Message From DWC President Debra-Fisher Reynolds:

My suggestion for the rest of this month: Let's give the national issues a rest and focus on Black History Month.

When even turning on the TV lately can bring you down, maybe turn it off for a while and give yourself a chance to think about what we can do and what we can change. During Black History Month, I think a lot about those things. One of my favorite T-shirts says "Make Racism Wrong Again." I'll wear it this month and next month and the month after that. As for TV, once again, public television is doing a great job with specials for Black History Month. One, specific to our area, is coming up Monday night, February 19, at 9 p.m., "Ben's Ten: Chattle Slavery on Maryland's Eastern Shore," a new documentary that highlights what life may have been like for enslaved Marylanders -- including a young Harriet Tubman. Right now, maybe we should look back in order to go forward with conviction and courage.

We have lots ahead of us this election year. We need to keep focused and keep talking about the accomplishments of our President and Vice President and their vision for America and democracy. We can all do our part. Each of us has something to contribute. I look forward to working with all of our members during this crucial year.

And, we did get some very good news this past week: In New York's special congressional election, Democrat Tom Suozzi won big in District 3, beating out the MAGA candidate there. In his acceptance speech, he credited the grassroots efforts of postcards, phone banking, and knocking on doors with his win. I'm proud to announce that our efforts in writing nearly 1,000 postcards was part of that win. It works. And we will continue our postcard efforts on local and other issues every Thursday in March, at 2 p.m. in the Ocean Pines Community Center.

Be sure to join us at Monday's meeting at 10 a.m. to hear Dr. Clara Small speak. It has been said that with her presentations and her writing, Dr. Small encourages us to ask the difficult questions so we can come to a mutual understanding of the truth of the matter. Looking forward to seeing you there!

February 2024

In this Issue:



February's Speaker

Book Swap Continues!

Black History Month

ERA News

Letter to the Editor

PAC Report and Strong Schools Update

Postcards Continue in March

Dr. No Visits OC

Biden-Harris Accomplishments

Calendar of Events

January DWC Meeting Recap

At the DWC Meeting Monday, February 19 we are fortunate to have a presentation by Clara Small, who will discuss African-American History on the Eastern Shore. Ms. Small is a historian, a Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University, and an accomplished author of such books as "Reality Check: Brief Biographies of African-Americans on Delmarva" and "They Wore Blue and Their Hearts Were Loyal: The United States Colored Troops of Dorchester County, Maryland." She has also served as a member of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.



Bring a Book!

Take a Book!

At our February and March DWC Meetings

Whether Book Club, personal enjoyment, or something on your bookshelf you'd like to SHARE -- how many books did you read in 2023?

We are sharing a table of books! Bring as many as you want -- and take some home with you.

Black History and Beyond

The Worcester County Libraries Have Some Great Resources!

In researching some local personalities I thought we might feature for Black History Month, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we have some great resources in our public library system in Worcester County.

Did you know there are local history and genealogy staff available to answer questions for you? There are photos and abstracts and administrative history on just about any subject, landmark or person you might want to find out more about. Here are a few related to Black history that I thought might be of interest.

Sue Challis

Black History in Worcester County

The Ernestine Bailey Papers are an assortment of documents pertaining to Black history in Worcester County. This includes information on the founding of Ebenezer Methodist Church in Snow Hill in 1869. Also included are programs from events held at the church, including those of the Worcester County Branch of the NAACP, founded at the church in 1944. There are newspaper articles about awards given to Black members of the community and more detailed information about the church, the NAACP and its members.

The Worcester High School Yearbook Collection has only one yearbook -- from 1967 -- although the collection includes photos of the classes of 1967-1970. There is also detailed information and photos of all the clubs and students. The Worcester High School was built in 1953 at a cost of $845,000. It had an enrollment of 907 and served as the only high school for all of Worcester County's African American students. The high school closed in 1970 when Worcester County schools were integrated. The building now houses the Worcester County Technical School. Prior to 1953, African American high school students attended the Ross Street School in Snow Hill. The Ross Street location also served as the elementary school before the era of the middle schools and integration in 1970.

Our DWC Vice President, Susan Buyer, reports that based on work of the ERA Coalition, an alliance of more than 30 organizations has asked the Maryland General Assembly to pass a joint resolution reaffirming Maryland's commitment to the ERA that the state ratified more than 50 years ago. Delegates Edith Patterson and Leslie Lopez will introduce H3001 and Senator Ariana Kelly will introduce S3001 for the 2024 legislative session. Both bills ask Congress to remove the deadline and having met Article V requirements of the Constituion, to officially recognize the ERA as the 28th Amendment. (Susan will have a handout available at the Feb. 19 DWC meeting with a history of the ERA).


In case you missed it, here is the Letter to the Editor written by our PAC Chair Joan Roache that recently appeared in the OCToday/Dispatch:

Dear Editor:

I am writing as a concerned member of our community to advocate for full funding for K-12 Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS).

Education is a cornerstone of our society and plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our children and the well-being of our community.

Investing in K-12 public schools is an investment in the future success of our community. By providing ample resources, we can attract and retain talented teachers, maintain manageable class size, and offer a well-rounded curriculum that includes not only core subjects but also extracurricular activities, arts, and sports. These advantages prepare them for the challenges and opportunities they will face in the future.

Unfortunately, last year's approved budget was underfunded, resulting in cutbacks for WCPS. If once again you do not fully fund the Board of Education's request, cuts will continue and our schools are likely not to remain the top in the state. We are now at the bottom of the state for entry level salaries for teachers and teachers are leaving the county for other areas that pay more. This has rarely happened before now.

In addition, these cuts disproportionately affect students in low-income communities, exacerbating educational inequalities. To bridge this gap, we must prioritize full funding for our schools to ensure that all students, regardless of zip code, have equal access to a high quality education.

Well-educated individuals are more likely to become active, engaged citizens who contribute positively to our community. A strong public education system is essential for fostering innovation, economic growth, and social cohesion.

I urge the County Commissioners to prioritize education as you decide on this year's funding levels. Let us come together as a community to invest in the future of our children and the prosperity of our society.

Joan Roache

Strong Schools Worcester County Team Leader


Political Action Committee (PAC) Report and

Strong Schools Worcester County Update

It is time to be a Democracy Warrior. We are in another do or die election year. Need a stress reliever? Join The DWC Political Action Committee -- PAC. Even more this year, there is lots of planning going on - and lots of opportunities for members to participate ! We will be postcarding, registering and informing voters, helping to get out the vote and spreading the word on Biden's accomplishments and his message of saving democracy. There is SO much at stake in this election.

We welcome your ideas and your help. PAC Meetings are held via Zoom.

NOTE: Our next meeting will be Monday, March 11 at 2 p.m. Watch your email for action alerts and information on how to join the meeting.

At our February 5 meeting, a lot of progress was made on lining up locations and events where we can get information to people about how to register to vote, mail-in ballots and more. There are some events planned for March and April that we'll be needing some volunteers to come out for -- so stay tuned for Action Alerts on that! We're developing some materials for these events now.

Some PAC members are working on our social media plan, which will include a blog, emails to politicians and communications to local newspapers and other media. We are developing a form/template that we will share with the membership soon.

Strong Schools Worcester

As we said in the January newsletter, 2024 will be 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 in May -- we will be working up until then to make sure our schools get the funding they need this year.

To learn more about the Blueprint for Education, plan to attend a special workshop sponsored by Strong Schools Maryland coming up on March 13, 5 to 7 p.m., at the Berlin Branch of the Worcester County Public Library (see Calendar of Events below) .

And, 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.

We will also be following state legislation that impacts schools. We learned recently that one of the 3,000 bills that "dropped" in February and hoping to make it through this year's legislature is one for Restorative Practices in all Maryland schools. To learn more about restorative practices, go to

A group of us regularly attend school board meetings and certain County Commissioners' meetings during the year. Join us!

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

Postcard Sessions Continue through March

We'll be moving out of members' homes and into the Ocean Pines Community Center East Room starting March 7 to write postcards for various issues. Join us EVERY THURSDAY IN MARCH at 2 p.m.!

Here's a great photo of some of the postcard writers that helped Democrats win the New York District 3 special election this month with nearly 1,000 postcards!

Dr. No Visits Ocean City

A small band of our members with very big coats took to the streets of Ocean City on January 20 where our "Representative" Andy Harris was holding a "hearing" on Offshore Wind. These members took this opportunity to remind him of his constituents' adoration and affection for him...


February 2024

Monday, February 19

DWC General Meeting, 10 a.m. (social time, 9:30 a.m. - bring your own beverage please)

Ocean Pines Community Center, Assateague Room

Our speaker will be Professor Emeritus and Historian Clara Small, who will discuss "African American History on the Eastern Shore".

Tuesday, February 20, 12:30 p.m.

Worcester County School Board Meeting

Board of Education Building

Newark, Md. Wear Red!

**Special Event**

Wednesday, February 21, 5 to 9 p.m.

DWC and Strong Schools Fundraiser!

Poncho and Lefty's - West Ocean City

Come out and support DWC and Strong Schools Worcester at this fun event!

We'll have 50/50 and all attending have a chance to win a special gift basket.

Think of it as Margaritas for Change!! See you there.

Thursday, February 22, 6 p.m.

Democratic Club of Worcester County General Meeting

Ocean Pines Community Center, Marlin Room

Speaker is Christine Felix, Worcester Youth and Family Counseling

Services, Director of their Navigation Program

March 2024

Thursday, March 7, 2 p.m. (and every Thursday through March 28)

Postcard Sessions Return!

Ocean Pines Community Center, East Room

Join us for Postcard sessions to write in support of local issues

Contact Joan Roache for details.

Monday, March 11, 2 p.m.

DWC Political Action Committee (PAC) Meeting

via zoom - Contact Joan Roache for details at

**Special Event**

Wednesday, March 13, 5 to 7 p.m.

Berlin Branch, Worcester County Library

Workshop on the Blueprint for Maryland's Future

Learn about the Blueprint, how Maryland funds public schools, and what can be done to make sure Worcester County has the resources it needs to create world class schools for all students!

Monday, March 18, 10 a.m. (social time, 9:30 a.m.)

DWC Regular Meeting

Ocean Pines Community Center, Assateague Room

Our speaker will be James Yamakawa, Maryland Lynching Memorial Project and Wicomico Truth and Reconciliation Project


April 11, 2024 - Annual Kennedy-King Dinner

Worcester Technical High School

This year's dinner promises to be bigger and better! It is being held at the Worcester Technical High School, where students in the Culinary Arts Program will be preparing the dinner. A great opportunity to experience this unique high school program and support Democratic efforts for 2024!

Tickets are $100; table for 8 reserved, $750 each. (there will be flyers at the Feb. 19 DWC Meeting)

Recap of Democratic Women's Club General Meeting January 15, 2024

Submitted by Dana Barney, Recording Secretary

President Debra Fisher-Reynolds welcomed members and introduced Helaine and Marty Radinsky, who are organizing publicity and arrangements for this year's Kennedy-King Dinner to be held April 11 at Worcester Technical School. Volunteers are needed to help sell ads for the program and obtain silent auction items. The DWC will raffle off two tickets, with the winners to be drawn in March.

Susan Buyer introduced guest speaker and DWC member Dr. Laura Wilson-Gentry, professor emeritus and senior methodologist, University of Baltimore. She did a presentation on political polls and what we need to know, including how some specific polls vary in accuracy and transparency, and how survey data is collected, analyzed and interpreted. We will make a copy of her presentation available at a later date.

General Meeting

Treasurer's Report and 2024 Budget: Maggie Miller presented the report and noted that the Treasurer's Report will no longer be printed in the newsletter due to privacy and insurance concerns. She also reported that the Holiday Luncheon raised $1,105. On the proposed 2024 budget, Maggie noted some numbers were placeholders, with variables contingent on upcoming election needs. Kathy Emmert moved to approve the budget, seconded by Dell Purrell. Motion unanimously adopted.

Upcoming speakers: Susan Buyer announced she has speakers lined up for February, March and April, and that we will be conducting another Volunteer Fair this year, in lieu of a May speaker.

PAC Update: Joan Roache announced postcard parties will be held January 24, 31 and February 7 at volunteers' homes. She said TheDelmarvaReport, our new Facebook page, needs contributors for local news, plus writers for an upcoming blog.

Strong Schools (Joan) - action alerts are being sent out as needed. There will be a workshop in March on the Blueprint for Education.

Membership Form - the membership form has been slightly revised for 2024. Available at general meetings or on the web site at

Membership dues are being collected now. New members who joined by December 2023 are considered paid for 2024. Others were urged to get their $15 dues in soon!

Debra Fisher-Reynolds reminded the members of several events coming up in February, including a special fundraiser February 21 at Pancho and Lefty's in West Ocean City, benefiting DWC and Strong Schools Worcester County.

NOTES from the Field: The Sierra Club's Lower Eastern Shore Group is conducting its 2024 Membership Drive. The group had a busy year bringing their environmental message to organizations and events all over the area. They have been instrumental in pushing single-use plastic bag bans, lobbied state representatives to adopt and enforce clean energy initiatives, combat climate change, other important issues. Membership is only $15 a year and you receive a gift as well!

Check out their website at

to see what's happening and consider joining to support local efforts of this and other environmental groups in protecting our earth for future generations! (submitted by DWC and Sierra Club member Debbie Gousha.)

The DWC Newsletter is published monthly, usually the week prior to our general meeting. If you have items to submit, please send to Sue Challis, Editor at by the 12th of the month. Thank You!

Visit our website at for more upcoming events and notices!

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