WDC Final

Late Summer/Early Fall Newsletter  - Volume 4, Issue 10



Upcoming WDC Events

New Newsletter Feature - INTERVIEW  

Join or Renew Now 

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, Lucy Freeman, Maewanda Jackson, Linda Kolko, Betsy Loyless, Riki Sheehan, and Bonnie Wicklund for their contributions to this newsletter. 




Thursday, September 11           

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.      



Monday, September 22   




Montgomery 101: Affordable Housing

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

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




The speakers are:  


Marc Elrich, two-term member of the Montgomery County Council, former teacher, and author of the County's first minimum wage bill;

Robert Goldman, President, Montgomery County Housing Partnership; and

Matthew Losak, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Renters' Alliance, Inc.

This program will be repeated on Wednesday, October 15th, from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Center, Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring.


This is your chance to learn about affordable housing, moderately priced housing, the difference between the two, and the problem in Montgomery County. Thirty-one percent of Montgomery County residents are renters, and the number of affordable housing units is decreasing. What is the County government doing about this? How are the nonprofits helping our residents?


To register, please e-mail Nancy Holland, nancy.holland@rcn.com or call 301-656-8754.


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



Monday, September 29 



Light Supper with Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe   

7:00 pm   

Bethesda (Pooks Hill) Marriott

5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda

There is free parking in the hotel parking lot.

Cost:  $30-Members; $35-Guests  


To make your reservation(s) for the dinner, please send a check to:
                            Judith Heimann 
                            6900 Marbury Road
                            Bethesda, MD 20817
or reserve online at http://www.womansdemocraticclub.org. (Online registration will be available in a few days)
For questions, please call Janet Lowenthal, 301.656.7666.


Professor Tribe, considered to be the Nation's foremost progressive Constitutional scholar, will be discussing his new book Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution, co-authored with Joshua Matz. Books will be available for purchase (20% discount) and Professor Tribe will be available to sign books beginning at 6:30 p.m.  There will also be a cash bar at this event. 


Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, has taught at its Law School since 1968. He was President Obama's Constitutional Law professor, and was voted the best professor by the graduating class of 2000. The title "University Professor" is Harvard's highest academic honor, awarded to just a handful of professors at any given time and to fewer than 75 professors in all of Harvard University's history. Born in China to Russian Jewish parents, Tribe entered Harvard in 1958 at 16; graduated summa cum laude in Mathematics (1962) and magna cum laude in Law (1966). He clerked for the California and U.S. Supreme Courts(1966-68); received tenure at 30; was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at 38 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2010.  He helped write the constitutions of South Africa, the Czech Republic, and the Marshall Islands, and he has received eleven honorary degrees. Professor Tribe has prevailed in three-fifths of the many appellate cases he has argued (including 35 in the U.S. Supreme Court). He was appointed in 2010 by President Obama and Attorney General Holder to serve as the first Senior Counselor for Access to Justice. Professor Tribe has written 115 books and articles, including his treatise, American Constitutional Law, cited more than any other legal text since 1950.




INTERVIEW edited by Bonnie Wicklund


Riki Sheehan


WDC's Program Chairperson was born in Chicago to transplanted New Yorkers. She was introduced to politics at a few months of age; her mother took her canvassing for Adlai Stevenson for President. After the family relocated to the Hudson Valley of New York--where her father was a textile company executive--her mother became a librarian at a residential school for inner-city boys and continued her political activism, taking Riki and her older sister to numerous civil rights marches and campaign rallies.


After graduating from Cornell University, Riki's first job was working for Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the Kennedy Foundation. She then worked in the U.S. Senate for fifteen years, including eight years on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She married Michael Sheehan, who started Sheehan Associates, Inc., a media and communications company working with major Democratic Party candidates and on every national convention since 1988. Riki continues to work part-time for Sheehan Associates as a senior associate.


The Sheehans have two sons: Benjamin lives in Los Angeles and is a producer for the comedy video website www.FunnyorDie.com, which recently produced the Emmy award winning episode "Between Two Ferns" starring President Obama. Younger son Jonathan joined Teach for America after college, and taught 5th grade in Harlem. He worked in the Virginia McAuliffe campaign and now works for the New York City Department of Education.


In addition to her family and politics, Riki's passions include baseball, spending time at the beach, and volunteering for THIS for Diplomats, an organization that welcomes and assists diplomatic families new to Washington. 



Recently I read the excellent Americanah by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, largely based on her own experience as an immigrant, and also Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings.  



Anything written by Aaron Sorkin...from the "West Wing" to the "Newsroom." He also wrote the screenplay for the film "Moneyball." For news and opinion, I watch MSNBC. My guilty pleasure on TV: "The Big Bang Theory."



By satellite radio in my car, I regularly listen to Stephanie Miller for progressive news and humor, MSNBC and major league baseball



Favorite travel is anywhere to see our children and the Delaware beaches. In recent years we've also been fortunate to have visited London, Prague and the Ligurian coast of Italy.  



I follow Rachel Maddow, Eugene Robinson, and www.talkingpointsmemo.com, to name a few.



I completely concur with other board members who have included Chris Van Hollen in this category, and I'm still a huge fan of our President and Vice President. I'm also excited by the prospect of a Democratic woman president in our lifetime.



There are too many to list here, but I will mention the thrill of being on the floor of the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004, listening to Illinois State Senator Barack Obama's keynote address. Then, of course, were the election nights of 2008 and 2012!  



Enacting stricter gun control measures and reversing the fear of most elected officials to tackle this issue, as well as combatting the increasing incidence of voter suppression to influence the outcome of elections.






Time to renew If you are currently a member, you recently received your WDC membership renewal notice in the mail. Also included in this mailing was a gift form which is new to our Club this year. Your gift membership to a friend is a great way to acknowledge a good Democrat and recognize the many opportunities that Club membership offers.  WDC appreciates your continuing support and wants to remind you that your dues are due on September 1. Your voice and membership dues are crucial to the vitality and strength of the Woman's Democratic Club. Your $35.00 dues ($36.00 online at www.womansdemocraticclub.org) pays for Club mailings; subsidizes events, programming, and the annual New Member dinner; and supports the important work of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Democratic candidates with campaign contributions. All non-renewing members are purged from the membership and email list.  Click here to renew or join now.







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.

Want to learn more about what your fellow Democrats are reading about American or political Bookshistory? Join WDC's Political Book Club - our longstanding literary conclave that meets on the third Wednesday of every other month. Meetings take place at 1:30 p.m. at members' homes. A facilitator for each book leads the discussion. For more information, contact Estelle Stone at estellestone24@gmail.com .


The September 17 selection is My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor.  The November 19 selection is The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy.


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

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. We especially need volunteers to help with new member recruitment as part of the Membership & Outreach Committee and we need volunteers on the Legislative Committee to help analyze and track important legislation.


Click here to volunteer.




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