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Guest Post: Help Spread the Truth about the Maryland DREAM Act

The following post was written by MCYD member Javel “Jay” Wilson, who is serving as the Issue Committee’s liaison to the state-wide Educating Maryland Kids:

How would you feel if after graduating high school you were not able to fulfill your college dreams and have a chance to embark upon a career doing something you love? Most of us would probably feel awful! Unfortunately many graduating Maryland high school students experience this discouraging feeling because current laws make achieving their educational dreams almost unattainable. This current situation is unacceptable and needs to be changed. It not only affects our Maryland high school students but the whole state.

Based on the lack of fairness in the current laws, I have decided to ensure that all Maryland kids have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams of higher education by advocating for the Maryland DREAM Act. Each student that I have met whose life is affected by the Maryland DREAM Act increases my motivation to make sure this important legislation passes the ballot referendum this November.

To better prepare myself in advocating for the Maryland DREAM Act, I recently attended Maryland DREAM Ambassador Training given by the non-partisan alliance Action in Montgomery. This training helped prepare me for dealing with many of the misconceptions and oppositions that people have regarding Maryland Dream Act.  The training has further increased my motivation and desire to make a difference in ensuring that all Maryland Kids have equal opportunities.

We must collectively take action and ensure The Maryland DREAM Act passes this November! The Maryland DREAM Act provides equitable educational opportunities to all Maryland students.  It helps make needed change and provides increased educational opportunities that may not have otherwise been unattainable.

We need your help to spread the truth and facts about the Maryland DREAM Act, who it affects and why it is good for Maryland.

MCYD Members please sign up to be a DREAM Ambassador at today and help make a change!

Javel “Jay” Wilson

May’s Report from the President

President’s Report
Thursday, May 24th

Legal Status:

  • We’ve completed the first checkpoint to becoming a legal organization. We are now officially registered with the IRS and the State of Maryland, have an official seal and can set up an associated bank account.


  •  Funds raised: $300 from Aisha Satterwhite, $250 from Ben Kramer, $250 from Nancy Floreen, Sheila Hixson $250
  • Coupled with other donations and membership dues, we have raised over $1,000 this month and are now at $1,225.49


  • 73 confirmed members as of 5/24/2012
  • +10 new paid members this month going into our Obama membership promotion

Names of New Dues-Paying Members:

  • Scott Goldberg (Renewal)
  • Andrew Goodwin
  • Aaron Kaufman
  • Ben Goldstein Smith
  • Ben Feshbach
  • Kate Planco
  • Jay Wilson
  • Laurie Anne Sayles
  • Jorge Vargas
  • Christopher Austin

Other positives:

  • We released a full-page statement on Obama’s marriage equality announcement (beating HRC + the Governor’s office), which was picked up by Maryland Juice and Patch
  • Members Max Etin, Laurie Anne Sayles & Matt Nisenoff attended a day-long Congressional Tour and met with Congress Members Sarbanes, Cummings and Ruppersberger
  • Members Valeria Carranza, Aisha Satterwhite, Dave Kunes and Nik Sushka were invited to an HRC Marriage Equality Celebration with WA Governor Chris Gregoire and MD Governor Martin O’Malley
  • Members attended with Cong. Sarbanes the Maryland Democratic Party Gala for free
  • Members attended the Young Democrats of Maryland fundraiser
  • The Issues Committee hosted an outing attended by members Barbara Henderson, Evan Greenfield, Katie Mullen, Dave Kunes, and Nik Sushka to the NARAL film and panel discussion “12th & Delaware”



Want to get more involved? Help MCYD make a difference!

Four important updates for our issue areas!

1. Marylanders for Marriage Equality urgently needs donations/loans for its Baltimore and Silver Spring offices. Email David Turley ASAP: and share a picture with us of your donation!

  • -Tables
  • -Chairs
  • -Desks
  • -Phones
  • -Computers
  • -Refrigerators
  • -Trash cans
  • -Printers
  • -Photocopiers
  • -Extension Cords
  • -Power Strips

2. Educating MD Kids (the DREAM Act coalition) will be conducting trainings for volunteers able to present their message to organizations of likely voters (PTAs, democratic clubs, etc…). Attend the May 24th Membership Meeting to learn more.

3. Montgomery Women do a First Friday Power Breakfast the 1st Friday of every month. Attend June 1st’s and meet other emerging and existing leaders in the county.

4. Get out the Youth Vote:
Know anyone coming home for the summer? Remind them to register for an absentee ballot! Want to actually register voters yourself? You need to get certified!

DaveLarryYDMConvention2012 with Obama Signs
Help MCYD get out the vote!
MCYD with Fred Evans at Delaney Victory Party

MCYD Looks to Turn the 6th Blue in November

Members of the Montgomery County Young Democrats (and Board of Election Primary Winner Fred Evans) attended John Delaney’s victory party in Potomac, MC Tuesday evening after polls showed he had clearly captured the Democratic vote in the district. The tough primary contest between MD State Senator Rob Garagiola, Jefferson Physician Milad Pooran, and John Delaney came to a close–with all of the candidates agreeing to come together for one goal: turning the 6th blue in November.

MCYD will be analyzing the primary results at our April membership meeting with special guests. RSVP for the April 24th membership meeting–and support the Montgomery County Young Dems!

D14's Delegate Anne Kaiser celebrates Civil Marriage passage

Maryland House of Delegates Passes Marriage Equality 72-67

D14's Delegate Anne Kaiser celebrates Civil Marriage passage
D14's Delegate Anne Kaiser celebrates Civil Marriage passage

Last night in Annapolis, history was made. And the Montgomery County Young Dems helped make it happen.

For months, Young Dems have been making phone calls all over the state, encouraging people to contact their electeds and vote for equal rights for GLBT Marylanders. We’ve been lobbying in Annapolis, and we campaigned to elect officials who were supporters in the first place.

It all paid off last night, when 70 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted to pass the Civil Marriage Protection Act HB 438. The bill moves now to the Senate, where it is fully expected to pass on to Governor O’Malley, a vocal and active supporter.

The MCYD are especially happy for the 8 openly gay delegates and senator who will now be able to have their relationships officially recognized in the state of Maryland, if they wish, including Montgomery County’s own Bonnie Cullison, Anne Kaiser, Rich Madaleno, and Heather Mizeur.

The fight isn’t over: there will almost certainly be a referendum in November. Young Dems can play a crucial role in helping register our peers to vote and get them out for early voting and on November 6th.

Making phone calls for Marriage Equality
Montgomery County Young Dems weekly phone banks helped pass the historic vote


Meet the 2012-2014 Executive Board

The Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) elected a new executive board on Tuesday as the organization intensifies its work to elect progressive Democrats across the state in 2012. The newly-elected officers – President Dave Kunes, Executive Vice President Laurie-Anne Sayles, Director of Communications Abraham Saffer, Director of Programming John-Ubong Silas, Director of Membership Chris Bradbury, Director of Finance Chris Coppola, and Secretary Nik Sushka– represent the diversity of Montgomery County’s youth.

The new executive board ran on a five-point plan of making MCYD more transparent, intentional, effective, inclusive, and empowering. “One of our biggest challenges during our next two years will be to create a model organization that truly reflects and represents the active, passionate, and hard-working community of young Democrats here in Montgomery County,” said newly elected President Dave Kunes. “Montgomery County needs to do its part to activate new voters to help address the steep dropoff in young registered Democrats the state has seen since June of 2010. The executive board and membership are dedicated to work tirelessly with all the past, current, and future members of MCYD to ensure that we are heard.”

Montgomery County Young Democrats holds monthly membership meetings. For media inquiries, contact Director of Communications Abe Saffer at



News: Young Dems Celebrate End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the US’s policy on gays serving in the military, officially ended at midnight on Sept. 20, and to celebrate the Montgomery County Young Democrats hosted a happy hour in Gaithersburg.

“Fifteen thousand service members have been discharged because of their sexual orientation,” said Barbara Henderson, president of the County chapter of the Young Democrats.

“Before [President Bill] Clinton, it wasn’t illegal to be gay in the military,” she added, saying that many of the Democrats she knew were “flabbergasted” by the policy.

The party, at Dogfish Head Alehouse, marked the end of a nationwide struggle by gay rights advocacy groups to repeal the policy. Locally, some of the MCYD members sent letters to the President and Congress lobbying for a repeal of the law.

The law, enacted on Dec. 21, 1993, barred gay, lesbian or bisexual people from serving openly in the military. If a soldier disclosed that they were gay while serving, they would be discharged.

The happy hour was sponsored by the LGBT caucus of the Young Democrats of Maryland and the Service members Legal Defence Network. Donations were collected to raise funds for Soldiers’ Angels

Henderson said that although the fight against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may be over, there is still plenty of work to be done to bring about true equality.

“Nationally, we’re taking the fight to the Defence of Marriage Act,” she said. That act, also enacted by President Clinton, defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman.

“And right here in Maryland, we’re in the fight for marriage equality,” she said.

Written by Nathan Carrick of the Gaithersburg Patch.