DWC Newsletter for April, 2024

In This Issue:

President's Message

Coverage of April 6 Rally in Salisbury

Welcome to 1864 (not a typo)

Special Events Coming Up SOON

Save the Date for These Upcoming Events

Breakfast Club, Book Clubs

PAC Report and Strong Schools Update

DWC Donation to New Food Distribution Program

Infrastructure Bill

Breakfast Club, Book Clubs Continue

Recap of March DWC Meeting

DCWC Geranium Sale Fundraiser

A Message From DWC President Debra-Fisher Reynolds:

Thank you to Susan Buyer, Toby Perkins, and Indivisible for organizing the Reproductive Rights Rally at Salisbury University on April 6.

Women gathered to support freedom and rights!

Our signs say: Abortion is Health Care! Protect Safe, Legal Abortions! A Woman's Choice is Her Own Choice! We Won't Go Back. Bans Off Our Bodies!

Our voices say: When we take action, we help women and girls. When we take action, we protect healthcare, affordable health care, safe health care!

My whole life CHOICE has been a right. Safe and protected. I worry women, young girls, and our neighbors in Southern states don't have a personal choice anymore. The choice to make their own decisions. We need to safeguard the hard-fought rights of the 1960s and 70s. This health care keeps women safe, healthy and protects their own bodily future.

When we gather and continue to raise our voices, we know that we secure a future and protect reproductive rights for everyone.

When we show up together, we can win.

We make a difference with our vote!


Good local coverage of the April 6 Rally for Reproductive Rights in Salisbury! The reporting was by 47ABC News reporter Leila Weah. Thank you to all the DWC members and others who turned out and participated in the rally! Here are some highlights from the interview:

Salisbury, Md. - In a post-Roe v. Wade world, 14 state have moved to ban abortion since June 2022. On the Eastern Shore, community members took to the streets today to ensure Maryland remains untouched.

"It's a women's issue, it's also a men's issue and a children's issue," said Susan Buyer. She said voting, or lack thereof, is how the right to an abortion slipped away from women. "It really does matter who people vote for in November," Buyer said.

It's a protest that June McKenna never thought she'd have to participate in twice in her life. "In the 1960s, I was a nursing student, and I was on the line, marching and demonstrating, in Philadelphia and DC for women's rights," she said. "Rights for birth control, rights for abortion, so women don't die. I never thought that 50 years later I'd be out here again."

Debra Fisher-Reynolds

April 6 at Salisbury University

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

Welcome to 1864

by Joyce Vance (from her newsletter Civil Discourse)

When the Supreme Court decided Dobbs, it opened up Pandora's box, undoing 50 years of protection for abortion rights under Roe v. Wade. In the wake of that decision, states pulled lots of horribles out of the box and used them to prevent women from making their own choices about reproductive health care. In some cases, those decisions involved their ability to conceive and carry to term in the future, and even cost some their lives. Arizona now seems intent on joining them.

This is Dobbs in action, which leaves it up to each state to decide whether women have abortion rights, and, if so, to what extent. Your gerrymandered state legislature is now in charge of your healthcare and the lives of people you love.

Arizona's Supreme Court ruled April 10, 2024 that its 1864 total abortion ban, a law written more than 50 years before women were granted the right to vote, is good law again. The law originated during the Civil War, before Arizona even became a state. It's what we've referred to as a zombie law -- a pre-Roe measure that was invalidated when SCOTUS guaranteed the right to an abortion in 1973, but was left in place by conservatives hoping for the day Roe would be undone. On April 10, a 4-2 majority of Arizona's conservative Supreme Court confirmed that it can be resurrected.

In a couple of weeks, virtually all abortions will be a felony event in Arizona. Doctors and providers, including people who help others obtain abortions, can be prosecuted and sentenced to two to five years in prison if convicted. There are no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. As we've seen in other states, the mere threat of consequences like this is enough to shut down abortion procedures across the state. Welcome back to 1864.

Before the decision, Arizona had a 15-week abortion ban in place. It was already a restrictive environment. Patients had to make two trips to the doctor, one for in-person counseling and a second one at least 24 hours later for the abortion. Invasive ultrasounds were required even if they weren't medically necessary. State Medicaid coverage for care was essentially banned, and mifepristone had to be obtained in person, not through the mail.

Arizona is leaning into the national trend. The Guttmacher Institute tracks abortion laws across the country. As of this week, only two states, Vermont and Oregon, provide what they characterize as the "most protection" for abortion. Fifteen states are in the "most restrictive" category. We can add Arizona to that list after this decision. Guttmacher categorizes six additional states as "very restrictive" (this is where Arizona used to be), and another seven states as "restrictive". The map is stark and getting worse.

On April 9, Trump, in his promised statement on abortion, endorsed the Dobbs standard, which leaves abortion rights up to each state. Some people were encouraged that he didn't endorse a national ban (yet). But the Arizona Supreme Court decision demonstrates what Trump's view means in action. His campaign confirmed that he supports the new Arizona ruling by saying "President Trump could not have been more clear. These are decisions for people of each state to make".

Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott was asked about his view on the Arizona ruling on Fox. "That's what's going to happen as a result of the overturning of Roe," he said. "I'm pro-life. This is exactly what ought to be happening."



These Events are Coming up in the next week!

Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m.

RALLY for Worcester County Public Schools!

Meet on the Ocean City Boardwalk at Wicomico Street

Bring signs and banners supporting full public school funding! (See item below)

Monday, April 15, (9:30 a.m. conversation, 10 a.m. start)

Democratic Women's Club of Worcester County

Ocean Pines Community Center, Assateague Room

Regular monthly meeting

Guest speaker will be Dave Wilson, U.S. Wind

See you there!

Wednesday, April 17, 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m.

Wor-Wic Community Community College "Spirit Day"

(on campus)

The DWC will have an outdoor table and will provide voter information and registration materials. A great way to interact with students! If you can volunteer, contact Joan Roache at beachyogi@me.com

Saturday, April 20, 3 to 7 p.m.

Ocean Pines Season Kickoff and Expo

White Horse Park, Ocean Pines

The DWC and the Democratic Club of Worcester County will share a space at this community-wide event to share handouts on our organizations and how to join. Volunteers are still needed to work shifts.


The DWC Breakfast Club meets the second Thursday of the month at various local restaurants. If you would like to join this lively group, email Mary Anne Whitcomb, marywhitcomb@gmail.com to get on the list for monthly details.


Interested in joining an existing Book Club or starting a new one? We have several to choose from. Contact Debi Koczen-Doyle at apdoyle25@gmail.com to join us. It's a great way to meet new people, challenge your mind, and have fun. New members are always welcome!



Thursday, May 2, 5 to 7 p.m.

Drinking Liberally

Marriott Residence Inn, Ocean City

Tuesday, May 7, 5 p.m. (time approximate)

Worcester County Commissioners Budget Hearing

Snow Hill. We will have a group going to this important hearing.

Speakers/comments will be allowed. We want to have a good turnout for this meeting!

Look for more details in upcoming Action Alerts!

Monday, May 20, 10 a.m.

Democratic Women's Club Annual Volunteer Fair returns!

Ocean Pines Community Center, Assateague Room

Ten-plus groups will be on hand to talk with members and guests about

volunteer opportunities available with their organizations. Spread the word!

Monday, June 10, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

DWC Annual Luncheon

The Date is set!

This year we'll be at Micky Finns in West Ocean City

We will have registration forms at the April 15 meeting -- so be sure and bring your checkbook.

Cost will be $40, part of which is a donation to our club to fund various projects through the year.

Political Action Committee (PAC) Report and

Strong Schools Worcester County Update

Monthly PAC Meetings are held via Zoom. Join this active group and bring us your ideas and your help.

NOTE: Our next meeting will be Monday, May 13 at 2 p.m. Watch your email for action alerts and information on how to join the meeting.

At our April meeting, we continued our work on voter registration outreach planning from now until the election. One of the larger events is being planned for Wor-Wic Community College on April 17. We need volunteers for this and other voter information events coming up. Contact Joan Roache if you can spare some time.

Some PAC members are working on a social media plan, which will include a blog, emails to politicians and communications to local newspapers and other media. We are also forming an outreach committee whose members will work on getting the word out about various efforts -- not just to our members but to the wider audience state-wide. We are working on identifying those we want to reach and making contacts with those groups.

Postcards: We are planning to keep postcards going on various issues with pop-up parties at members' homes or outdoor locations through the summer. Local efforts should ramp up after the primary season.

Candidate support: some of the PAC members have been intereviewing school board candidates and we will have their answers to our questions ready for members to view soon!

Strong Schools Worcester

As we have said since January, 2024 is a critical year for Worcester County Public Schools. We will need to help fight for full funding of the BOE budget. The schools cannot sustain cuts again this year. The big County Commissioners hearing on the budget is May 7 -- we will be working up until then to make sure our schools get the funding they need this year and hope to have a good turnout at that hearing!

Worcester United has asked us to show our support for fully funding the Worcester County School Budget by helping with postcards, support for the Buckingham Elementary School re-build, and some yard signs they are hoping to print and distribute. Worcester United started an important petition to collect signatures around the county supporting fully funding the schools. We collected members' signatures at the last meeting. Here is the link online:


We need to help support the incumbent school board members in the upcoming election. There will be candidates who want to ban books, cut support services and curtail important areas of the curriculum. We will provide you with information on the candidates running in the districts as we learn of them. The Democratic Club of Worcester County is working to put a candidates' forum together soon after the May 14 primary. More details on that as we get them.

A group of us continue to regularly attend school board meetings and certain County Commissioners' meetings during the year. Join us! The next school board meeting is April 16. We will be there. If you want to carpool, meet at the Food Lion on Route 113 South at 11:45 a.m.

For more information on all these activities, and to get on the email list for PAC meetings and reminders, please contact PAC Chair Joan Roache at beachyogi@me.com

DWC Donates $500 to Re-Start Food Distribution Program in the County

At the March DWC meeting, several members of the Board presented a $500 check to help launch a new outreach effort in the County - The Pocomoke Food Pantry Cooperative.

Until recently, food distributions to needy families were organized by the Vulnerable Populations Task Force, but that organization is unable to serve Worcester -- leaving so many families in desperate situations. Shown accepting the check is Josh Nordstrom, who organized this new program. Pocomoke Middle School and Pocomoke Community Gardens/Corner Sanctuary are partnering with the Maryland Food Bank in this new venture. The Cooperative estimates that each food distribution event requires about $1,000 to purchase dry and canned goods from the Food Bank. The group hopes to have three large food distribution events this year and, through donations, expand to monthly events in 2025. The DWC donation helped them conduct the first food distribution on April 6. Donation checks can be made out to Pocomoke Middle School (write Co-Op in the memo line) - mail to Pocomoke Food Pantry Cooperative, c/o Pocomoke Middle School, 800 Eighth Street, Pocomoke, Md. 21851.

Recap of Democratic Women's Club General Meeting March 18, 2024

Submitted by Dana Barney, Recording Secretary

Vice President Susan Buyer introduced Josh Nordstrom, who discussed the needs of two new outreach efforts he is organizing: Della's Closet (foster children in need of clothing, toys, other items) and Pocomoke Food Pantry Cooperative (funds to purchase food from the Maryland Food Bank to distribute to families in need in Worcester County). The DWC presented the Cooperative with a $500 donation to help get the first food distribution event going in April.

Presentation on Women's Rights: Past, Present, and Future

DWC member Linda Linzey presented An Overview of U.S. Women's History. She told the group the writers of the Constitution did not, as Abigail Adams admonished, "remember the ladies." Linzey outlined the work and sacrifice by several women in history, including Margaret Brent, Harriet Tubman and others.

Changes was presented by Susan Buyer, outlining the many changes in health, financial, education and employment practices and regulations involving women that took place in the 1970s, including the right to contraception, no-fault divorce, equal credit rights , and of course, abortion rights in Roe v. Wade. She also outlined Title IX, in 1972. She reminded the audience that we need to show the young generations that the battles for these rights were not easily won.

Status Today was presented by Linda Linzey. She gave several shocking statistics that show how many women in the word still live in poverty, wage gaps, and underrepresentation in many levels of society.

There were many materials made available to the group, and a great display of women's history materials and resources.

To finish up her part of the presentation, Linda led the group in a song, "Can a Woman"...

Young Activists was presented by Joan Roache, with examples of how young adults and even high schoolers are picking up the fight. She outlined groups such as Students Demand Action for gun control, Young Invincibles for Health Care, and Black Voters Matter.

PAC Committee Update (Joan) - Upcoming Actions: Do More, Worry Less!

Joan talked about Worchester United and how the school budget is still under attack - rally coming up at the Ocean City Boardwalk April 14.

Maggie Miller gave the Treasurer's Report and thanked everyone for turning out for the Pancho & Lefty's fundraiser, which was a big success.

A list of upcoming events was distributed at the meeting.

The next DWC meeting will be April 15, with guest speaker Dave Wilson, US Wind.

The DWC newsletter is published the week prior to the regular monthly DWC meeting Please submit articles, photos and other items by the 10th of the month to suechallis68@gmail.com

Thank you! Sue Challis, Editor

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