view Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) that meet ACA standards . At that time, they may immediately enroll for insurance that will start on January 1, 2014.


These QHPs will cover all basic care - doctor's visits, hospital visits, maternity care, prescription drugs and more including mental health and substance abuse services.   Enrollment can be done on the website but there will also be Navigators or assistors to help people enroll as well as a Call Center.   During the enrollment process individuals and families will have the opportunity to see if they qualify for a tax credit or for Medicaid.   If so, they can be enrolled immediately. Projections are that 340,000 uninsured Marylanders will be enrolled in the first three years.


The ACA benefits all consumers as well as those with employer -provided insurance plans because pre-existing conditions can no longer be used to deny insurance coverage and women cannot be charged more than men. Also included in the ACA is Sen. Mikulski's amendment that women's preventative services will be available without co-pays and deductibles.   Existing health plans outside the new marketplaces will be "grandfathered" until they significantly change.  


For more information, or to receive regular updates, see the Coalition website www.mdhealthcarereform.org.




"DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST CELINDA LAKE ENTHRALLS AUDIENCE AT MAY 18 TEA"                                                                                              
by Stacey Maud 

Cilinda Lake at Tea
Democratic Political Strategist Celinda Lake Addresses Attendees at May 18th Tea
Tea with political strategist Celinda Lake was a fascinating whirl-wind tour of facts, trends, issues, and messaging, as well as of the victories and challenges facing Democrats in the current political milieu.  "After four consecutive 'wave' elections, where one party had a decisive advantage (Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2012), the 2014 election may be determined by voter turnout and top-tier candidates," she said.  The May 18th WDC tea at the Courtyard Marriott in Chevy Chase lent itself to many key insights. Lake highlighted four key areas from her research which Democrats should focus on going forward.  These are:



1.      Women

"The modern Democratic coalition is built around women," said Lake. "Democrats win elections when they win women by more than they lose men."  While women were widely cited as the biggest factor in the President's re-election, the gap between how married and unmarried women voted was equally important.  In fact, the President would have lost seven states (FL, IA, NV, OH, PA, VA and WI), if not for his appeal to unmarried women.


Data from Lake Research Partners shows that Democrats can increase their margins by putting more women on the ballot.  The research showed that unmarried women, women of color and younger women are most likely to vote for women candidates.


2.      Support for Campaign Finance Reform

Lake cautioned that with six upcoming Democratic Senate retirements,  it will be difficult to raise enough money to defend those seats, as well as to take back the House.  The average Senator controlled less than 40% of their independent campaign expenditures in the last election cycle.  Funds from PACs, Super PACs and other third party entities controlled the balance. An interesting note: Lake's research shows that women are less likely to run for office because of the current challenges in campaign finance, particularly as it relates to third party attack ads.


3.      Gerrymandering

Nationwide, there are only 25 'split-ticket' districts remaining as a result of gerrymandering.  Redistricting in swing states will continue to plague Democrats in 2014, as we try to take back the House.  Lake's research showed that House members in competitive districts may have more of an incentive to tow the party line, as they are more likely to be reliant on resources from national campaign committees.  Swing voters, who continue to poll highly on the importance of jobs and the economy and Obama 'surge' voters (e.g., unmarried women, younger college-educated voters and minorities) will be key in holding Democratic seats in states like Colorado and North Carolina.



4.      Successful Implementation of Obamacare

"Fifty percent of women don't know that the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed," said Lake to a stunned audience.  As of November 2012, opinion of this legislation was predominantly favorable, but Lake cautioned against complacency, as opinion remains volatile, even amongst women.  "Democrats must continue to defend the law and sell its successes as it is implemented in the coming year," she said.



Lake rounded-out the afternoon with a spirited question and answer session that spanned the gamut of political issues: past and present, local and national.  Her hand out titled, '2014 Election Outlook and Winning Messages' provides valuable insight into the upcoming elections and the messaging that could ultimately win over the hearts and minds or the swing voters.




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The June 19 selection is Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy in which MSNBC pundit Books Christopher Hayes argues that there are many competing forces working within America that are causing the financial crisis, elite crisis, media crisis, and, what he sees as the most imminent problem facing the globe, the environmental global warming crisis.  


The September 18 selection is Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, the first full-scale biography in 25 years of one of the most important and distinguished justices to sit on the Supreme Court.Author Melvin Urofsky reveals Justice Brandeis the reformer, lawyer, and jurist, as well as Brandeis the man, in all of his complexity, passion, and wit.


The November 20 selection is The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the
Alliance to Defeat Hitler in which David Roll shows how Harry Hopkins, an Iowa-born social worker who had been an integral part of the New Deal's implementation, became the linchpin in FDR's--and America's--relationships with Churchill and Stalin, and spoke with an authority second only to the President's.



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! For more information, contact Estelle Stone at estelles@webtv.net.


If you're interested in seeing what other books have been discussed, please go to www.womansdemocraticclub.org and click on Political Book Club, which is listed under Events.  






 Help Wanted

 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 accomplishits goals. Go to  www.womansdemocraticclub.org and click on "Get Involved, then click on Volunteer to complete the volunteer form.




Suggestion Box  

Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great speaker at a future WDC event?  If so, please send an e-mail to  wdcmcmd@gmail.com .






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Woman's Democratic Club
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
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