No one can accuse Delegate Joan Cadden, D-Brooklyn Park, of not doing her part to bolster the ranks of active Democratic women.
Each member of the new Democratic Women of Anne Arundel County was asked tobring another woman with her to the group's first full-scale meetingWednesday night. Cadden brought six: her three daughters, two sisters and her mother.
Nearly 100 women from all over the county attended the dinner meeting, held at Kaufmann's Tavern in Gambrills -- which Cadden and co-host Delegate Marsha Perry, D-Crofton, called a sign that Democratic women are eager to take a more active, visible role in the community.
Wednesday's meeting attracted an assortment of women from across the professional spectrum: Planned Parenthood lobbyist Pat Clagett; County Council aides Sylvia Jennings, Mary Baldridge, Sharon Chewning and Beth Slikker; Anne Marie Remillard, director of the O'Malley Senior Center; former County Council candidate Linda Gilligan; and South County activist Kate Fayle.
"We certainly don't all think alike, but that's the wonderful thing about being a Democrat," Perry said.
The group, which Perry said is the only organization for Democratic women in Anne Arundel, is not designed "to get somebody elected to something." Unlike many Republican women's clubs, which register voters and campaign for GOP candidates, this group will focus on issues, such as child care, family problems, the economy and education, she said.
"We'd like to create a network among women who are active in avariety of fields and who happen to be Democrats," Perry said.
The club is assembling a speaker's bureau of female Democrats in a varietyof professions who can present their perspectives to county clubs, associations and schools.
Nancy Kopp of Montgomery County, speaker pro tem of the House of Delegates, and Baltimore city Delegate Anne Perkins, chairwoman of the House Constitutional and Administrative LawCommittee, addressed the group Wednesday night.
"I'm sorry, but Idon't think you all have a long gestation period to become active," Kopp said. "Things are moving along too quickly."
Democratic voterregistration has dropped by nearly 10,000, to 97,434, since 1989.
Cadden said she hoped the Democratic women's club and a new group for young Democrats can help counter that trend around.