by Art Brodsky

The first meeting of the District 14 Democratic Club’s Brunch series was a smashing success.

About 50 members attended the event March 26 at Chapala Restaurant in Burtonsville, where

they were treated to a rousing speech from our Congressman, John Sarbanes.

He described how the Republicans had planned to push through their health care replacement

bill, including putting it under lock and key, for only Republicans to see, without hearings or

budget analysis, passed restrictive rules “martial law” for when the bill did reach the House floor

and even tried last-minute changes to appease the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus.  The

markup went for 27 straight hours.  During that time, opposition appeared against the bill.

Republicans began to get queasy at the possibilities of either having a vote on the bill and losing

or the embarrassment of pulling the bill from the floor, so they began to bolt.  It was a

“jailbreak,” Sarbanes said, with Republicans trying to get away.

Yet all of the parliamentary maneuvering was secondary to “what really happened,” Sarbanes

said:  “You happened.”  All of the protests – including the Women’s March -, rallies and emails

“pumped us up” Congress, giving Democrats the energy they needed to keep going during the 27

hours the health bill was under consideration at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on

which Sarbanes sits.

As he talked about what newly energized Democrats should follow up the demonstrations and

rallies, he handed out cards titled “Here’s What You Can Do”:

 Make calls, send emails and snail mail to the Governor and you member of Congress (the

formal term for a Congressman) and Senator.

 Register and sign a vote pledge.

 Go to forums where your representative is appearing

 Join peaceful protests

 Join an organization fighting on an issue you care about

 Sign petitions from organizations you trust

 Become an organizer.

 Tell friends in other states to do the same.

Democrats will need to capture one house of Congress in 2020 to gain subpoena power and

block Trump’s agenda by holding oversight hearings into what the government is really doing.

Also at the meeting, State Sen. Craig Zucker and Del. Eric Luedtke gave their perspective on

legislation in Annapolis.  Zucker noted that he, Luedtke and House Ways and Means Committee

Chair Anne Kaiser, all from District 14, are key legislators on education policy. Alexis Rodich

from Indivisible14, a new group opposing the Trump also spoke about her organization’s

resistance to the Trump agenda.

The next meeting of the District 14 Breakfast Club is scheduled for April 23.