Summer Newsletter  - Volume 6, Issue 9



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, Paul Schwartz, Fran Rothstein, Emily Shetty, Ginger Macomber, Mary Lou Fox, Ed Kimmel, Kathy Deerkoski, Melanie Kreidich, Joan Riggs, Ashley Rhinehart, Judith Heimann, Madeleine Sigel, and Nancy Holland for their contributions to this newsletter.

The next newsletter will be published at the end of this September. In the interim, information will be sent out via email and social media (Facebook and Twitter).  


Here in Maryland, we're looking forward to participating in a coordinated campaign run by the Maryland Democratic Party with support from the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee as has been done in previous Election Year cycles. Stay tuned!!! 

In the meantime, Montgomery County for Hillary has been in full swing for quite a while.  Please click here for a listing of the events.


Thursday, July 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!  

No Happy Hour in August.  

WDC is broadening its horizons and in September our Happy Hour is trying out a new location, City Perch in Rockville.  We'll meet on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 5:30 - 7:00.  City Perch is in the Pike and Rose Shopping area at the corner of Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road and an easy walk from the White Flint metro stop on the Red Line.  In addition, parking is free. (Note: Enter the shopping area from Old Georgetown Road and the City Perch parking area is on the left.)

Current plans are to meet at City Perch from September through November and try locations in Gaithersburg and Silver Spring next.  If you have a favorite bar/restaurant that might be suitable for a WDC Happy Hour venue, pass the name along to Nancy Holland at



Sunday July 17 

3-5:00 PM
Home of Nancy Floreen

10801 Keswick Street

Garrett Park, MD

Please RSVP by making a small donation of $20.16. Click here to donate.

Download the event flyer here.

For more information: Robbie Rich,


Wednesday, August 17 

10 am - 10 pm
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair 
501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

We need volunteers  to staff the Democratic Party Tent at the Montgomery County Fair.   Volunteers need to work two-hour shifts in order to receive free tickets to the Fair. Please email Linda Kolko at if you want to volunteer.  Slots fill up quickly! 

Check out the Ag Fair at

Tuesday July 19

Summer Series - Montgomery County Young Democrats "The Future of the Party"
7:00 PM
Silver Spring Civic Center Building

July's topic is Hillary, Bernie, and What's Next?  The Democratic Presidential primary has been a tough fight - it's been adequately billed as a fight for the soul of the party. While our standard bearer will be named tonight, we should not ignore the issues and fundamental questions that the primary has brought to the surface. What do we stand for, what will we fight for, and how will we fight? Join us as we discuss what lessons we should learn from the primary, how we can harness the new energy in the party and what policies we should use that energy to win. 

Tuesday, August 16

Summer Series - Montgomery County Young Democrats "The Future of the Party"

7:00 PM
Rockville Library

August's topic is How Do We Establish a Framework to Get It Done? Their description follows: "After discussing concepts and lots of ideas all summer, we'll come together to try our hands at a framework for moving forward. Join us in a strategic brainstorming session as we start to think up a framework for action that we can use to engage, local, state and federal party officials to see movement towards the Democratic party we want for the future. "

Saturday, August 27

12TH Annual Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club Summer Fest
1:00 - 5:00 PM
Home of Jonathan Shurberg
305 Hamilton Avenue, Silver Spring

All 2016 Democratic Candidates Have Been Invited! Don't miss it! Food and soft drinks provided by GSSDC. Suggested contribution: $20 per adult - $10 for Seniors and Young Dems. For more information, please contact Emily Ackerman at 301-565-2483 or by e-mail at

                                                                                       by Paul K. Schwartz

Sarah Bloom Raskin, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury introducing her husband, State Senator Jamie Raskin.
State Senator and Democratic candidate for Congress (8th Congressional District) Jamie Raskin addressed the Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County as luncheon speaker on June 6th and gave, in surgical detail, a tutorial on exactly how the party of Lincoln evolved into the party of Trump.  The surgery did not leave the patient in very good health.
In a step by step approach he laid out how the Republican party transformed itself from a party that fought to eliminate slavery and to protect the rights of all of its citizens to a party that now finds itself doing just the opposite by fueling the flames of divisiveness.  Whether it be the anti-Mexican or anti-Muslim rants or the misogynist rants against women or the complete ignoring of the rule of law such as when Trump endorses going after the families of terrorists, the end result is a party far removed from the one established by the likes of Abraham Lincoln.
Who to blame? Senator Raskin points to the Republican party itself.  He points out several examples over the years that lead to its transformation to a party that relies heavily on distortion of the truth and bully tactics to court voters. He begins with Nixon's compiling of the infamous "enemies' list" and the unleashing of Hoover's FBI to find "dirt" on those listed enemies. 
The real turning point, however, according to Senator Raskin, is the so-called "Southern strategy". First used by Nixon to court Southern Democrats in 1968, court them he most assuredly did through cloaked racism.  The strategy was subsequently used by Republicans who followed including Reagan, the two Bush's, Gingrich as Speaker of the House and even Romney in 2012.
According to Senator Raskin, it was by no coincidence that Reagan chose Philadelphia, Mississippi to give his "Morning in America" states' rights speech.  This was the location that three civil rights volunteers, Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, were savagely murdered in the 1960's.  Reagan knew how to curry favor with the racists of Mississippi.
State Senator Jamie Raskin addressing WDC.
According to Senator Raskin the strategy was effective in that it succeeded in getting mostly white males of the Southern states to vote on social issues even though they were clearly voting against their own self-interests when it came to economic issues.
The racism epitomized in the Southern strategy came to a head, according to Senator Raskin, with the 2008 election of a liberal African American president.  He pointed to Mitch McConnell's proclaiming that the goal of the party was to make "this president a one term president".  He also pointed to the many other examples of the blatant disrespect shown to this President by Republicans including the Trump-lead "birther" movement.
There was no better example of just how serious and threatening a Trump nomination is than the quote Senator Raskin provided by FDR's vice president in the early 1940's, Henry A. Wallace.  Many observers have noticed the similarities between the rise of fascism in Europe leading up to World War II and the rise of Donald Trump, but the quote provided by Senator Raskin makes the comparison all too frightening:  

"A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those   of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in use of deceit   or violence to attain his ends."  Henry A. Wallace
If that quote doesn't capture the essence of Donald J. Trump, then nothing does.
How to dismantle Trump?  According to Senator Raskin, we begin by dissecting individually every ill-thought out statement as has been done by Hillary Clinton.  In addition, however, the Democrats must unify and not be splintered going onto the general election. There is too much at stake.
Alice Baum asks one of the many questions.
Senator Raskin went on to field several questions dealing with a range of issues. The first question dealt with campaign finance reform.  Senator Raskin pointed to the need to have Congressman Chris Van Hollen's Disclose Act, which brings transparency to campaign finance, and Congressman John Sarbanes' Government by the People Act, which calls for greater incentives for use of public election funding in conjunction with grassroots campaigning, to be passed by Congress.
A question was then asked about how he plans to go about using his expertise as a Constitutional law scholar to help other Congressmen to gain a better understanding of the Constitution. He was also asked whether he sees a role for himself in assisting the Administration in preparing cases to be heard by the Supreme Court. Senator Raskin responded that as a teacher it is exactly what he plans to do, to share his knowledge about the Constitution in the hope of minimizing the misunderstanding of the Constitution by his colleagues. He mentioned that when taking the oath of office, one places one's hand on the Bible while swearing to uphold the Constitution, not the other way around. That is a lesson well worth teaching.
The issue of gerrymandering was raised and the Senator pointed to his work on the Potomac Compact that would bring an independent redistricting commission to Maryland and Virginia.  Working in conjunction with other jurisdictions is the only way to gain traction on this issue since, while everyone agrees that gerrymandering is bad, neither party wants to give up their leverage unless other jurisdictions do the same.  This compact engineered by Senator Raskin seems like a step in the right direction to address this concern.
In response to another question, Senator Raskin mentioned that the way to bring back the many voters who migrated to Trump because of the impact of globalization on jobs is to do a better job of explaining how to combine the issues of trade, immigration, the recovery, and so on into a coherent plan and then communicate it.  This led to a question on education in our society and the lack, thereof, that lead to the exploitation of so many by the Trump campaign. The answer is the same: educating the electorate in a way that is both substantive yet easy to understand is essential. 


                                                     by Fran Rothstein with input from Ginger Macomber

Have you served (or are you now serving) on a State or County board or commission?  Do you have policy experience through your professional or volunteer activities that you'd like to share?

WDC submitted written and oral testimony on a number of bills during the 2016 State Legislative Session.  We may also be testifying before the County Council in the future.  Although Linda Kolko (as WDC President) signs all testimony, others of us have delivered oral testimony on occasion.  As we increase both the topics and the frequency of our testimony, it may be useful for WDC members who are recognized issue experts to deliver testimony.  If you have served (or are now serving) on a board or commission, and would be willing to be consulted about testimony or to deliver oral testimony in your area of expertise, please let us know.  Many thanks.

Fran Rothstein ( or Emily Shetty (

Additionally, as a result of the Advocacy Committee's work at its June meeting, the WDC board voted to support 
the Safe Families Visitation Initiative, in conjunction with Court Watch Montgomery (  The Initiative asks the County Executive and County Council to fund safe, affordable, community-based child transfer sites and supervised visitation services for parents who are in abusive relationships.   The initiative foresees using existing facilities, not building new ones. For more information, please click here.  



                                                                 Mary Lou Fox

Almost 18-months ago, as the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform, we undertook a strategic planning process funded by the Open Society Institute - Baltimore.  During this time, we transformed and strengthened our organization by incorporating as a stand-alone 501(c)(3) under a new name - Consumer Health First. The name says it all - we will ensure that the needs of consumers are met and their voices raised to advance health equity through access to high-quality, affordable and comprehensive health care for all Marylanders. 

On July 5, 2016 Jeananne Sciabarra joined Consumer Health First as its first Executive Director.  Jeananne brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to our work.  Most recently she served as the Director of Health Care Transformation at Healthy Howard, Inc., where she advanced innovative population health programs including the Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition, the Advanced Primary Care Collaborative, and the Community Care Team.  Prior to Healthy Howard, Jeananne was the Quality Improvement and Accreditation Manager for St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families.

The appointment of Jeananne is the culmination of our planning process and we know that our members and partners will be as excited as we are to welcome her to our organization.

Watch our video

and learn more about Consumer Health First.

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

                    By Linda Kolko   
The dues cycle for WDC is from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017 so expect to receive a membership renewal letter in the mail soon (if we have your mailing address). Any new member who joined the WDC after June 1, 2016 is considered a full member through August 31, 2017.  If you are not certain about your dues status, please contact Sybil Cantor at, and she will be able to advise 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.   All non-renewing members will be purged from the membership list in February.

The WDC also offers gift memberships.  Honor a good friend or colleague with a gift membership to the WDC so she or he can enjoy the many benefits our club offers!  A gift renewal form will be in your renewal letter or click here to buy a gift membership on-line.

The 2016 membership directory will continue to be available at WDC events to all current dues-paying members.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.  Please note that if we did not receive your renewal by February 1, you were not listed in the 2016 Membership Directory.

Click here to renew your Membership or join the Club!  Thank you.




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.



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


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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