Montgomery County Young Democrats Newsletter: A Look Back at 2022

2022 was a year of new challenges and even newer solutions. As the pandemic receded, the Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) reassessed and recalculated our efforts to support our community, encourage people to get involved in politics, and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. We also stepped up our advocacy and campaigning to meet the needs of our neighbors. 

If you are interested, we urge you to become an MCYD member – annual dues are only $10 and you can join here

Financial Support for Various Groups: 

Thanks to your generous support, the Montgomery County Young Democrats began 2022 with $13,199.89 in our bank account. With that we funded a diverse set of projects and organizations, including: 

  • A $125 sponsorship for the 2022 Women’s Legislative Briefing
  • A $500 donation to a Wider Circle, a Silver Spring nonprofit that helps people living in poverty 
  • A $500 donation to the Maryland Democratic Party, encouraging them to get young people involved in politics 
  • A $500 donation to Compostology – an organization founded by two Montgomery County high school students that reduces food waste and greenhouse gas emissions
  • A $600 donation to Brook Codes – an organization dedicated to providing accessibility to women and people of color who are otherwise overlooked in the tech industry 
  • A $300 donation for the Silver Spring Starbucks workers strike fund

MCYD has a grant program where we give out grants of $250, $500, or other amounts to support various projects aimed at helping communities, getting young people more engaged and active in political life, and assisting the less fortunate. We encourage applications, and for those interested in applying for an MCYD grant, the grant application form is here). 

First Quarter of 2022

In January 2022, we began the year by saying goodbye to our long-standing MCYD member and Treasurer Stephen Schiavone, who will be missed. In his place, we elected Saif Shamim (of Gaithersburg) as our new Treasurer, who has brought valuable experience working for the Maryland General Assembly and on a Congressional campaign in Maryland. 

In February 2022 we organized our annual Legislative Advocacy Day, urging Maryland Delegates and Senators to pass various bills we supported. Although they were virtual, we were able to have insightful meetings with legislators, and shared the legislative priorities that MCYD set out to advocate for this year including:

  • HB 8 – Paid family and medical Leave
  • HB 751 – Allowing graduate students at the University of Maryland to unionize 
  • SB 73 – Special elections to fill legislative vacancies 
  • SB 387 – Banning untraceable ghost guns-and 
  • HB 659 – Jaelynn’s Law – Child access prevention 
  • Cannabis legalization
  • Environmental protection and reducing climate change 
  • And many other priorities such as standards for teaching African-American history in schools and measures to reduce student loan debt 

In March, we began to meet candidates in the race for Maryland’s next Governor, including our new Lt. Governor-elect Aruna Miller. During our March meeting, we talked about the housing crisis with former MCYD President and renters’ rights advocate Will Roberts and Sarah Reddinger, Vice President of Community Development for Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland. 

Second Quarter of 2022

As the Maryland legislative session wrapped up, we received a brief summary of the legislative session. At our April meeting, we spoke with Maryland gubernatorial candidate John King about his run for office and his policy proposals. 

During the 2022 Democratic primary, we were happy to see members of our own team step up to take on positions in campaigns or run their own elections! MCYD members who ran for office included: 

  • MCYD Vice President Teresa Woorman who ran for the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC), and served as Campaign Manager for Marc Elrich
  • MCYD Communications Director Margie Delao who ran for MCDCC
  • MCYD Membership Director Keyna Anyiam who ran for MCDCC, and served as Senior Advisor with the Ashwani Jain for MD Governor campaign
  • MCYD Member Joe Vogel who won his race for Delegate in District 17! 

In May the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, depriving millions of access to safe and legal abortions. Understanding the harm this is causing to families and pregnant women and men, MCYD focused our May meeting on reproductive rights and the state of healthcare and patient advocacy (especially for minority groups and undocumented immigrants). Later in May, we held our 1st Annual Alumni Ice Cream Social at a local park in the streets of Silver Spring. We were excited to hear from our past members who have gone on to become elected officials, candidates, policy analysts, and civil rights champions since leaving MCYD. 

In an effort to keep voters informed, MCYD hosted a County Council at Large Candidate Forum in early June. Attendees answered questions about housing, the policing of recreational cannabis, affordability of higher education, public safety, abortion rights, and many other issues. 

Third Quarter of 2022

Once the 2022 Democratic primaries concluded in July, we celebrated by having a MCYD Happy Hour and by working to ensure that Democrats united behind the victorious candidates throughout the county and state. We were also immensely pleased by President Joe Biden’s announcement of $10,000 in student debt cancellation, and circulated information to our communities so people could take advantage of this opportunity. 

In September MCYD held our 17th Annual Paint the County Blue fundraiser, generously hosted by Councilmember Gabe Albornoz. The event was a success as we raised over $6,000! We are so thankful for the continued support of our community and donors. We will use the money to keep funding our advocacy efforts and initiatives to engage and retain young Democratic voters, as well as supporting non-partisan groups who work to help Montgomery County be a better place for its residents. 

Final Months of 2022

In October we focused on Get out the Vote efforts! MCYD members went all over Maryland to stomp the pavements and knock on doors in support of the Maryland Democratic party. Members traveled to Frederick, Ellicott City, Glen Burnie, and Lexington Park. Along with phonebanking, our club was busy ensuring that MD voted #AllBlueIn22!

On Election Day, we were not disappointed. We witnessed Maryland make history and  elected our first Black Governor in Wes Moore and our first Asian Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller. MCYD looks forward to working with the Moore-Miller administration over the next four years. Our November meeting focused on mental health assistance, the need for additional funding and resources, and what young people should know about this topic. 

Finally, in December we held our end of the year Holiday Party, graciously hosted by Eden Durbin in Kensington. MCYD members relaxed, caught up with one another, and celebrated an excellent year of education, organizing, and political advocacy. 

We look forward to building on our successes and accomplishing even more this year!