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March Newsletter  - Volume 4, Issue 6



Upcoming WDC Events

Upcoming Co-Sponsored Events

Montgomery County Democratic Party's Annual Spring Ball

Maryland Democratic Party Gala 2014

Upcoming OFA Advocacy Events  

Club Members Tour Library of Congress  

New Member and Volunteer Dinner   

New Newsletter Feature - INTERVIEW  

WDC Members Who Are Candidates for Office 

Social Media Update --- We're on Twitter! 

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, Bonnie Wicklund, Carmela Cowgill, Ken Cowgill, Linda Kolko, Joyce Lipman, Sheila Muldover ,Neeta Datt, Justin Chappell, Rick Kessler, Stacey Maud, Riki Sheehan and Sara Watkins for their contributions to this 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.   

Wednesday, April 2


WDC Monthly Luncheon featuring David Plouffe, Democratic Political Strategist


12:00 Noon

Bethesda (Pooks Hill) Marriott

5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda

There is free parking in the hotel parking lot.

Cost : $28 members; $33 guests


Calling all political junkies--of the Democratic variety, of course. Here's your chance to hear David Plouffe, President Obama's 2008 brilliant Campaign Manager, give us an insider's take on the 2014 Mid-Term elections. Join us and get the inside scoop for when you get into those pre-election debates with friends that we all love, you'll be able to say, "Well, according to David Plouffe.


Reservations close on Monday, March 31 at 12 noon.   


To make your reservation for the luncheon, send your check to: Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 or reserve online at http://www.womansdemocraticclub.org.  For questions, please call Natalie Bouquet at 301-907-7856.

Thursday, April 10

Happy Hour     Coctail

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.    



Friday, April 11 (Rescheduled from March 17)


Montgomery 101: Living on the Edge, Mental Illness in Montgomery County

10:00 a.m. - 12 noon

The Jane E. Lawton Community Center 
4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase


Stephanie Rosen, CEO of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Montgomery. will discuss the incidence of mental illness in Montgomery County, the laws, and resources available.   


Arthur Wallenstein, Director, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, will cover the incidence and treatment of mental illness and addiction among inmates in the correctional system.


Cari Cho, President of Cornerstone Montgomery, will describe the variety of services offered to the community.


There is no charge for this program.  To register, contact Lucy Freeman at dorset4708@yahoo.com or 301-654-8115.

:  You may park on the streets if the parking lot is full. We have been assured that the police will not ticket cars during this program





Wednesday, April 2


Democratic County Council District 3 Candidates' Forum

7:00 p.m.

Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center

14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville


Candidates who will participate in the forum include: Guled Kassim, Sidney Katz, Tom Moore, and Ryan Spiegel.  The event will be moderated by Elliot Chabot, President of the District 19 Democratic Club.  The event is free and open to Club members and Montgomery County residents.  The WDC is a co-sponsor along with the District 19 Democratic Club and the District 17 Democratic Club. For more information, please contact Sandy Zimmet at mollymature@gmail.com. 


Sunday, April 6


WDC Democratic County Executive Candidates' Forum

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Silver Spring Civic Center

1 Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring

Convenient free parking & three blocks from Metro transit system


This important election year event will be moderated by Charles Duffy, host of ""Political Pulse",the place for informed political commentary on Montgomery Municipal Cable TV.


In addition to the WDC, co-sponsors include:


African American Democratic Club of Montgomery County, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club,Greater Silver Spring  Democratic Club, Hispanic Democratic Club, Montgomery CountyGreen Democrats, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, Northern Montgomery Women's Democratic Club,Young Democrats of Montgomery County, District 14 Democratic Club, District 15 Democratic Caucus, District 16 Democratic Club , District 17 Democratic Club, District 18 Democratic Caucus, District 19 Democratic Club,  District 20Democratic CaucusDistrict 20 Democratic Breakfast Club, District 39 Democratic Club and the  Democratic Club of Leisure World


RSVP to Linda Kolko at 127kolko@gmail.com or 301-785-1342.

End of April or First week in May


Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates' Forum

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Silver Spring Civic Center

1 Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring

Convenient free parking & three blocks from Metro transit system


For more information contact Linda Kolko at 127kolko@gmail.com or 301-785-1342.







MCDCC Logo Saturday, May 10


Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

5701 Marinelli Road, Rockville

Tickets $100 per person


Join WDC for the Spring Ball sponsored by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.  Jane Merkin, the immediate past President of WDC, will be honored as the recipient of the Democrat of the Year Award. Two other Award recipients are also WDC members. Marylin Pierre will receive the Morgan-Jerney Community Service Award and Ann Statland will receive the Dean-Peacock Precinct Official Award.   For more information, call 301-946-1000 or
press here to attend.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - (Save the Date)



VIP Reception 6:00 p.m.

General Reception 6:15 p.m.

Dinner 7:00 p.m.

Martin's Camelot

13905 Central Avenue, Upper Marlboro


For more information please contact Jamiere Folmar at RSVP@mddems.org or 443-.569-4181. 



Wednesday, April 16obama/biden logo

Gun Violence Prevention events


Wednesday, April 23

OFA Montgomery's Volunteer Appreciation and Next Steps Party


For more information please contact Neeta Datt at datt.neeta@gmail.com 




                                                                                 by Carmella Cowgill



Carmella and Roberta Shaffer, Associate Librarian for Library Services
On February 28, WDC members braved the cold to tour the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  After an introductory greeting, two docents led members through one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington.  They covered the history of the building from its birth to the present.  At each stop, they offered historical notes, explanations of architectural details and discussions of the development of the Library.  Members examined a Guttenberg Bible, as well as a monastically handcrafted Bible.  The tour included a visit to the re-created Thomas Jefferson library consisting of 6,487 volumes which inspired the President during his fifty years of collecting books.  The gift of these books founded the Library of Congress and laid the foundation for what was to become the largest library in the world.


The overview of the Main Reading Room from the gallery above illustrated, in a striking way, the impact of modern information technology on the Library.  Members recalled the Main Reading Room as being quiet but bustling and crowded with scholars using the Library's resources in the past.  Now, the crowd has thinned and desk space is abundant.  The change illustrates the success of the Library's effort to digitizing its vast collection and widening the reach of its resources to a huge user community.  The Main Reading Room remains one of the jewels of the Library, rich in its elegance and architecture.


The guided tour ended with a visit from Roberta Shaffer, Associate Librarian for Library Services.  She highlighted upcoming exhibits.  In June,the Library of Congress will open "The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom" Exhibit.  It will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, and the events and the people that shaped the Civil Rights Movement.  In the fall, the Library of Congress will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the first issue of the Magna Carta with a 10-week exhibition "Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor".  The Lincoln King John 1215 Magna Carta, on loan from the Lincoln Cathedral in England, will be the centerpiece of the exhibition.







Members  listening intently to one of the terrific docents.                 



                                                                               by Teddi Pensinger

WDC President Beth Tomasello welcomes Congressman Chris Van Hollen
Once again,
Ralph and Betsy Stephens, were gracious hosts for our fifth annual new member dinner, which was held on Tuesday March 18th in their Chevy Chase home. The purpose of the dinner was to give new members an opportunity to meet each other, as well as members of the Board, and to learn more about the Club. Volunteers were also invited to the dinner as a "thank you" for their work on the Club's behalf. Author Kitty Kelley was scheduled to speak at this year's event, but she was ill and unable to attend. We hope to have her come and speak to us in the future.  However, we were delighted that Congressman Chris Van Hollen  was able to join us in her place. In addition to representing the Eighth District of Maryland and serving in the House leadership, Congressman Van Hollen was re-elected by his colleagues in 2012 to serve a second term as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.  His remarks provided invaluable insight about the current political climate, the legislative agenda and prospects for Democrats in the mid-terms this fall.


Attendees listen intently to Congressman Van Hollen


New members filling out volunteer forms.


INTERVIEW edited by Bonnie Wicklund


Sara Watkins

Sara Watkins, our Communications Chairperson, was born and raised in Montgomery County. As a child, she lived with her parents and three siblings on Big Enough Farm where the family had a cow, horses, and ponies. Growing up, Sara spent most of her free time outside exploring the woods, riding ponies & riding her bike. After graduating from high school she wasn't sure what she wanted to do, so she went to work as a drive-in teller for Sandy Spring Bank. While working, Sara earned her bachelor's degree from Hood College in Human Resource Management. When she retired from the bank 35 years later, she was Executive Vice President of the Corporate Services Group.

Sara is currently a consultant for Capacity Partners, a firm headquartered in Bethesda that provides expertise in the areas of strategy and development to nonprofit organizations.  She serves on the board of directors for MedStar Health, Inc. She is on the board of examiners for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program which administers the Presidential Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Sara lives in Bethesda with her husband, Dave Sears, and a German shepherd/lab mix named Jack. Sara and Dave enjoy dancing and generally go to Glen Echo to contra dance on Friday nights. Sara was drawn to join the WDC because of her growing interest in being more informed and active in local politics. 


I enjoy reading and like a variety of books. I have read all of the Harry Potter books and recently read J.K. Rowling's new book Casual Vacancy. Some of my favorite books include Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Secret History by Donna Tartt and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.


I listen to NPR and to meditation podcasts from Tara Brach.


My husband and I love to travel and we have had the good fortune to experience 30 countries in the past 17 years.   We rarely go back to places we have been...just too many places to see. We were in northern India in February and will go to Italy in July. One of my favorite trips was hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.


I have been an Obama supporter for many years. He has taken a beating while in office, but I still believe that he is working as hard as he can to move the country in the right direction.


I was so excited to be in the front row of a CARE conference a few years ago when Hillary Clinton was speaking. It was such a thrill to watch her walk onto the stage and address the audience without a note or a prompt. She was so inspiring and engaging...what an experience!  


There are many urgent issues but one that I feel very passionate about is gay rights. I feel very proud that Maryland legalized same sex marriage....now we need to make this change in all of the states! 






We are listing below only the Democratic candidates for office who are members of WDC.  To see a complete list of candidates, please go to the Maryland State Board of Elections website at



Hon. Doug Gansler,  www.douggansler.com

Hon. Heather Mizeur, www.heathermizeur.com


Attorney General:

Hon. Brian Frosh, www.brianfrosh.com


District 16:

Hon. Susan Lee (no website, email is delegatesusanlee@gmail.com).


District 18:

Dana Beyer, www.danabeyer.com

Hon. Richard Madaleno, (no website, email is richamadaleno@gmail.com)


District 19:

Hon. Roger Manno, www.rogermanno.com


District 20:

Hon. Jamie Raskin, www.jamieraskin.com


District 39:

Nancy King (no website, email is njk107@aol.com)


House of Delegates


District 15:

Hon. Kathleen Dumais, www.kathleendumais.com

Hon. Aruna Miller, (no website, email is arunamiller@gmail.com)


District 16:

Jordan Cooper, www.cooperformaryland.com

Hon. Bill Frick, www.billfrick.com

Hrant Jamgochian, www.gojamgo.org 

Hon. Ariana Kelly, www.delegatearianakelly.com 

Marc Korman, www.marckorman.com

Karen Kuker-Kihl, (no website, email is kukerkihl4delegate@gmail.com)


District 18:

Rick Kessler, www.Kesslerfordelegate.com 

Elizabeth Matory, www.elizabethmatory.com

Emily Shetty, www.emilyshetty.com

Jeff Waldstreicher, www.jeffwaldstreicher.com 


District 19:

Charlotte Crutchfield, www.crutchfieldfordelegate.com

Hon. Ben Kramer, (no website, email is kramerdelegate19@aol.com ) 


District 20:

Justin Chappell, (no website, email is justinchappell@me.com)

Sheila Hixon, http://sheilahixson.org

David Moon, www.davidmoon.us

Jonathan Shurberg, www.jonathanshurberg.com

Darian Unger, www.darianunger.com


District 39:

Charles Barkley, (no website, email is cbarkley39@gmail.com)

Kiril Reznik, (no website, email is delegate.reznik@gmail.com)


Montgomery County Executive:

Hon. Phil Andrews,  www.philandrews.com

Hon. Ike Leggett, www.ikeleggett.org


County Council - at Large

Beth Daly, www.bethdaly.org

Hon. Marc Elrich, www.marcelrich.com

Hon. Nancy Floreen, www.nancyfloreen.org

Hon. George Leventhal, www.georgeleventhal.com

Hon. Hans Riemer, www.hansriemer.com


County Council - District 5

Hon. Tom Hucker, www.tomhucker.com


Democratic Central Committee - At Large:

Darrell Anderson, (no website, email is darrellanderson01@comcast.net)

Marjorie Goldman, (no website, email is mgmagoo@aol.com)

Kevin Walling, (no website, email is kevin@kevinwalling.com)


Democratic Central Committee - District 16:

Almina Khorakiwala, www.almina4D16.com


Democratic Central Committee - District 18:

Aaron Kaufman, www.electaaronkaufman.com





WDC has a Twitter account!  Our Twitter handle is @WomenDems.  Be sure to follow us!  


Don't forget to like us on Facebook; we're listed as Woman's Democratic Club, Montgomery County.



On May 21st the book selection is The Bully Pulpit : Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. She analyzes the friendship between Roosevelt and Taft, which first made for a powerful partnership but then dissolved with disastrous consequences forBooks both. She also describes how journalism can capture the public's imagination and help shape the national agenda.

The book club meets the third Wednesday of every other month 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 estellestone24@gmail.com.


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 accomplish its goals.


WDC is looking for members to help on the Communications Committee and on the Membership and Outreach Committee.  We need photographers for our events .  Want more information?  Email Carmela Cowgill at cacowgill@yahoo.com.  You can also go to www.womansdemocraticclub.org and click on "Get Involved" then "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.






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


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Woman's Democratic Club
Beth Tomasello.President
www.womansdemocraticclub.org     wdcmcmd@gmail.com
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator