Holiday Newsletter - Volume 6, Issue 3
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, Linda Kolko, Fran Rothstein, Paul Schwartz, Lucy Freeman, Eileen Brooks, Enid Light, Betsy Loyless, Bonnie Wicklund, Nancy Holland, Helene Guttman, Ashley Rhinehart, Ed Kimmel, Marian Kisch, Kathy Deerkoski, Emily Shetty, Riki Sheehan, Beth Tomasello, Barbara Salkin, Ginger Macomber, and Daphne Bloomberg for their contributions to this newsletter
WDC ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP HOLIDAY PARTY (Wine, Cheese and Nibbles)
3:00 - 5:00 PM
Bethesda Marriott (Pooks Hill)
5151 Pooks Hill Road Bethesda
Cost: $30 for members, $35 for guests
Special Guest Congressman John Sarbanes, representing Maryland's Third Congressional District
"I look forward to joining the members of the Woman's Democratic Club at their annual holiday celebration. Together we'll discuss our vision for a progressive 2016 and I will introduce The Us Campaign- a new national movement to fight the issue of money in politics." -Congressman John Sarbanes.
Bring a friend as the WDC's annual holiday party is a great opportunity to recruit new members and enjoy some holiday cheer with your fellow Democrats. Guests may join the Club at the discounted rate of $25 if they join at the Holiday Party.
To RSVP, send your check to Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 or reserve online at http://www.womansdemocraticclub.org by noon, Thursday, December 10. Questions? Call Natalie Bouquet at 301-907-7856. WDC will continue our tradition of collecting monetary donations for a non-profit at this event. This year, we will contribute to Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), based in Silver Spring and celebrating 25 years of service this year. MHP preserves and expand quality affordable housing in Montgomery County.by acquiring, rehabilitating, building and managing quality affordable housing; by developing and implementing community life programs to improve the quality of life and increase opportunities for its residents and by collaborating with concerned citizens and businesses, public officials and community organizations to build strong, vital neighborhoods. You may visit their website at http://mhpartners.org/.
OTHER UPCOMING WDC EVENTS
Monday. December 7 and Thursday, December 10
An Opportunity to register more voters and enroll people in the Maryland Health Exchange
Montgomery College Atrium
7600 Takoma Avenue, Takoma Park
We need volunteers for 1-2 hour shifts
Thursday, December 10
5:30 to 7 PM
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. Members and potential members are welcome, so come and bring your friends!
MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY
Please Bring a Toy to Make a Child Smile
Sunday, December 13
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Montgomery County Education Association Building
12 Taft Court
Please join your fellow Democrats to celebrate the holidays - and bring a new, unwrapped toy (or toys) to be donated to Interfaith Works Community Ministry of Montgomery County, which will distribute them. Also, please bring an item to share according to your legislative district: Districts 17, 19, 20 Hors d'oeuvres or Fruit, Districts 14, 18, Breads or Finger Foods, Districts 15, 16, and 39. Salad or Dessert. Or bring your own "special dish" whatever your District. Questions: Call Wendy Cohen at 301-385-7243 or the MCDCC office at 301-946-1000 or click here.
Afterwards, come to the WDC's Holiday Party at the Bethesda Marriott in Pooks Hill ( details above)
Maryland Democratic Party VAN/VoteBuilder December Webinars from the
Maryland Democratic Party!
Thursday, December 3rd, 11:00AM (Intermediate)
Tuesday, December 8th, 2:00PM (Intermediate)
Tuesday, December 8th, 7:00PM (Beginner)
Thursday, December 10th, 11:00AM (Beginner)
Tuesday, December 15th, 4:00PM (Intermediate)
Thursday, December 17th, 4:00PM (Beginner)
Thursday, December 17th, 7:00PM (Intermediate)
Tuesday, December 22nd, 11:00AM (Beginner)
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2:00PM (Intermediate)
Registration closes 24 hours prior to the start date of the webinar. Please put WDC next to your name so we can confirm that you are a good Democrat!
And, as always, if you cannot make any of the above training sessions or are interested in a private training session, please contact Tyler Carr, Voter File Manager for the Maryland Democratic Party: firstname.lastname@example.org; (410) 269-8818.
Sunday January 31, 2016
Location: University of Maryland, Shady Grove Campus, Building II, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
The Women's Legislative Briefing (WLB) is the premier and longest-standing women's legislative event in the state of Maryland. It is coordinated by the Montgomery County Commission for Women and brings together advocates, policy makers, and emerging leaders to empower, engage, and mobilize Marylanders around issues affecting women and girls throughout the state.
The purpose of the briefing is to provide information on legislative issues of concern to women and families, including bills that will be introduced in the upcoming sessions of the Maryland General Assembly and U.S. Congress. Local and state officials are invited to attend the briefing. The ending reception allows participants the opportunity to meet with their legislators and discuss issues of concern.
The Theme this year is "Pioneering Justice for Women and Girls through Advocacy, Policy & Legislation."General Admission Registration begins at 11:30 AM with light refreshments. The conference will open with the keynote address. Compelling seminars on legislation in the Maryland General Assembly will fill out the afternoon. A reception will conclude the event providing an opportunity to meet with county and state elected officials, advocates and representatives of the most prominent county, state and national women's organizations.
$25 in advance, $30 at the door
Doors Open at 11:30
Conference is from 12:30 - 6:00 PM
For more information, please contact the Montgomery Commission for Women at 240-777-8333 or click here. .
WDC will have a table with information about our club, membership forms, and other materials. We need volunteers to staff the table in 2-hour increments throughout the day. If you volunteer, WDC will cover the registration fee. Please contact Nancy Holland, email@example.com, if you can help at this important event.
| MARYLAND LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR WOMEN (MLAW)'S
ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION AND BRIEFING
Tuesday, February 16
4:30 - 5:30 PM
Miller Senate Office Building
| MCDCC TO FILL VACANT DISTRICT 19 POSITION AT DECEMBER 8 MEETING
The MCDCC is requesting applications for a vacant MCDCC position as a representative from Legislative District 19. The applicant may be a male or female, must be 18-years of age, a registered Democrat, and must reside in Legislative District 19.
Applications must include a one-page cover letter stating the position applied for, as well as the Legislative District in which the applicant lives. In addition to the cover letter, please include a resume of no more than two pages that includes current and/or past positions in the MCDCC precinct organization, employment information, a history of involvement in past political campaigns, volunteer history for the Democratic Party, and membership in MCDCC-chartered Clubs and Caucuses or other clubs related to Democratic politics.
The application deadline is Monday, December 7, 2015, at 5:00 PM. You may mail the application to the MCDCC office at 3720 Farragut Ave. #303, Kensington, MD 20895 (it must be received by the deadline), email the application to firstname.lastname@example.org , or drop off the application at the MCDCC office at the address above. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to give MCDCC members time to review your application before the December 8 meeting. You also may contact MCDCC members at any time during the application period.
Applicants will be given from 2-3 minutes to address the MCDCC at the December 8 meeting, which begins at 7:30 pm at the MCDCC office. We encourage you to attend in person so MCDCC members may ask questions after the formal addresses by applicants.
A confirmation email will be sent once the MCDCC receives your application. That email will have further information about the process for filling the vacant positions.
For questions, please call the MCDCC office during business hours at 301-946-1000.
| HOMESTEAD TAX CREDITS
Thanks to WDC past president Daphne Bloomberg for alerting members of the opportunity to obtain homestead tax credits.
Many homeowners in Montgomery County still have not completed the one-time verification form for the homestead credit. As homes start to appreciate in value, the homestead credit will automatically be applied, but ONLY TO PROPERTIES THAT HAVE A HOMESTEAD VERIFICATION FORM ON FILE WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ASSESSMENTS AND TAXATION (SDAT). IF THE FORM HAS NOT BEEN FILED, YOUR PROPERTY TAXES COULD GO UP BY HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN 2016, 2017, and so forth.
The original deadline for submitting the homestead verification form was December 30, 2013. However, you can submit the form by December 31, 2015 and get the homestead credit starting in 2016. If you've already submitted the form, you don't need to submit it again (unless you move to another home). Submitting the homestead verification form is quick and easy. Frequently asked questions about the homestead credit are at the following link:
Please note that the homestead credit is not issued to rental properties or "second homes", such as vacation homes. Each Maryland resident (or married couple) is allowed to claim only one property as their principal residence.
Don't confuse the homestead credit with the "homeowner's credit". The homeowner's credit is available only to low income homeowners and an application for the homeowner's credit must be submitted each year. In contrast, the homestead credit is available to every owner-occupant, regardless of income.
| VOTER REGISTRATION ACTIVITIES
Kathy Deerkoski reported that of the many students who stopped at the WDC table at the Montgomery College Rockville location, over 200 student took applications to register to vote, a few filled them out right there, and at least 25 students were not covered by health insurance and took the necessary information to apply. We anticipate continued success at the upcoming events at the College's Takoma Park location
|Volunteers at Registration Event|
| RUNNING AS A WOMAN: THE INSIDE STORY
by Lucy Freeman, Nancy Holland, and Eileen Brooks
A diverse crowd gathered on rainy Tuesday, November 10th to hear four women discuss their experiences in running for elected office in Montgomery County. Charlotte Crutchfield has represented District 19 on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and is currently on the Montgomery County Merit System Protection Board. She was a candidate for Delegate for District 19. Shebra Evans has had leadership roles with county PTA and various associations. She was a candidate for the Montgomery County Board of Education. Senator Cheryl Kagan served as a delegate for eight years and is currently Senator from District 17. Delegate Aruna Miller is serving her second term for District 15. In 2012, she served as a delegate for Obama and the Democratic National Convention. Susan Turnbull, the moderator, has served on the National Democratic Party and as Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.
|Susan Turnbull, Shebra Evans, Cheryl C. Kagan, Charlotte Crutchfield and Aruna Miller.|
Susan Turnbull began the discussion with the motto of Senator Barbara Mikulski: "Every candidate needs a MOM-money, organization, and message." An effective candidate needs to have confidence and faith in herself. Senator Cheryl Kagan expressed it as visibility, credibility, success. Asking people for money, whether it is family and friends or complete strangers, is daunting, especially for first-time candidates. Delegate Miller said calling people on the phone became easier when she accepted that she was a "messenger" for specific values and fund-raising was about those values, not about her. The bottom-line is "if you don't run, you can't win."
Funding the Campaign
Several of the candidates self-funded their campaigns in amounts ranging from 10 to 60% of campaign costs. Charlotte Crutchfield noted that she ran a grass roots campaign with most of her money coming from family and friends and not special interests. She had between 10 to 15 meet and greets, thus reinforcing her connection to her district. Senator Kagan reported that in her first campaign in 1994, she distributed contribution envelopes and once received a check for $500 from Ann Richards, a former Texas governor. Women must become better at self-promotion.
Running for an at-large seat on the school board led Shebra Evans to target specific areas in the county for votes. Because she was active for many years in her PTA, many people asked her how "they can help." Shebra relied on social media to get her message out and used an on-line payment method for contributions. She estimates that she spent about $4.40 per vote. Senator Kagan reported that she relied heavily on social media: she has four Facebook accounts, two Twitter accounts, and Instagram. Some of her budget of around $85,000 went to mass mailings which cost between $8-9,000 per mailing.
"In a campaign everything matters. It's a million small things," said Del. Aruna Miller. Looming large, however, is the role of endorsements, being on a slate, and a stable of volunteers. Charlotte got endorsements from local officials and had good media attention. She was surprised by the number of male backers she had and emphasized the importance of "sister candidates". Both Shebra and Aruna were on a slate which helps with funding and volunteers. In addition, the slate opens up access to more events. Everyone mentioned how important it is to be involved in the community and out in the community attending events and meeting people.
It's our civic responsibility to vote. Yet, each candidate expressed frustration with low voter turn-out and apathy on the part of voters. For example, Charlotte lost by only 380 votes and Shebra noted that some people cast a ballot and left the school board entry blank.
Hardest part of campaigning
So many elements go into a campaign: money, organizing, and message. Charlotte said that the hardest part for her was honing her message, reducing it to a few sound bites. Attack ads were a bitter pill for Senator Kagan. Both Aruna and Shebra are parents of young children and they spoke of people questioning their commitment to their families.
Aruna joked that her biggest surprise were people saying "yes" when she asked for money. And that it is important to remember that the "business of politics is everyone's business."
In closing, Cheryl emphasized that it's important to run for office. After all, she said, which is harder: to have run and lost or not run and "a jerk" be elected. She also said it is important to have something exciting planned for the day after the election. Charlotte commented that losing is not personal and it is important to continue to be involved.
|WDC'S 8th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY CANDIDATES FORUM
by Paul Schwartz
The most important ingredient to a democracy is the people's right to vote. To exercise that right most effectively requires an informed electorate. On Tuesday, November 17th, the Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Central Committee, and 16 Montgomery County Democratic clubs, did its part in that regard by hosting a forum of the seven Democratic candidates seeking to fill the 8th district Congressional seat that will soon be vacated by Congressman Chris Van Hollen as he seeks to win the Senate seat of retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski.
|Candidates Will Jawando, Joel Rubin, David Anderson,|
Delagate Kumar Barve, Delagate Ana Sol Gutierrez, State Senator Jamie Raskin and Kathleen Matthews
More than 340 attendees packed the Bethesda-Chevy Chase banquet room and it is encouraging that the impressive turnout may be indicative of an impressive turnout for the upcoming 2016 elections. The seven Democratic candidates include State Senator Jamie Raskin, Kathleen Matthews, Will Jawando, Joel Rubin, Delegate Kumar Barve, Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, and David Anderson. The forum provided one of the earliest opportunities for voters to see and hear all of the seven Democratic candidates discuss their congressional priorities while responding to questions posed by both the WDC and the audience members.
The good news is that the Democratic Party has put together an outstanding slate of candidates for the 8th district congressional seat. There is not a Trump or Carson, or, for that matter, a Rubio or Cruz in the group. If there is a downside, it is that the strong slate of candidates mandates a bit more scrutiny by the voter to uncover meaningful distinctions among the candidates, but distinctions there are.
There is not enough room in this article to go over each of the questions that was raised and the responses offered by the candidates. Besides, with such a full house in the audience, the chances are fairly good that, if you are reading this article, you were probably in attendance and heard the responses first-hand. What I will do is attempt to highlight some key distinctions among the candidates while providing a general sense of the candidates' positions.
Since the positions on several of the major issues were consistent among the candidates, their focus was on showing how their individual background and experience made them most suited to take on the challenges of Congress.
Senator Raskin emphasized the more than 100 bills that he introduced in Annapolis that were passed by the state legislature on such topics as gun safety (the Firearms Safety Act of 2013), marriage equality, equal pay for equal work (the Lilly Ledbetter Act), the Second Chance Act, the Shareholders Protection Act on campaign finance reform, and so many others. He also pointed to his experience as a Constitutional law professor at American University and how beneficial that experience is in dealing with the so many questionable Supreme Court rulings coming out of the Roberts' Court. Kathleen Matthews pointed to her experience in the community, a good deal of it acquired during her many years as an on air reporter for Channel 7 News. More importantly, however, she pointed to her more than forty years as an advocate and champion for issues important to all, but, particularly important to women such as workplace equality, ending domestic violence, protecting women's healthcare decisions, affordable childcare, paid family and medical leave and a fair minimum wage. Delegate Barve pointed to the unique perspective that he offers as both a liberal and as someone who is a professional accountant and the Chief Financial Officer of a small business. This experience, he believes, places him in the best position to truly understand the link between job creation and the training essential to fill the jobs created. He also pointed to his understanding of the challenges of being a minority as he worked his way up as a legislator.
Delegate Gutierrez pointed to her history as a fighter for minorities and her understanding of the plight of women, minorities and working single parents as having been one. She emphasized her experience in the community having served on the school board as well as her 14 years as a state delegate. Joel Rubin pointed to his experience on Capitol Hill as having first-hand experience working with both Republicans and Democrats as a member of the State Department. This experience, combined with his experience in the Peace Corps and as a Congressional aide, places him in good position, he believes, to understand the workings of Washington. Will Juwando pointed to his experience as a member of the Obama Administration and also his first-hand experience as a minority working his way up from poverty. He emphasized that his position in the White House gave him a perspective on how the federal government works that the other candidates may not possess. David Anderson emphasized a clear distinction between himself and the other candidates describing himself as a centrist and moderate, center left I believe is the term he used, who places a great deal of focus on the middle class and looks to such initiatives as paid parental leave as a key component of his campaign. He also pointed out that he is a professor and author of six books.
As I indicated, regarding most of the major issues, the positions of the candidates were fairly consistent. On the issue of recognizing the reality of climate change, for example, all of the candidates did acknowledge the need to transition to renewable energy and pointed to their history of supporting green initiatives. As well, all, to a candidate, were in favor of having the horrendous Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case overturned so that campaign financing can be reformed and the playing field of grassroots voters and special interest groups can be leveled. With the issue of immigration, there was also a fair amount of consistency regarding both strengthening the borders while also providing a pathway to citizenship.
|Attendees listen intently to candidates.|
With the issue of how best to deal with ISIS, the candidates, here too, were basically consistent regarding the need for the U.S. to be part of a coordinated coalition and not make the same mistake that was made by going it alone in Iraq. Candidate Anderson did point out that he was the only candidate opposed to the Iran Nuclear deal but didn't take the opportunity to explain his rationale.
In the area of Social Security solvency, another major issue, there was some disagreement, however. While each of the candidates recognized the need to keep Social Security solvent and also agreed that the current cap on payroll deductions needs to be raised from its current $118,500, there was disagreement regarding the need to raise the age of eligibility. Most of the candidates were against raising the age of eligibility. Jamie Raskin and Kathleen Matthews pointed to such professions as fire fighters who physically could not be expected to work beyond a certain age regardless of Social Security eligibility. David Anderson, on the other hand, made it clear that he was for raising the age to be consistent with increases in life expectancy.
If there was one negative that came out of the evening it dealt with the audience's reaction to negative campaigning, specifically candidate Anderson's attacks on the two front-runners, Jamie Raskin and Kathleen Matthews, as a campaign tactic. Maybe if the audience was comprised of Republicans, this tactic would have been more appreciated. To say the least, it did not go over well with this Democratic audience.
All in all, though, the forum was highly informative and, though at times, a bit boisterous, key distinctions among the candidates were able to surface and the members of the audience are now more informed voters for having attended.
ADVOCACY COMMITTEE UPDATE
by Fran Rothstein
WESA. WDC staffed an exhibit, and Advocacy Committee co-chair Fran Rothstein represented the WDC Board on a panel at the Women's Economic Security Agenda forum on November 8 at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Organized by Maryland Working Families, the forum educated activists about earned safe and sick time leave, fair scheduling, and pay equity - the three bills that comprise WESA and that will be introduced in the 2016 legislative session. WDC is on record in support of WESA, and will be advocating for passage of the full WESA agenda.
MLAW. WDC was a Bronze Sponsor and exhibitor at the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women conference on November 14, at the International Cultural Center in Gaithersburg. MLAW will circulate issues to its members (WDC is a member) for prioritizing in advance of the January 31 MLAW annual meeting. Committee member Ginger Macomber stayed for MLAW's afternoon training session on advocacy, and will share what she learned with committee members.
Montgomery County State Delegation Priority Issues Hearing. The Committee's issue captains contributed to testimony that Ginger Macomber delivered November 18 in Rockville, expressing WDC support for key initiatives in our four priority issue areas (health care, employment, criminal justice, and children's issues). Please click here to read the letter (testimony).
Upcoming activities. Advocacy Committee issue captains continue to research their issue areas and meet with key legislators and their staffs. The Committee will prepare a WDC-wide advocacy strategy and will be calling on members to contact legislators in support of our priorities once the 2016 session is underway.
Happy news. At the end of October, Advocacy Committee co-chair Emily Shetty welcomed her new baby, Ayden, who already proudly wears a Young Dems onesie.
edited by Bonnie Wicklund
Recently appointed 3rd Vice President, Nancy joined WDC three years ago after retiring from a long career with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO), where she was responsible for producing video broadcasts describing the AO's information technology program. Before her current position on the WDC board she was an active member of the Education Committee. Nancy grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, earned a BA from Central Missouri State, and then went to Liberia as a Peace Corps volunteer. In 1974 she moved to Washington--later earning a master's degree in Human Resources from George Washington University--and has lived in this area ever since.
Since I've retired my reading takes odd twists and turns. I'm partway through The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and halfway through My Struggle (Book 2) by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I love to escape in the mysteries of Henning Mankell, Olen Steinhauer, and Tana French.
This summer I enjoyed three days in Istanbul--and came home with a rug I definitely didn't need--and also spent five days hiking in the incredible Swiss Alps. This winter I'm making a return trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, to visit a friend who lives there. The people are friendly, the food is great, and Oaxaca has a rich cultural heritage. If you haven't been there, I suggest you add it to your places to visit.
I'm so excited by all the Democratic women who either are in Congress or are running. When I was growing up, I couldn't have imagined that one day I might have a chance to vote for a woman as president of the United States.
POLITICAL HIGH POINT
Working for Barak Obama in his first campaign was definitely thrilling because electing him felt so imperative. When I went knocking on doors and phone banking, I took with me my African-American god-daughters, who were 13 and 5 years old at the time. It was a meaningful experience for them--one that we still talk about.
URGENT POLITICAL ISSUE
There are so many issues to worry about, frankly it's hard to single out one. Forced to do so, I feel that income inequality has to be addressed because we need a strong middle class empowered to stand up for quality education and good jobs, and to help this country toward a dynamic future.
JOIN OR RENEW NOW
All current members have received their renewal forms in the mail. Please renew now! 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 dues ($25 for members 35 years and younger) ($36.00 and $26 online, respectively, 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.
SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE - WE'RE ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
Don't forget to like us on Facebook; we're listed as Woman's Democratic Club, Montgomery County.
WDC also has a Twitter account! Our Twitter handle is @WomenDems. Be sure to follow us!
POLITICAL BOOK CLUB
Want to learn more about what your fellow Democrats are reading about American or political history? Join WDC's Political Book Club - our longstanding literary conclave that meets every other month. Meetings take place at members' homes and last approximately two hours. A facilitator for each book leads the discussion. For more information, contact Helene Guttman at email@example.com.
The Political Book Club is a long-standing activity of WDC. It has met for almost 20 years! The discussions are lively and speak to the vigor of our members' wide interests and camaraderie. They are looking forward to having new members join, so please go and check out this stimulating engaging activity!
Political Book Club schedule for January -May 2016
1. Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep [Discussion January 18, 1 PM]
Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men-President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee Chief John Ross-who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history. Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy. Jacksonland is their story.
One man we recognize: Andrew Jackson-war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South-whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure: John Ross-a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat-who used the United States' own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson. Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the ways of white settlers-cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school-Ross championed the tribes' cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committed civil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events like the Civil War and set the pattern for modern-day politics.
At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonland reveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies' conquest of native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres-"Jacksonland"-in today's Deep South.
Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR's Morning Edition, who offers here a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives.
Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep's Jacksonland is the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men.
CANDICE MILLARD, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt
"Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragic and transformative stories in American history, in swift, confident, colorful strokes. So well, and so intimately, does he know his subject that the reader comes away feeling as if Jackson and Ross's epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday rather than nearly two hundred years ago."
2.. The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis[Discussion March 21, 1 PM]
From Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian Joseph J. Ellis, the unexpected story of why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew.
We all know the famous opening phrase of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this Continent a new Nation." The truth is different. In 1776, thirteen American colonies declared themselves independent states that only temporarily joined forces in order to defeat the British. Once victorious, they planned to go their separate ways. The triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor a political guarantee that the colonies would relinquish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their autonomy as states.
The Quartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men most responsible-George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. These men, with the help of Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force the calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions, and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement.
Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government. The Quartet unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth-one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America.
3. David O. Stewarts' latest book - Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America [Discussion May 16, 1 PM]
[Remember - he's local & came to our Book Club a few years ago to participate in our discussion].
.Historian David O. Stewart restores James Madison, sometimes overshadowed by his fellow Founders, to his proper place as the most significant framer of the new nation.
Short, plain, balding, neither soldier nor orator, low on charisma and high on intelligence, Madison cared more about achieving results than taking the credit. To reach his lifelong goal of a self-governing constitutional republic, he blended his talents with those of key partners. It was Madison who led the drive for the Constitutional Convention and pressed for an effective new government as his patron George Washington lent the effort legitimacy; Madison who wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton to secure the Constitution's ratification; Madison who corrected the greatest blunder of the Constitution by drafting and securing passage of the Bill of Rights with Washington's support; Madison who joined Thomas Jefferson to found the nation's first political party and move the nation toward broad democratic principles; Madison, with James Monroe, who guided the new nation through its first war in 1812, really its Second War of Independence; and it was Madison who handed the reins of government to the last of the Founders, his old friend and sometime rival Monroe. These were the main characters in his life.
But it was his final partnership that allowed Madison to escape his natural shyness and reach the greatest heights. Dolley was the woman he married in middle age and who presided over both him and an enlivened White House. This partnership was a love story, a unique one that sustained Madison through his political rise, his presidency, and a fruitful retirement.
VOLUNTEERS: IT TAKES A VILLAGE
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 Advocacy Committee to help analyze and track important legislation.
We also need writers to prepare articles for our newsletter and photographers for our Facebook page and newsletter. Finally, we are looking for a member to help organize our monthly Happy Hour.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call 301-654-8115
Keeping members better informed, better connected and more politically effective since 1957