Women's Legislative Briefing 2023

Join us on January 29, 2023 for
Montgomery County Commission for Women’s
 43 rd Annual
VIRTUAL Women’s Legislative Briefing

The Women’s Legislative Briefing (WLB) is the premier and longest-standing women’s legislative event in the state of Maryland. It is coordinated by the Montgomery County Commission for Women and brings together advocates, policy makers, and emerging leaders to empower, engage, and mobilize Marylanders around issues affecting women and girls throughout the state. 

WLB 2023 Overview

  • This is the 43 rd  anniversary of the Women’s Legislative Briefing
  • 2023 WLB Theme: Empowered Women Protect Democracy
  • Date: January 29, 2023
  • Place: Virtual!
  • Cost: $23 until January 27, $30 thereafter/students are $5
    Purchase your ticket today!
  • ​Time: 12:30-5:00pm
  • Sponsorships: Sponsorship information

Schedule (Subject to Change)

  • 12:30pm
    Virtual Conference Opens 
  • 1:00pm-1:55pm
    Plenary Panel Title: Women Who Empower Through Advocacy

    This amazing panel will consist of women who lead organizations that help women and girls become more empowered through education, advocacy, programming and other dynamic means.  Their national viewpoints will provide a unique perspective of empowerment needs in different parts of the United States and how advocacy is vital to making change and could open career opportunities, as well. 

    Moderator: Adrianna Hopkins, ABC 7 Newscast

    Panelists:

    Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO League of Women Voters
    DeAnna Hoskins, President and CEO, JustLeadershipUSA, Inc
    Susan Jin Davis, Social Impact Officer, Al Roker Entertainment
  • 2:00pm-2:55pm 
    Empowerment Through Health 

    Health advocacy is a topic that is foremost on our minds lately.  Join this panel for a unique and powerful discussion on women and health that will include, but not be limited to, the cost of prescriptions drugs, reproductive health, and the current initiatives of AARP.

    Moderator: Dr. Kisha Davis, Health Officer, Montgomery County Government

    Panelists:

    Lola Fashoyin-Aje, MD, MPH
    Robin Elliott, Public Policy Partners
    Tammy Bresnahan, Senior Director of Advocacy, AARP Maryland 
  • 2:00pm-2:55pm
    Empowerment Through Safety

    The prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking are critical to the safety of women and their families.  Learn about and be inspired by the dynamic efforts non-profit organizations are working on for the 2023 legislative session.

    Moderator:  Debbie Feinstein, Chief, Special Victims' Division, Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office 

    Panelists:

    Lisae C. Jordan, Esq. – Executive Director & Counsel, Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
    Melanie Shapiro, Public Policy Director, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
    Amanda K. Rodriguez, Esq ., Executive Director, TurnAround, Inc.
  • 3:00pm-3:55pm 
    Empowerment Through Economic Justice

    Economic empowerment for women takes numerous forms, including starting one’s own business, ensuring equal pay, and housing accessibility and affordability across counties and the state. This panel will discuss these topics and more!

    Moderator: Margie Kotzalas, President, Business and Professional Women of Maryland

    Panelists:

    Carmen Larsen, President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County
    Venus Hemachandra, owner of Herbiculture
    Chelsea Andrews, Executive Director, Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County
  • 3:00pm-3:55pm 
    Empowerment Through Education

    Education is essential in order to succeed! These three panelists will share their perspectives on education in Montgomery County and how new Americans are learning how to navigate in their new country.

    Moderator: Dr. Jermaine F. Williams, President, Montgomery College

    Panelists:

    Brenda Wolff, Montgomery County Board of Education
    Arvin Kim, Student Member, Montgomery County Board of Education
    Gabriel Martinez Cabrera, Executive Director, Montgomery County Literacy Council
  • 4:00pm-5:00pm
    Network Session

    Participants will break out into networking sessions based on the topics discussed throughout the day

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders sessions will run concurrently with the adult sessions.

The Emerging Leaders track will run concurrently with the Women’s Legislative Briefing and is open to students in grades 6-12.  Tickets are $5 for all students. Students may earn up to 3 student service learning hours.

Panelists:

  • 12:30pm:  Welcome and Introductions
  • 12:30pm-1:00pm Panel Introduction and Session Instructions
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm Panel Discussion One: Feeling Safe Everywhere: Home, School, Community

    Learn strategies to navigate risky or harmful situations at home, in school and elsewhere. Learn how to stand up for the safety of yourself and others.

    Moderator:  Samuel Desai, Chair, Maryland Youth Advisory Council
    Evan Glass, President, Montgomery County Council
    Nneka Grimes, Operations Manager, Peace for DC+DC Peace Academy
    Jessica Nicholson, Director Academy and Community Relations, Phoenix Recovery Academy
    Toriano Cross, Team Leader Street Outreach Network, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
    Dr. Denise Strothers,  Director of Training with Healing Communities
    Sami Saeed,  Junior and Student Government President, Richard Montgomery High School

     

    Panelists:

  • 2:00pm-2:45pm Breakout Session #1:
    High School Facilitator:          Sami Saeed, Junior and Student Government President, Richard Montgomery High School
    Middle School Facilitators:    Zoë Hodge, Freshman, Governor Thomas Johnson High School
                                                         Trinity Turner, Sophomore, Clarksburg High School

  • 2:45pm- 3:00pm Fun Break!

  • 3:00pm- 4:00pm Panel Discussion #2:

    How to Express My Mental Health

    Learn how to find the words to talk about your mental wellness, and to make space for yourself and others wherever you are. Learn how to advocate for your mental health.

    London Turner , Clarksburg High School
    Robin Riley, Director, Montgomery County Recreation Department
    Tiffani Smithson, LCSW-C, LICSW/Lead Clinician and Founder, Embraced Strength Therapy Services
    Jessica Nicholson, Director Academy and Community Relations, Phoenix Recovery Academy
    Stephanie Rosen, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Montgomery County
    Morgan Welch, LGPC, Aspen Grove Wellness
  • 4:00pm-4:45pm Breakout Session
    High School Facilitator:          Sami Saeed, Junior and Student Government President, Richard Montgomery High School
    Middle School Facilitators:     Zoe Hodge, Freshman, Governor Thomas Johnson High School
    Trinity Turner, Sophomore, Clarksburg High School

  • 4:45pm-5:00pm Closing Remarks and Survey Instructions

WLB Resources

History and Purpose:

The Montgomery County Commission for Women organized the first Women’s Legislative Briefing in January 1980, co-sponsored by 12 community and women’s organizations. Except for 1982, the briefing has been presented annually. The number of co-sponsoring organizations has grown dramatically with over 65 co-sponsors. The number of participants has also increased significantly, more than tripling from approximately 200 in 1981 to more than 750 in 2019. The WLB was held virtually in 2020 for the first time in accordance with CDC guidelines due to the Pandemic.

The purpose of the briefing is to provide information on legislative issues of concern to women and families, including bills that will be introduced in the upcoming sessions of the Maryland General Assembly and U.S. Congress.  Local and state officials are invited to attend the briefing.

To emphasize the role of women as key to policymakers, keynote speakers in the past have included:

Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States
Joanne Bamberger, Author, How Women & Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America
Dr. Bernice Sandler, Author of Title IX legislation
Sara Manzano-Diaz, Director, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
Lilly Ledbetter, Pay Equity Advocate
Dorothy Height, Founder and President Emeritus, National Council of Negro Women
Donna Brazile, Founder and Managing Director, Brazile and Associates, LLC
Eleanor Smeal, Founder and President, The Feminist Majority and Past National President of NOW
Karen Nussbaum, Director, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
Shinae Chun, Director, Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
The Honorable Donna Edwards, U.S. House of Representatives
Irene Natividad, President, Global Summit for Women
Susan Wood, Ph.D., Former Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health, U.S. FDA
Cokie Roberts, Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio, Political Commentator, ABC-News
Dr. Jane Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Business & Professional Women, USA
Ellen Malcolm, President of EMILY’s List
Lynne Battaglia, U.S. Attorney for District of Maryland
Patricia Blau Reuss, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund
Anita Perez Ferguson, President, National Women’s Political Caucus
Carmen Delgado Votaw, Washington Representative for Girl Scouts of the USA
The Honorable Constance Morella, U.S. House of Representatives
M ónica Ramirez, Founder, Justice for Migrant Women

What is the Montgomery County Commission for Women?

The Montgomery County Commission for Women (CFW), formed in 1972 through county law, is charged with the responsibility of advising the public, the County Executive, the County Council, and county agencies, state and federal government on issues of concern to women.  The CFW consists of a 15-member board of commissioners appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. Commissioners serve three-year terms without compensation. 

The mission of the Commission for Women is to advance women’s equal and full participation in the benefits, responsibilities, and opportunities of society, and to enable women to participate as equals in the community through the acquisition of skills and competencies, information and resources.  The Commission’s primary responsibility is to identify inequities in laws, policies, practices and procedures, and to recommend and promote remedies.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Become a sponsor today! Sponsorship information

About the Women's Legislative Briefing (WLB or Briefing):

The WLB is the premier and longest-standing women's legislative event in the state of Maryland. It is an annual event and regularly features nationally recognized speakers and prominent legislators, policymakers, and activists from the country's most preeminent national women's organizations.

The purpose of the WLB is to inform Maryland residents about legislative proposals that are before the Maryland General Assembly and the U.S. Congress that address issues of specific concern to women. Briefings traditionally cover topics such as:

  • health issues including, health care reform;
  • older women's issues including, eldercare, pension, and Social Security reform;
  • labor issues including flexible work hours, paid leave, pregnancy fairness, fair pay, and custody;
  • immigrant women's concerns;
  • women and poverty;
  • trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and family law;
  • effective advocacy; and
  • successful strategies for increasing the number of women in elected and appointed offices. 

The program also includes civic leadership seminars for students in grades 6-12.

The Briefing, led by the Montgomery County Commission for Women, is co-sponsored by more than 70 women's and community organizations each year and is attended by more than 700 individuals. Co-sponsoring community organizations are required to be either non-profit or public agencies. In addition to being a sponsor, these organizations share many volunteer hours in the planning and execution of the program. Their representatives meet monthly as a planning committee to decide the content and format of the program. The planning committee makes recommendations regarding the session topics, panelists, speakers, and logistics, with the final decisions being made by the Montgomery County Commission for Women.

As with our previous events, the 2023 WLB will begin with an opening plenary session to include welcoming remarks from various county executives and other elected officials. The program consists of sessions on topics of concern to women.

This important event is made possible each year by generous financial support from its corporate and non-profit sponsors, Friends of the WLB, and community co-sponsors.

There are several levels of sponsorship available, which are outlined on the following pages. We welcome the opportunity to have your organization partner with us to make the 2023 Women's Legislative Briefing the best!

2023 Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

Emerald Sponsorship: $5,000

  • Name and logo on all event publicity prior to and up to the event (This will all be online and must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022) 
  • Company video shared during the opening plenary session (video to be provided by sponsor) 
  • Name and logo prominently featured at the beginning of the conference 
  • Complimentary attendance for 7 associates to attend the conference. Two associates may also attend the Chair’s Networking Reception. 

Topaz Sponsorship: $2,500

  • Name and logo on all event publicity prior to and up to the event (This will all be online and must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022) 
  • Company video shared during the opening plenary session (video to be provided by sponsor) 
  • Name and logo prominently featured at the beginning of the conference 
  • Complimentary attendance for 6 associates to attend the conference. Two associates may also attend the Chair’s Networking Reception. 

Amethyst Sponsorship: $1,000

  • Name and logo on all event publicity prior to and up to the event (This will all be online and must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022) 
  • Name and logo prominently featured at the beginning of the conference 
  • Complimentary attendance for 5 associates to attend the conference. Two associates may also attend the Chair’s Networking Reception. 
Pearl Sponsorship: $500
  • Name and logo on all event publicity prior to and up to the event (This will all be online and must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022) 
  • Name and logo prominently featured at the beginning of the conference
  • Complimentary attendance for 4 associates to attend the conference. Two associates may also attend the Chair’s Networking Reception. 

Opal Sponsorship: $250

  • Name and logo on all event publicity prior to and up to the event (This will all be online and must be received Saturday, December 31, 2022) 
  • Name and logo prominently featured at the beginning of the conference 
  • Complimentary attendance for 3 associates to attend the conference. Two associates may also attend the Chair’s Networking Reception.

2023 Community Co-Sponsorship Opportunities

Level 4 Community Co-Sponsor: $125

  • Co-sponsoring organization's name included on all online event publicity. Materials must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022. 
  • Opportunity for co-sponsors representative to participate on the WLB planning committee
  • Complimentary admission for four individuals: 
  • Inclusion of co-sponsoring organization in the 2023 WLB Networking Directory (form must be submitted by Saturday, December 31, 2022)
  • Complimentary admission for four individuals:
    • Three co-sponsor representatives to the WLB 
    • One admission for Co-sponsor’s President, Chair, or Designee to Chair’s Networking Session and the WLB 

Level 3 Community Co-Sponsor and Friend of the WLB: $100

  • Co-sponsoring organization's name included on all online event publicity. Materials must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022. 
  • Opportunity for co-sponsors representative to participate on the WLB planning committee
  • Complimentary admission for three individuals:
    • Two co-sponsor representatives to the WLB 
    • One admission for Co-sponsor’s President, Chair, or Designee to Chair’s Networking Session and the WLB 
  • Inclusion of Co-sponsoring organization in the 2023 WLB Networking Directory ( form must be submitted by Saturday, December 31, 2022)

Level 2 Community Co-Sponsor: $80

  • Co-sponsoring organization's name included on all online event publicity. Materials must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022. 
  • Opportunity for co-sponsors representative to participate on the WLB planning committee
  • Complimentary admission for two individuals:
    • One co-sponsor representatives to the WLB 
    • One admission for Co-sponsor’s President, Chair, or Designee to Chair’s Networking Session and the WLB 
  • Inclusion of Co-sponsoring organization in the 2023 WLB Networking Directory ( form must be submitted by Saturday, December 31, 2022)

Level 1 Community Co-Sponsor: $65

  • Co-sponsoring organization's name included on all online event publicity. Materials must be received by Saturday, December 31, 2022. 
  • Includes one complimentary WLB admission 
  • Opportunity for co-sponsors representative to participate on the WLB planning committee
  • Inclusion of Co-sponsoring organization in the 2023 WLB Networking Directory ( form must be submitted by Saturday, December 31, 2022)

Chair’s Networking Reception

The Chair’s Networking Reception will be IN PERSON on January 28, 2023, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.in the Ellsworth Room at the Silver Spring Civic Center.  The reception is by invitation only. Participants will receive information from the Commission for Women’s Chair.