Our Voices Heard In Annapolis
WDC members are now "Annapolis veterans." On Tuesday, February 21, members of our club learned how Annapolis works, observed and testified at House and Senate sessions and committee hearings, met face-to-face with legislators, and advocated for WDC's 2017 legislative priorities.
More than 35 participants from all across Montgomery County, including several brand-new members, spent a productive day at the State House, making a difference for Maryland's women and families.
District 15 Delegate Aruna Miller greeted us in her capacity as the President of Women Legislators of Maryland, and presented WDC with a Maryland flag along with a note: "Thank you for your dynamic leadership and for your dedication to make Maryland a better place for all!" After she spoke, one WDC member was overheard saying, "If Maryland Dems are looking to elect the first woman governor in our state, they couldn't ask for a better candidate than Aruna Miller."
The Difference Between Our Annapolis Legislature and Capital Hill
We learned how Annapolis works, and how to work Annapolis, from WDC member and former Chief of Staff to Jamie Raskin, Alice Wilkerson, who is now with Public Policy Partners. Alice cautioned that Annapolis isn't like Capitol Hill - even though the Democrats control both houses of the legislature by comfortable margins, Annapolis policy makers try for bipartisan legislation; they emphasize the merits of their policies without disparaging the opposition. How refreshing! Armed with our new knowledge about how a bill becomes a law and how to advocate most effectively for our priorities, WDC members headed off to House and Senate sessions, where a proclamation welcoming us was read in each chamber. Some of us then met with our Senators, others toured the State House.
Our Representatives Show Up and Talk Legislation
Nearly 30 state legislators from around the state joined us for lunch. Sen. Nancy King and Del. Shane Robinson, leaders of the Montgomery County Senate and House delegations respectively, welcomed our group. Most of the legislators took the time to summarize their key bills and ask us to support them. WDC is already on record in support of specific bills in four issue areas (health care, criminal justice, employment and economic security, and children and youth); we gained new insights into those bills, and also learned about the proposed TRUST Act (to prohibit implementation of a Muslim registry and to provide protections to foreign-born residents in the face of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown).Click here to view WDC's legislative priorities.
Submitted by Fran Rothstein and Emily Shetty Co-Chairs Advocacy Committee