WDC Final

March Newsletter  - Volume 5, Issue 6
 

CONTENTS:

   

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 Beth Tomasello, Sybil Cantor, Teddi Pensinger, Ed Kimmel, Carmela and Ken Cowgill, Emily Shetty, Linda Kolko, Lenna Israbian Jamgochian and Lucy Freeman for their contributions to this newsletter
 

 

UPCOMING WDC EVENTSArticle1 


Thursday, April 9 

 

Happy Hour     Happy Hour Image

 

5:30 to 7 PM  

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.   

  

Tuesday, April 14

  

Montgomery 101: Discussion of the Bethesda and Westbard Sector Plans
11:00 - 12:30 AM

The Jane E. Lawton Community Center

4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase

  

Find out what is proposed, learn about the approval process, about green space planning, height limits and transportation needs. Attend and find out how you can make a difference.  


The speakers are:  

 

Gwen Wright, Director, Montgomery County Planning Department

Leslye Howerton, Project Manager, Bethesda Sector Plan

John Marcolin, Project Manager, Westbard Sector Plan

  

To RSVP, Contact Lucy Freeman dorset4708@yahoo.com, 301-654-8115

 

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

 

 

Tuesday, April 21

 

Montgomery 101: Domestic Violence: Montgomery County's Hidden Hurts

10:00 - 11:30 AM

The Jane E. Lawton Community Center

4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase

 

This is your opportunity to learn more about this critical issue and how you can make a difference.  

 

The speakers are:  

 

Laurie Duker, Court Watch Montgomery

Mindy Thiel, Safe Start

Daryl Leach, Family Justice Center

Sahar Nasserghodsi, House of Ruth

 

To RSVP, Contact Lucy Freeman dorset4708@yahoo.com, 301-654-8115

 

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

 

 

Article1aJOIN WDC AS WE HONOR THREE MEMBERS AT THE 2015 MCDCC SPRING BALL!

 

The Woman's Democratic Club is very proud that three of its members, Almina Khorakiwala, Ellen Atlas, and Dolly Kildee, have been selected to receive prestigious awards from the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) at the 2015 MCDCC Spring Ball. The Spring Ball will be held on the evening of Saturday, May 9, at the Bethesda North Marriott North Hotel and Conference Center, and we hope that WDC members will attend in force.   These honors are well deserved and WDC joins the MCDCC in celebrating the achievements of these committed Democratic women.

 

Almina Khorakiwala is being honored with theKelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award, Dolly Kildee is being recognized with the Democrat of the Year Award, and Ellen Atlas (together with her husband Simon

) will receive the Chairman's Award. All of these honorees have tirelessly served the Democratic Party and their community in Montgomery County, and WDC congratulates all three of these outstanding members.  

 

 

Please consider attending the 2015 Spring Ball to show your appreciation for the work of these three WDC members and to support the work of the MCDCC. With an important election ahead of us in 2016, it is vital that the MCDCC have the resources it needs to organize Get Out the Vote efforts in Montgomery County, including printing the sample ballot for Democratic voters. To register for the Spring Ball please press here.. If you would like to sit at a table with other WDC members, please email WDC President, Beth Tomasello, at wdcmcmd@gmail.com.

 

Congratulations again to WDC members Almina Khorakiwala, Ellen Atlas, and Dolly Kildee on your recognition from the MCDCC. As you have shown us over and over with your hard work for our party and our community, Democratic women are indeed the life of the party!

                                                                  
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CONGRESSMAN HAKEEM JEFFRIES ON THE STATUS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM                                                          by Carmela Cowgill   

 

On February 25, the Woman's Democratic Club featured Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of the 8th District of New York (Brooklyn and Queens) at the monthly dinner. He is a leading voice on the issue of excessive force in the policing of African-American and other minority communities.   The Congressman began his career as a young lawyer in private practice but he quickly recognized his passion for public service. He was elected to the New York state legislature where he began to focus on criminal justice issues. He was instrumental in the 2009 repeal of the "Rockefeller drug laws" which had greatly limited judicial discretion and mandated sentences of those convicted of drug violations.

 

Congressman Jeffries highlighted areas of the criminal justice system which he considers broken or dysfunctional and which should be addressed by Congress. Recognizing the difficulties of the prevailing divisiveness of Congress, he ranked the challenges from the least likely to prevail to the last area which he sees as gaining support from unlikely alliances. The first challenge is the gun culture in the United States and increasing gun violence. The second is the strained relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve and how to repair this relationship. The third is the over-criminalization and mass incarceration of minorities vis--vis the rest of the population.

 

Jeffries characterized the gun culture as unique to the United States. Comprising 5% of the world population, Americans have in their possession 50% of the world's guns. Incidents like the shootings at Sandy Hook crystallize the extent of the repercussions on innocent children and civilians of this acceptance of guns in our society. Since the horror of Sandy Hook, 25,000 people have died by gun violence. Even so, Congress was not able to pass legislation dictating comprehensive background checks for purchasers of guns, let alone universal background checks. States like Maryland and New York, which have passed legislation addressing the sale, licensure and transfer of guns, find their efforts undermined by neighboring states with no such restrictions. Congressman Jeffries vowed to call attention to this problem at every opportunity even though he sees no chance of this Congress taking action addressing this issue.  

 

The second area of dysfunction is the strained relationship between law enforcement and the communities they have sworn to protect. He discussed factors that have caused this tension to grow and confidence to erode year after year. The recent number of high publicity, excessive force cases which resulted in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio and Trayvon Martin in Florida focused national attention on this growing distrust and prompted
scrutiny of police tactics, particularly in minority communities.  

 

Jeffries blames the increased use of "stop, question and frisk" policies such as those adopted by previous administrations in New York City for deepening this distrust. The policy runs counter to the Supreme Court's decision in Terry v. Ohio, and its implementation serves to legitimize racial profiling.

 

At the direction of the New York City Police Commissioner, data on individuals who were stopped and frisked, but found to have committed no criminal act, were entered into a permanent database. Congressman Jeffries was the sponsor of legislation in New York which outlawed the practice of keeping police records of innocent individuals who had been stopped and frisked. Ironically, statistics have proven the tactic to be an ineffective law enforcement tool. On average, NYPD conducted 500,000 such stops annually and at its peak stopped and frisked 685,000 people in New York City. Of these, 90% involved people of African American or Latino descent, 90% of whom were cleared of any wrong doing. The time and resources used to conduct these stops could be better used in pursuit of serious, violent criminals. Policies such as these increase tension, foster a culture where police are not seen as a resource for protection and encourage a mentality of "don't snitch, don't tell". The result is a community reluctant to cooperate with police investigations and to report other criminal incidents. Violent criminal predators run amok, resources are misdirected and the sentiment of alienation and resistance grows in the minority communities, especially among their young African-Americans, who are more often than not, the subjects of these questionable practices.  

 

In response to the incidents in Staten Island, Cleveland, Ferguson and others, President Obama has appointed a "Task Force on 21st Century Policing" comprised of law enforcement representatives, community leaders, academics, and youth leaders. It is examining, among other issues, how to strengthen public trust and foster strong relationships between local law enforcement and their communities, while also promoting effective crime reduction. A report on their initial recommendations is due to the President this March. Representative Jeffries expressed hope that the Commission will produce recommendations upon which Congress can act to strengthen this important relationship.

The third area of concern discussed by Congressman Jeffries is what he termed "mass incarceration and over-criminalization" of the criminal justice system. According to Congressman Jeffries, the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, including China and Russia. Only 8% of those in federal custody have been convicted of major violent crimes and 50% have been convicted of non-violent, drug-related offenses such as possession or conspiracy to distribute drugs. In most cases, those in custody are people "caught up in a failed war on drugs" not major kingpins of drug enterprises.  

 

Congressman Jeffries, as a member of the "Bipartisan Congressional Task Force Established to Examine the Over-Criminalization in Federal Law", is examining factors such as federal laws which dictate mandatory minimum sentences. These laws, on both the federal and state levels, effectively deny judges any discretion in sentencing defendants and undermine a sense of fairness and equality in the administration of justice. The result is an overburdened, expensive and often ineffective criminal justice system which perpetuates a loss of human capital and economic opportunity. Support of the efforts of the Task Force has come from surprising element of the political spectrum including Tea Party members, Libertarians, and Christian conservatives.

 

At the end of the program, audience members raised questions concerning the role of prosecutors and their dependency on the police departments they investigate in excessive force cases, as well as their relationships with the grand juries. Congressman Jeffries offered the appointment of special prosecutors as a way to remedy any imbalance in these investigations while calling for increased accountability on the part of prosecutors. He suggested giving prosecutors limited immunity in the civil context (as the police have), instead of the absolute immunity that currently applies, expanding the role of the Department of Justice in cases involving excessive force and using the FBI, which has no relationship with state or local authorities, to investigate cases of excessive force. However one member of the audience (a former homicide prosecutor) questioned the efficacy of measures that would limit a police officer's right to defend himself or increase criminal liability, because the end result would be a lack of police officers or prosecutors.  

 

Instead, she suggested addressing the bigger issue, the explicit or implicit biases that exist in black and white alike, i.e., the tendency to give young black men less of the benefit of the doubt in encounters with police. Her long term solution called for the proper and continuing screening of members of law enforcement and appropriate training to overcome whatever biases exist so that all members of the community are treated fairly and equally and not as if they are all criminally inclined.

The discussion with members and guests provided a capstone to a thought-provoking and meaningful evening for all in attendance.
       



 

 
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NEW MEMBER AND VOLUNTEER DINNER      

                                                                                   by Beth Tomasello
  
  

 

County Executive Ike Leggett  

On Monday, March 16, WDC's new members and volunteers gathered at the home of WDC member, Betsy Stephens, for the now annual New Member Dinner. This tradition, which has now run for five years, was begun under WDC's late President, Susan Elwell, and has become one of WDC's most beloved events. The New Member Dinner is an opportunity for new members to meet each other and to meet members of the Board of Directors in a comfortable setting. It is also a chance for the Board of Directors to thank the Club's committed volunteers who are the driving force and energy behind all that the Club does during the year.

 

This year's New Member Dinner featured County Executive Isiah (Ike) Leggett, whose remarkable life story was a memorable backdrop to his remarks about opportunity, progressive change, and the importance of sound fiscal management to achieving both. Ike grew up as one of thirteen children in a three-room shotgun home in Jim Crow Louisiana. Through personal perseverance and the ROTC, he was able to go to college, which was the first of his four degrees of higher education. Ike was a campus leader of both the civil rights movement and of the ROTC, and after his decorated military service in Vietnam, he went on to earn three graduate degrees in law and public policy, including finishing first in his class at Howard University Law School.

 

As a three-term County Executive, Ike Leggett was faced with the task of keeping the County fiscally sound in the face of an historic economic downturn. In response to one questioner, who noted that public servants always seem to have budgets balanced on their backs, Ike reminded us that eighty percent of the costs in Montgomery County are personnel costs, and therefore there is no way to balance the budget without affecting County employees. Ike also reiterated his commitment to restoring the budget for low- and moderate-income housing. While the budget has not been fully restored, when other factors are considered, the amount of funding going to affordable housing is close to pre-recession levels.

 

As Ike explained at the New Member Dinner, his conscientious balancing of the budget is not an end in itself; it is a means to progressive change and a means to expand and grow important programs that provide opportunity to County residents. As Ike stated, if progressive programs are not managed in a fiscally responsible way, they will not be viewed as successes, and will be terminated. However, if programs are carefully run and can show measurable success, then not only will they be preserved, but can be expanded. As Ike noted, it is much easier to advocate for the expansion of a successful program than to advocate for a program that has not met its fiscal expectations.

 

Ike noted that he is planning to write his memoir to tell the story of a life that began in a three-room house in the segregated South, but through intelligence and perseverance, has built a notable career in law and public service. All of us who had the privilege of hearing Ike at the New Member Dinner look forward to the publication of his book and hope he will make WDC a stop on his book tour.

 

The WDC Board extends its heartfelt thanks to Betsy and Ralph Stephens who so graciously hosted the 2015 New Member Dinner in their home. The Board also thanks Betsy Loyless, Carmela Cowgill, Mae Wanda Michael-Jackson, Ginger Macomber, Jean Kahl, Paulette Skalka, and Ann Statland, who organized the event for our new members and volunteers. It was a night to remember for all in attendance.

 

 

 

  

 

Article5aANNAPOLIS DAY 2015 

                                               by Linda Kolko
 
 
WDC Members with State Senators Cheryl Kagan (D17), Susan Lee (D16) and Jamie Raskin (D20)

Woman's Democratic Club members and guests enjoyed an action-packed day in Annapolis on March 26, 2015, to observe the Maryland State House and Senate in session, meet with the Montgomery County legislators, learn about the State budget process and tour the State House.  

 

In the morning, we broke into two groups, with one group observing the House in session and the other observing the Senate. During the sessions, Delegate Aruna Miller (D15) and Senator Jamie Raskin (D20) recognized the WDC, thanking the WDC for all our efforts in electing Democrats in Montgomery County, calling us one of the most influential Democratic clubs in the County.  

 

WDC members saw the Senate pass the State budget unanimously, approving the largest state budget ever.  

 

Afterwards we met with eighteen Montgomery County State legislators, representing every district in our County with the exception of District 14. We had lively exchanges with the legislators. The highlights of our discussions are below:  

 

Del Aruna Miller (D15)

focused on the work of the Appropriations Committee. 2243 bills were

 

Del. Aruna Miller speaking to WDC members 

 

introduced during the 2015 General Assembly. About one third were passed but the only bill that has to pass is a balanced budget.

 

 

Gov. Hogan's budget that was presented to House of Delegates would have cut Medicaid, education and State employees' compensation. However, the House and Senate fought back and passed a bipartisan budget with minimal cuts.

 

Del David Fraser-Hidalgo (D15) is

a member of the Environment and Transportation Committee, passing a hydraulic fracturing bill-that will study public health effects of fracking. The House voted down eliminating the storm water management fee. It is now being debated in the Senate.  

 

 

Del Marc Korman (D16) helped establish a State-level taskforce on the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA). The WMATA taskforce has been focusing on management reforms and funding issues. In addition, the taskforce is conducting a study on the use of Metro within the State, to demonstrate its reach beyond the Washington suburbs, to build a constituency within the State.

 

Del. Bill Frick (D16) As

a member of the Economic Matters Committee, he has been working on making the college savings plans of Maryland (529 plans) more accessible and more attractive to families of varying income levels to pay for college.  

 

 

Del. Ariana Kelly (D16) As a member of the Health and Government Operations committee, she has worked on improving the Maryland Health Exchange; obtaining access to cancer treatment, reducing pharmaceutical costs and increasing the services available at ambulatory surgical centers.

 

Del. Kumar Barve (D17)

As chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, he passed a three-year moratorium on fracking, to study its effects further before going forward. His Committee also passed a bill requiring the State to make decisions on the use of pesticides based on science.  

 

 

Del. Jeffrey Waldstreicher (D18) As a member of the Economic Matters Committee, he has been focusing on economic justice issues, such as mandatory sick leave. This will not move this year, but the committee is working to pass it next year. He also wants to revisit the minimum wage, especially to raise tip workers' wage, who currently earn $3/hour as compared to the current State minimum wage of $8/hour. We unfortunately learned that the true cost of bills is not included in every bill. Long term savings are often not included in the Fiscal Summary.

 

Del. Al Carr (D18): His two top priorities in this legislative season have been election reform (greater transparency for large campaign contributions and allowing voters to fill school board vacancies) and roadway safety.

 

Del. Marice Morales (D19)

She has been working on sexual assault on campus: to standardize university policies on sexual assault; and sex trafficking: safe harbor laws to take care of juveniles in foster care, some of the most vulnerable to sex trafficking. In addition, she passed a bill that will change the wording of family court judges to Magistrates instead of the current term of Masters.  

 

 

Del. Ben Kramer (D19) He has been focusing on issues of importance to seniors. In addition, he has introduced legislation to toughen laws on drunk driving, focusing on repeat drunk drivers. Maryland needs to join twenty-four other states by introducing legislation that will install ignition interlocks in cars of repeat drunk drivers. Last year 27,000 people were prevented from starting cars because of ignition interlocks. There have been editorials in support of this legislation in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and the Capital Register but unbelievably, there is strong opposition to this legislation.

 

Del. William Smith (D20) & Del. David Moon (D20)

Together they talked about their restorative justice measures, as Maryland had a recidivism rate of 50%, spends more on correctional facilities than universities and has too many non-violent prisoners incarcerated, costing the State at least $30,000/year to house them. They have sponsored legislation to shield and seal non-violent criminal records to get folks back into mainstream society and to allow qualified ex-felons to work in Enterprise zones. They also sponsored the False Claims Act which incentivizes people to report waste, fraud & abuse in government contracts. They have sponsored 10 bills and three have passed the House.  

 

 

Del Charles Barkley (D39)

As the Chair of the Alcohol & Beverage Subcommittee, he has passed over 20 bills in House allowing a greater variety of wines, craft beers and other beverages in restaurants.  

 

 

Sen. Susan Lee (D16)

She has had a busy session, focusing on passing human trafficking bills, fighting cyber-attacks and identity theft on databases, especially medical records. She passed a bill helping transgender people change the sex on their birth certificates to their current sexual identification.  

 

 

Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D17) She has passed six bills in the Senate, including providing more opportunities to apply to donate organs as Maryland ranks only twenty-seventh in the United States for organ donations; update laws for fertility parity for same sex couples; Spanish language access in State government websites.

 

Sen. Richard Madaleno (D18) As the Vice Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee, he was proud to tell us the Senate passed a state budget, keeping our Democratic principles in the budget, including a 4% increase in the education funds for Montgomery County. Sen. Madaleno asked the WDC members to advocate for:

  • A change from a strong executive model of budgeting to a legislative form of budgeting (as we have in the federal government). Currently, Maryland cannot change the budget without a constitutional amendment.
  • Increase the tipped wage. The federal rate is $2.13. Maryland raised it to $3. Montgomery County's rate is higher. He recommends we raise the tipped wage to the standard minimum wage of $8, as it affects mostly women.

Sen. Jamie Raskin (D20)  He is a proud member of the WDC and advised us that the Maryland State Senate was the model for United States Senate. Montgomery County plays a central role in passing bills. He is very proud of the Second Chance Act, which has been endorsed by State's attorneys and law enforcement. It passed the Senate unanimously and Gov. Hogan has promised to sign it. The Maryland False Claims Act, which goes after contractors who are knowingly cheating the State government, also passed the Senate. The Senate also passed the Maryland Public Information Act, advising counties that they must respond to information requests in a timely manner and charge reasonable fees.   Unfortunately, the toughest bill to move forward has been campaign finance reform, as it has garnered lots of opposition from the Chamber of Commerce.

 

David Juppe, Senior Manager, Operating Budget, for the Office of Policy Analysis, Maryland State Legislature, gave a very comprehensive presentation on the State budget process. Maryland has a $40.4 billion budget. It must be balanced on a cash basis when introduced by the Governor and when enacted by the General Assembly. Structural balance is when the ongoing revenue (taxes & fees) equals the ongoing spending. This has allowed Maryland to have the strongest bond rating in the US.  

   

The majority of our State budget goes for health and education. Maryland has struggled with a structural deficit since the great recession of 2008. It received over $1 billion from the Federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Gov. Hogan wanted to resolve the structural general fund deficit in one year by cutting new mass transit programs (e.g., the Purple Line and the Red Line in Baltimore), taxes, education, and State employees' compensation. On the other hand, the Democrats in the General Assembly wanted to address the deficit gradually. The General Assembly was able to restore many of the Governor's proposed budget cuts.  

 

After hearing from David Juppe, members and guests had a guided tour of the State House. All in attendance felt this was a very productive day. We learned a lot about Maryland's legislative processes, and it was obvious to all of us that WDC is a force to be reckoned with as five Senators and thirteen Delegates took time out of their very busy schedules to meet with us. Special thanks to WDC board member and Legislative Committee Chair Lenna Israbian-Jamgochian for organizing such a worthwhile day.   

  

Legislative Committee Chair Lenna Israbian-JamgochianI

 

   
WDC Members On Tour

Article4 

PRIMARIES AND ISSUE CAMPAIGNS: WHERE DOES WDC STAND?   

                                                                                                         by Beth Tomasello 
 

 

 

With a new primary season upon us and with a number of members inquiring as to whether the Woman's Democratic Club would make an endorsement, this seems to be a good time to publish the Club's policies on primary campaign endorsements and on the distribution of campaign and issue-oriented literature and petitions.  

 

Because Club members can be sharply divided in their choices of Democratic primary candidates, the Club does not endorse any Democratic candidates in primary elections. In addition, the Club's By Laws require the Club's President to remain neutral in all Democratic primary contests. Members are encouraged to support the candidate of their choice during the primaries, but to ensure harmony within the Club; the Club itself remains neutral in all Democratic primary contests. Primary candidates are encouraged to attend WDC events where they (or a surrogate identified to WDC's President) will be recognized during the President's welcoming remarks. Candidates are also welcome to place campaign literature in a designated location outside the room in which a WDC function is being held. However, no campaign literature may be distributed inside a room where a WDC event is being held, nor may a candidate actively approach WDC members or guests with campaign literature as they enter or leave WDC events.  

 

WDC members may be similarly divided on issues of public policy, and therefore, the Board of Directors recently adopted a policy governing the distribution of issue-oriented literature and petitions at WDC events. Like campaign literature, issue-oriented literature may be placed in a designated location outside of WDC events, provided that: 1) the WDC Board of Directors has voted its endorsement of the issue advocated in the literature or petition; 2) the literature clearly identifies the organization supporting the issue endorsed by the WDC Board of Directors; and 3) the President, or in her absence, the First Vice President, has been given an opportunity, at least 24 hours prior to the WDC event, to review and approve the text of the issue-oriented literature or petition. Like primary candidates, issue advocates may not distribute literature inside the room where WDC events are being held and may not directly distribute literature to members or guests attending WDC events.

 

The goal of these policies is to ensure that all members of WDC feel at home in the Club during primary season or during contentious public policy debates. As the Democratic organization that hosts the "Kiss and Make Up" Party every four years to heal the bruises of Democratic primaries and to encourage unity behind our Democratic nominees, the WDC Board of Directors is committed to doing its best to avoid causing any of that bruising in the first place. The best way to do that is to remain carefully neutral during Democratic primaries, and to be sure that issues endorsed by the Board of Directors reflect what we believe to be a consensus view of our members. If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the Club's President, Beth Tomasello, at wdcmcmd@gmail.com.

 

 

Article7UPDATE ON WDC'S NEW ADVOCACY COMMITTE  

                                                                                              by Emily Shetty
  

Since launching, the WDC Advocacy Committee has been weighing in in support of several important pieces of local and state legislation that strengthens our democracy, and improves the economic position of women in the county. Bills include:  

 

  • Montgomery County Council Bill 60-14, the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, which will provide earned sick leave for workers throughout Montgomery County.
  • Maryland Senate Bill 40, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which will provide earned sick leave for workers throughout Maryland.
  • Maryland House Bill 985, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program Establishment, which will create a new program that provides for up to 12 weeks of paid time off for those that are caring for a new child, have a serious health condition, or are caring for an ill family member.
  • Maryland Senate Bill 424, the Labor and Employment - Equal Pay for Equal Work, which expands the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
  • Maryland Senate Bill 425, Labor and Employment - Wage Disclosure and Discussion Protection, which allows employees to determine if they have been the victim of wage discrimination.
  • Maryland House Bill 997/Senate Bill 680, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Voting, Openness, Transparency, and Equality (VOTE) in Elections Act, which will establish a commission to examine ways of encouraging broader voter participation and engaging new voting populations.

We are actively seeking members who are interested in supporting the work of the Advocacy Committee. If you are interested in tracking legislation that's of interest to WDC members, drafting letters of support, or testifying in person, please contact Emily Shetty, Chair of the Advocacy Committee, at Emily.shetty@gmail.com.

 

  

 

Article2

JOIN OR RENEW NOW 


  
Time to renew All current members have received their renewal forms in the mail.  Please renew now!  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 were 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. Click here to renew or join now.

 

  

 

facebook

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE - WE'RE ON TWITTER!    

 

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.
 
ArticleA
POLITICAL BOOK CLUB

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 next selection is Uncertain Justice :The Roberts Court and the Constitution by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz on May 20.  

  

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.  

ArticleB
VOLUNTEERS:   IT TAKES A VILLAGE

 

 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.

 

   

Article6
SUGGESTION BOX:

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.

     

  

Also, our Education Committee is seeking ideas for future programs in the Montgomery 101 series; if you have issues or subjects about the county you would like to learn about or study, please email Lucy Freeman at dorset4708@yahoo.com or call 301-654-8115.

  

 

 

  

 

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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