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.