February Newsletter  - Volume 6, Issue 5

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, Betsy Loyless, Nancy Holland, Fran Rothstein, Emily Shetty, Mary Lou Fox, Enid Light, Ashley Rhinehart, and Beth Tomasello for their contributions to this newsletter


Thursday, March 10

Happy Hour  
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.   Members and potential members are welcome, so come and bring your friends!  

March Lunch Program 

There was a great deal of interest in hearing world
renowned Middle Eastern expert Dr. Shibley Telhami  discuss "The Partisan Divide:  What the 2016 Election Could Mean for Middle East Peace.". Unfortunately, we had to cancel our February lunch program at the last minute due to his illness. We appreciate everyone's patience as we work with Dr. Telhami to reschedule his lunch presentation to March.  It will still be held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Chevy Chase, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue which provides free parking   Expect an email announcement soon with more details. 



The WDC is honored to be asked by both Democratic Senate campaigns to co-host a Candidates' Forum with the Leisure World Democratic Club and Progressive Neighbors.  We are finalizing the date and location and expect to send out more details next week.  


Saturday, March 12 

8th Congressional Candidates' District Forum hosted by Safe Silver Spring
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Takoma Park Middle School
7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

News anchor and television journalist Derek McGinty will moderate a two-hour forum for the 8th Congressional District candidates for U.S. Congress at the Takoma Park Middle School. On the agenda: public safety and criminal justice issues. We hope you will join us!

Democrats David Anderson, Kumar Barve, Ana Sol Gutierrez, Will Jawando, Kathleen Matthews, Jamie Raskin, Joel Rubin, David Trone, Republicans Shelly Skolnick, Jeffrey Jones and Independent Elizabeth Matory, and Green Party candidates Elizabeth Croydon and Nancy Wallace have confirmed their participation.

Event sponsors include Safe Silver Spring (a 501c3 organization that focuses on  criminal justice issues), Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action MD, Hope Restored,

Saturday March 19

Islamophobia Forum  
International Cultural Center
19650 Club House Road
Montgomery Village, MD 20886 
Phone: (240) 396-5350.
The Muslim Democratic Club along with the WDC and other clubs are holding the forum .  Details and a flyer to follow on our website, Facebook page and via email.


Thursday, April 28  

Save the Date for the WDC Quadrennial Post-Primary "Kiss and Make-Up Party" - A Montgomery County Democratic Tradition!  Details will be provided soon.


Saturday, May 7

The Woman's Democratic Club is thrilled that its President Linda Kolko has been selected by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) to receive the Democrat of the Year Award!  In addition, member Abigail Adelman is being honored with the Jack Dean-Helen Peacock Precinct Official Award.  Both of these women have tirelessly served the Democratic Party and their community in  Montgomery County.  These honors are well deserved and WDC joins the MCDCC in celebrating the achievements of these committed Democratic women.  The Spring Ball will be held on the evening of Saturday, May 7 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. The WDC will have a table, and members are invited to buy tickets and sit together.  Details to follow.

                                                                                          by Nancy Holland
Congressman John Sarbanes and two WDC volunteers at Legislative Briefing

The theme of the 2016 Women's Legislative Briefing was "Pioneering Justice for Women and Girls through legislation, education, advocacy, and policy. The Women's Legislative Briefing 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. Over 600 people participated in the January event that had 65 co-sponsors, including the WDC. It is one the club's major outreach and recruitment events. 

Shebra Evans with daughter and friend at WDC Table.

                                                           by Enid Light

The WDC had another successful Happy Hour in February.  Despite the cold temperatures, there was a decent turn out.  Everyone was very engaged in friendly discussion until well past the 7pm bewitching hour. The evening also resulted in two women joining, one renewal, and one new member. The wait staff was fabulous too! 
All in all, it was a fun and rewarding evening.


Pam Queen is sworn in as the
new District 14 Delegate.

The WDC congratulates WDC member Pam Queen as the new District 14 Delegate. On February 11, MCDCC & WDC member Pam Queen was nominated by the MCDCC to replace former Delegate Craig Zucker in the House Delegation. Congratulations to Pam and kudos to Mark Feinroth and Herman Taylor for competing for the vacancy. Pam's name was submitted as the MCDCC nominee to the Governor on February 12 and she was sworn in as the new District 14 Delegate on February 26.  We wish Pam the best and we know we can count on her to support progressive Democratic values in the House of Delegates.    

The MCDCC is accepting applications for Pam's position on the MCDCC. Applicants may be male or female, must be 18-years or older, be a registered Democrat, and reside in Legislative District 14. A vote to select a nominee is scheduled at the Tuesday, March 8 MCDCC meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the MCDCC office at 3720 Farragut Avenue, Suite #303, Kensington, MD.  
The application deadline is Monday, March 7, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. This deadline also applies to endorsements for candidates. Applications must include a 1-page cover letter stating the position applied for, as well confirming that they live in District 14. In addition to the cover letter, applicants must include a resume of no more than 2 pages that includes current and/or past positions in the MCDCC precinct organization or other elected positions, employment information, a history of involvement in past political campaigns, volunteer history for the Democratic Party, and current or past membership in MCDCC-chartered Clubs and Caucuses or other clubs related to Democratic politics.
Applications may be mailed to the MCDCC office at 3720 Farragut Ave. #303, Kensington, MD 20895, emailed to
montgomerydems@msn.com, or dropped off 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 March 8 meeting. No applications or endorsements will be accepted after the deadline. You also may contact MCDCC members at any time during the application period (see contact information for MCDCC members at http://www.mcdcc.org/about/#centralcommittee).
A confirmation email will be sent to you when the MCDCC receives your application. That email will have additional information about the process for filling the vacant position.
For questions, please call the MCDCC office during business hours at 301-946-1000
Logo for MD Dem. Party
Maryland Democratic Party VAN/VoteBuilder March Webinars from the
Maryland Democratic Party!

March 1st, 11:00AM (Beginner)
March 3rd, 4:00PM (Intermediate)
March 7th, 4:00PM (Beginner)
March 9th, 7:00PM (Beginner)
March 11th, 11:00AM (Beginner)
March 11th, 4:00PM (Intermediate)
March 15th, 7:00PM (Intermediate)
March 17th, 11:00AM (Intermediate)
March 21st, 11:00AM (Beginner)
March 23rd, 11:00AM (Intermediate)
March 23rd, 7:00PM (Beginner)
March 25th, 1:00PM (Beginner)
March 28th, 2:00PM (Intermediate)
March 30th, 4:00PM (Beginner)

To register, please click here

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:  tcarr@mddems.org; (410) 269-8818. 

                                                                        by Nancy Holland

The Montgomery County Board of Elections needs volunteers to work at the polls on election day.   You can earn up to $180.00 for serving or 25 student service learning hours.  Responsibilities include: attend a set-up meeting the night before the election, set-up the polling place, check-in voters on election day, assist voters with questions, and perform other tasks as directed.   Call: 240-777-8533 or email election.judge@montgomerycountymd.gov or visit their website at 777vote.org.
The Advocacy Committee is currently focused on the 2016 legislative session in Annapolis; once the session ends, the Committee will turn its attention to County Council issues.  WDC members are encouraged to call or email their state senator and delegates in support of the legislation highlighted below.
In collaboration with the Campaign for Fair Sentencing for Youth, the Woman's Democratic Club testified in February in support of legislation that would abolish life-sentences without-parole for juvenile offenders. Advocacy Committee co-chair Fran Rothstein presented Senate hearing testimony; former WDC president Beth Tomasello testified in the House of Delegates hearing. To see WDC's written testimony, click here.  Unfortunately, as in the 2015 session, the Senate failed to vote the legislation out of the committee.  WDC will continue watching this legislation, which may yet be introduced as an amendment to other criminal justice reform legislation. 
WDC is on record in support of the Women's Economic Security Agenda, a legislative package including four bills: the Women's Pay Equity Act, the Fair Scheduling Act, the Healthy Working Families Act (earned sick leave), and the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.  Workforce Issues Captain Ginger Macomber will coordinate WDC's oral testimony in support of those bills in March.  To see WDC's written testimony on the four bills, click here.
Health issues captains Mary Lou Fox and Margaret Hadley are monitoring several bills that WDC will support at March hearings: protecting antibiotic effectiveness for human health by banning their non-therapeutic use in food-producing animals, ensuring that health benefit plans provide adequate provider networks and accurate and transparent consumer information, and ensuring adequate funding for mental health services.  Click here for WDC's testimony on the first two bills.
Issues captains Lynn Olson (criminal justice) and Debbie Stine (children's issues) are monitoring evolving legislation in their areas, and may seek WDC support as the 2016 legislative session evolves.
For more information, please contact Fran Rothstein at
fran.rothstein@verizon.net or Emily Shetty at (emily.shetty@gmail.com). 



                                                                                                                     by Mary Lou Fox
Maryland Health Connection Enrollment Update:  More than 162,000 Marylanders enrolled in private plans for health coverage during the three-month open enrollment period for 2016. Of the total enrollments, 31%, were new customers.

At 33% Maryland achieved one of the fastest growth rates of any state in the country for the 2016 enrollment compared to 2015. Other key highlights include significant growth in young adults, African American, and Hispanic populations, and more than 30,000 people enrolled in dental plans for the first time. Nine out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled through the state marketplace were eligible for federal subsidies or qualified for Medicaid. Read the full press release here .

Our highest priority bill in the 2016 General Assembly is cross filed as SB929 /HB 1318 - Health Benefit Plans - Network Access Standards and Provider Network Directories.  Sponsored by Senators Klausmeier and Feldman and Delegate Ariana Kelly, this legislation comes as a direct result of the Network Adequacy Report the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform published last fall, which highlighted serious deficiencies in the online provider directory for those purchasing Qualified Health Plans.  This bill addresses the need to ensure that Maryland consumers can rely upon accurate, up to date information in the provider directories. It also addresses the issue of the adequacy of the carriers' provider networks and is designed to bring Maryland up to standards 

See our website for more information on the report and read our latest newsletter. 

Time to renew

Most current members have renewed - thank you!  Please note that if we did not receive your  renewal by February 25, we were unable to include your name in the 2016 Membership Directory.   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 list.  Click here to renew or join now.




Don't forget to like us on Facebook; we're listed as Woman's Democratic Club, Montgomery County. https://www.facebook.com/WomansDemocraticClub
WDC also has a Twitter account!  Our Twitter handle is @WomenDems.  Be sure to follow us!  



 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 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. 
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.




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.



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


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Woman's Democratic Club
Linda Kolko, President
www.womansdemocraticclub.org     wdcmcmd@gmail.com
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator