March Newsletter  - Volume 6, Issue 6

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, Bonnie Wicklund, Marian Kisch, Betsy Loyless, Fran Rothstein, Emily Shetty, Mary Lou Fox, Enid Light, Ashley Rhinehart, Tyler Carr, Ed Kimmel, Barb Salkin, Laurie Kelly, and Nancy Holland for their contributions to this newsletter.



Monday, April 11

US Senate Democratic Candidates' Forum
7 PM-Come early as we expect a large crowd!
Silver Spring Civic Center
1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring

Free Parking is available in the garage across the street.

The forum will be moderated by Gordon Peterson, Emmy Award Winning Journalist.

The WDC, Democrats of Leisure World, and Progressive Neighbors are co-sponsoring the forum. Invited candidates include those Democratic candidates who are polling above 10% as of March 14, 2016, which include Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

Tuesday, April 12

WDC Luncheon with 
pecial Guest Valerie Jarrett
Lunch will begin promptly at 12:15 pm  Note new time! 
Marriott (Pooks Hill) 
5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda 

For more details and to sign up for the lunch, go to

As Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls. Ms. Jarrett served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as the director of corporate and not-for-profit boards including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Ms. Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.     
For reservations, send your check to Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817  or reserve online at by noon Friday, April 8, 2016..

Questions about the event? Call Natalie Bouquet at 301-907-7856 

Thursday, April 14

Coctail 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!  

Tuesday, May 17    

Montgomery 101:   "Policing in the Post-Ferguson World"  Forum
7 to 8:30 PM
Silver Spring Civic Center
One Veterans Place, Silver Spring

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger with two other panelists will discuss issues including police training, mental health, drugs, and gangs.  Other members of the Police Force will be present to help answer questions of attendees. 

For more information and to register, please contact  Lucy Freeman at , 301-654-8115

Thursday, April 28  

The Maryland Democratic Party is holding a Unity party, right after the Maryland primary, most likely in College Park. Montgomery County and Prince George's Democratic Central Committees, and all Democratic clubs, including us, of course, will be promoting the event as we will all need to come together!  Senators Cardin and Mikulski will be there along with our Democratic political leaders. Details to follow. 

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 Bonnie Wicklund

WDC President Linda Kolko and MD Democratic Party Executive Director Pat Murray
President Linda Kolko welcomed new WDC members, board members and enthusiastic volunteers on March 9th, and gave special thanks to Betsy and Ralph Stephens for once again graciously hosting this favorite annual event.  Linda, who just returned from two months in Florida, thanked Betsy Loyless for so ably leading the club in her absence.

Featured speaker Pat Murray, the Executive Director of the Maryland Democratic Party, grew up in Harford County and has worked as an aide to both Senate President Miller and House Speaker Busch in Annapolis, and most recently was the director of state affairs at Johns Hopkins University. 
Murray began with the observation that the more we have focused on money, strategy and polls, the less attention we have paid to grassroots, which has not only hurt the Democrats, but also our democracy.  He cited some shocking statistics: 40,000 Democrats who voted in the 2014 primary did not vote in the general election.  The takeaway is that healing wounds after a primary is extremely important, and will be in the current election as well, and he praised the WDC's plans for a Kiss-&-Make-Up party on April 28th.  (Please note: the WDC is joining forces with the Maryland Democratic Party in hosting a state-wide Unity Party (details above).  .
After losing the governorship, the state Democratic party has been expected to take on part of the role that the Democratic governor has usually played in statewide politics, Murray explained.  The party leadership has been trying to work closely with leaders in the legislature to highlight policy differences with Governor Hogan, putting bills on his desk that matter to Maryland voters.  Democrats have to make it clear that the governor--who has a very appealing personal story and retains a high approval rating--nevertheless does not have a mandate:  while he won 51/47 statewide, down ballot offices still went 58/42 to the Democrats.  
New members Jared Solomon and Mimi Hassanein
Secondly, to upgrade communications with local Democratic operatives, the state party has been sending out weekly emails with short news about the legislature, upcoming events and media articles of interest, and has just begun a weekly podcast.
While the party must remain neutral during primary season, the day after 26 April, we must begin the shoe leather campaign, knocking on doors to talk about "macaroni and cheese" issues--Senator Mikulski's expression for the things that really matter to people, pocketbook issues.  Murray then cited another alarming statistic:  175,000 Democrats on voter registration rolls who voted in the 2010 and 2012 elections did not vote in 2014.  We will be targeting these voters to start with in a statewide grassroots campaign, he said.
During the Q & A session, several questions addressed how not to lose the losers--how to engage the campaign workers and supporters of losing candidates.  Murray said the party is already planning for this in several ways, including a job fair the week after the primary to interview staffers from losing candidacies.

                                                           by Enid Light

The WDC had another successful Happy Hour in March. "The beautiful March weather brought out a large group of current and future WDC members. The group met at the Lebanese Taverna. There were a lot of comments about the excellent New Member Dinner which was held the night before.  There was also a great deal of discussion about the primary elections which are right around the corner. Everyone had a great time!!

                                                                                        by Marian Kish

Dr. Shibley Telhami speaking at WDC Luncheon
Through a series of surveys, focus groups and interviews, Dr. Shibley Telhami has accumulated a wealth of information on how Americans view the Middle East-and its implications for the U.S. elections. This Anwar Sadat Professor at the University of Maryland and non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution shared that knowledge in his talk, "The Partisan Divide: What the 2016 Election Could Mean for Middle East Peace," at the WDC luncheon on March 18.
In speaking about a "divided America," Telhami disclosed information he gleaned about the Evangelical Christians in the U.S., with 75% claiming they're Republicans. Representing 20% of the Republican Party, they have different priorities.  Evangelical Democrats make up a much smaller percent of their party, and are largely Latinos and African Americans. If you put all Evangelicals and born -again Christians together, they make up a whopping 25% of the U.S. population. Telhami points out this can have an enormous impact on political discourse in America. In particular, Republican candidates seek these Evangelical votes.
Telhami surveyed Americans with respect to Israel, and with an emphasis on Evangelicals. In response to the open question, "What major leader do you admire most?," 12% of Republicans named Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu of Israel first with Ronald Reagan a close second. The Pope and Vladimir Putin were far behind. Democrats overwhelmingly named Obama first, at 32%. When Evangelicals were factored out from both parties, Netanyahu garnered 16%, with Reagan at 11% and Obama at 10%.
"When you hear Ted Cruz talking about Bibi and Israel," Telhami cautioned, "keep this in mind." Republican Evangelicals, he says, are very pro-Israel, and this affects U.S. politics. Candidates take extra steps to reach them.
The question of U.S. involvement with Israel is another area of difference between our two parties, according to Telhami. Some 52% of Republicans state the U.S. is poised at the right level of influence; 36% of Democrats agree but 49% report there is too much American involvement. When questioning all parties, 29% said we should lean toward Israel as opposed to the Palestinians with 66% opting to stay neutral. But again, Evangelicals stand out with 77% wanting higher U.S. involvement.
Dr. Telhami_ Past President Beth Tomasello and Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich
"It's odd that Trump beat Cruz in the south," Telhami remarked, but he pointed out that Cruz is continuing to fight hard to secure the Evangelicals' support there.
Other areas Telhami investigated were the two-state versus one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and whether Israel should continue to build settlements. Both parties prefer a two-state solution, with one state as a second choice. If the latter, both favor democracy over Jewishness.
When questioned about a possible U.N. resolution establishing a Palestinian state, 45% of Americans said the U.S. should abstain, with 27% saying it should vote in the affirmative and 25% voting for the negative. But again, 43% of Republicans showed their support for Israel by wanting the U.S. to vote against that resolution.
When asked what groups they feared most, Israel named Iran and Hezbollah, whereas the Palestinians named ISIS.
Telhami also explored U.S. attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. In 2001 47% were favorable, decreasing to 37% in 2015. Democrats are more favorably inclined, at 67%, while only 41% of Republicans expressed a positive attitude. When people were asked if Americans and Muslims have similar needs and wants, 71% of Democrats agreed, while only 41% of Republicans did.  If people personally know Muslims, they have dramatically higher positive attitudes. Telhami pointed to the American debates to demonstrate the partisan divide on tolerance between the Democratic and Republican candidates.
To learn more about Telhami' s research go to:

Logo for MD Dem. Party
Maryland Democratic Party VAN/VoteBuilder April Webinars from the
Maryland Democratic Party!

April 4th, 11:00AM (Beginner)
April 6th, 7:00PM (Beginner)
April 7th, 4:00PM (Intermediate)
April 11th, 2:00PM (Beginner)
April 13th, 7:00PM (Intermediate)
April 14th, 11:00AM (Intermediate)
April 19th, 4:00PM (Beginner)
April 21st, 2:00PM (Intermediate)

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:; (410) 269-8818. 


The MCDCC is seeking talented individual with proven skills in graphic design, basic office management, and organization skills. Priority will be given to individuals with at least 3 years' experience in the use of the InDesign graphics production, program and basic web design using WordPress or other web-design programs.

Other duties will include communicating with MCDCC members, Clubs and Caucuses, Precinct officials, and elected officials to solicit material for a monthly newsletter, lay out the newsletter with InDesign, and assist in both Internet and hard copy distribution to our Democratic constituencies. Other graphics duties will be to design and edit invitation pieces for special fundraising and publications for distribution in MCDCC voter registration and Get-Out-The-Vote efforts.

We are seeking someone who has strong communications skills and is fluent in various social media platforms. Office duties include answering telephone and email inquiries, and working with our IT/database manager to organize and update MCDCC databases, which includes some database entry tasks. This position requires 20 hours of in-office attendance and duties to be defined during MCDCC major initiatives, such as non-graphics tasks associated with our major fundraising efforts and election cycles.

Starting salary is $15/hour with no medical benefits. Candidates may apply by mail (MCDCC, 
3720 Farragut Avenue, Suite 303, Kensington, MD 20895) or email (; include a cover letter and resume of no more than 2 pages, with emphasis on past graphics experience. The deadline for applicants is April 1, 2016. 
                                                                        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 or visit their website at


Election Day is just around the corner on April 26 and the MCDCC is working to make sure every voter is informed and mobilized! The MCDCC is organizing a countywide Get-Out-The-Vote effort focused on infrequent voters and we need your help. Can you spare a few hours to talk with Democratic voters? To join a canvass happening in your area, please contact the MCDCC liaison member in your district:

D-14: Arthur Edmunds 301-253-8639
D-15: Venattia Vann 301-601-0058
D-16: Wendy Cohen 301/385-7243
D-17: Julian Haffner 301-984-5729
D-18: Alan Banov 301-942-6279
D-19: Harold Diamond 410-599-9864
D-20: Jheanelle Wilkins 240-428-4894
D-39: Juan Cardenas 301-963-4980

Remember these important dates:

Tuesday, April 5: Voter registration deadline
Tuesday, April 19: Absentee Ballot Request Deadline
Thursday, April 14 to Thursday, April 21: Early Voting 10 am - 8 pm
Tuesday, April 26: ELECTION DAY


Early Voting Locations

*  Activity Center at Bohrer Park, Social Hall, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877
*  Damascus Community Recreation Center, Social Hall, 25520 Oak Drive, Damascus, MD 20872
*  Executive Office, Building Auditorium, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD 20850
*  Germantown Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown, MD 
*  Jane E. Lawton Community Rec. Center, Social Hall, 4301 Willow Ln., Chevy Chase, MD 20815 
*  Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 
*  Mid-County Community Rec. Center, Social Hall, 2004 Queensguard Rd., Silver Spring, MD  20906 
* Potomac Community Recreation Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac, MD 20854
* Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
* Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad, 2400 Arcola Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
With regard to absentee ballots, the Maryland State Board of Elections has information on the link below:   
                                                     by Fran Rothstein and Emily Shetty
The Advocacy Committee continues to focus on the 2016 legislative session in Annapolis. Once the session ends, the Committee will turn its attention to County Council issues. 

As you know, things move quickly in Annapolis.  This article provides a brief update as of late March.  Our next update will summarize final outcomes for the issues on which we have been advocating.

The Advocacy Committee prepared, emailed, and hand-delivered written testimony to all of the applicable House and Senate Committees for each of the four WESA (Women's Economic Security Agenda) 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.  To see WDC's testimony on the four bills,click here.  WDC President Linda Kolko testified in support of the Fair Scheduling Act in the Senate hearing.

WDC president Linda Kolko waiting to testify in support of MD Senate Bill SB664 Fair Scheduling Act with our coalition partners Maryland Working Families.

The Advocacy Committee has been actively engaged on four issues - network adequacy, two mental health bills, and one bill that will limit nonmedical use of antibiotics in farm animals. The committee submitted testimony in support of each of the bills on behalf of WDC. The network adequacy bill and the two mental health bills each have passed through both chambers, and are awaiting cross-over hearings (where the House bill is heard in the Senate and vice-versa). The antibiotics bill was not voted out of committee. All testimony submitted on behalf of each of these bills may be found here.

Advocacy Committee members have also been following criminal justice and children's issues; the WDC Facebook page will alert club members when phone calls to their legislators are needed.

For more information, please contact Fran Rothstein at or Emily Shetty at ( 



                                                                                                                     by Mary Lou Fox
SB929 /HB 1318 Network Access Standards and Provider Network Directories UpdateWe are very pleased to report that bills have made it through a critical stage.  Both passed their respective chambers with a unanimous vote and have now been cross filed.  This would not have been possible without the support of our legislative heroes, including the bills' key sponsors - Senator Katherine Klausmeier and Delegate Ariana Kelly and their co-sponsors.  They understood from the outset the importance of the bill for consumers.  

To reach this stage required compromise or "sausage making" by consumer advocates, insurance carriers and others with a stake in the outcome.  It does mean, though, that there is more work to be done as the law is implemented.  For example, the bill establishes a regulatory process, under the Maryland Insurance Administration, to determine what quantitative standards, and potentially non-quantitative standards, will be required as carriers develop their "access plans."  As optimists, we anticipate final passage and Governor Hogan's signature.  Until then we applaud all those who brought us this far and who have, yet again, made Maryland a leader in health care reform. 

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

                       Edited by Bonnie Wicklund

Fran Rothstein

WDC's Advocacy Committee co-chair has been involved with progressive politics since her student days in the late 1960s at Brown University, where her lifelong passion for women's issues, civil rights, and what was then called "ecology" began. Fran's years as a consultant grounded her in fair housing, workforce development, community development, and AmeriCorps. Various education reform and youth development projects, along with raising two daughters, led to five years as PTSA president at Takoma MS and Blair HS, which involved her in Montgomery County politics.  Volunteer leadership includes the presidency of Montgomery Women and 10 years on the Jewish Council on Aging board.  She is an avid campaign volunteer, an occasional painter, and a passionate world traveler with her husband - most recently, to Cuba.
I just finished Geraldine Brooks' The Secret Chord, and have loved everything she's written, fiction and nonfiction.  She brings past worlds alive and makes them relevant to the challenges we face today.  I devour The Atlantic magazine every month, and recommend it to everyone.  My two book clubs keep me busy reading and drinking wine with friends.  And one book I can't get out of my mind, ever, is Katherine Boo's Beyond the Beautiful Forevers.
As a long-time Phillips Collection member, I enjoy contemplating the stunning Impressionist collection and Wolfgang Laib's wax room.  In Massachusetts we discovered Williamstown's spectacular Clark Museum on a road trip last summer.  Arena Stage and Mosaic Theater are current favorites for thought-provoking, and sometimes funny, plays.
As BSO subscribers, we feel so lucky to have Strathmore and Marin Alsop right nearby.  Even closer, I enjoy house concerts, and many performances through the Institute of Musical Traditions and Takoma Park's Carroll Café.
E.J. Dionne, Clarence Page, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Ta-Nehisi Coates pique my thinking. My dear friend Lynn Olson forwards other columns and blog posts she thinks I need to see (and she's usually right).
Right now, I'm heartened by the leadership, achievements, and future possibilities of Chris Van Hollen and Jamie Raskin.  Both are such great champions for women!  My visit to the Churchill War Rooms in London last fall re-ignited my admiration for Churchill's leadership, warts and all.
When the Democrats retake the House, the Senate, and the White House!
The way we treat each other - from the Syrian refugee crisis to the widespread oppression of women and girls - is both discouraging and motivating.  The creative solutions I've learned about through my participation in the Dining for Women giving circle help me remember that, despite everything, we are indeed inching forward, though way too slowly.


Most current members have renewed - thank you!    WDC appreciates your continuing support  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 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. 
If you are not a current member, please click here to renew or join.

The WDC's 2016 Membership directory is now available!   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. We will be distributing the directories to members only at our events.  Please review your listing in the directory.  If you find any mistakes, please email us the corrections at or call WDC President Linda Kolko at 301-785-1342.  





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!  



 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




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 or call 301-654-8115.



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Woman's Democratic Club
Linda Kolko, President
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator

Woman's Democratic Club | 117 Sherman Ave. | Takoma Park | MD | 20912