FDTC Minutes of June 5, 2016

Framingham Democratic Town Committee

Heritage at Framingham 747 Water St. Framingham, MA 01701

Minutes – Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 6 PM

Call to Order: Chair Beverly Hugo called the meeting to order at 6:02 PM.

Beverly thanked everyone who attended Lowell State convention yesterday and congratulated Stephanie Mercandetti, Joan Rastani & Audrey Hall for their photo in The Boston Globe.

1. Attendance: Members: Elsa Aviza, Chris Broyles, Jeanne Bullock, Carmen Chico, Jack Duffy, Maureen Dunne, Patrick Dunne, Beverly Hugo, Mike Hugo, Steve Joyce, Barbara LeDuc, Jack Lewis, Chris Lorant, Kathie McCarthy, Stephanie Mercandetti, Joan Rastani, Margareth Shepard, Norma Shulman, Jim Stockless, Parwez Wahid, Mel Warshaw. Lifetime Members: none.  Associate Members: Barbara Fontes, Ann Jeffris, Cynthia Villanueva. Guests: Harry Breault, Preston Crow, Ohad Klopman, Anne Manning, Rachel Quinn, David Rosenblum, Rob Scherer, Larry Stoodt.

2. 5-15-2016 Minutes: Secretary Barbara LeDuc                              Approved unanimously

3. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Margareth Shepard                        Approved unanimously

A total income of $35.00 and zero expenses increased the 5-15-16 balance of $3925.05 to $3960.05.

4. Election of new member: To fill the previously announced vacancy, Cynthia Villanueva was nominated for membership by Mike Hugo (seconded by Mel Warshaw). On a voice vote, Cynthia was elected unanimously.

5.  Vote on Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Zone Resolution:

Larry Stoodt, who had introduced the Resolution at last month’s meeting, and Doug Stephan, owner of Eastleigh Farm, spoke to clarify the role agri-businesses such as Monsanto and DuPont played in writing this federal legislation. The trade pact would be similar to NAFTA, and would further expose US businesses to international lawsuits. Norma Shulman suggested a friendly amendment to add the President of the U.S. to the list of elected officials to be notified that the FDTC had passed this proposed resolution. A copy of the resolution is attached below.  The amendment passed. Next, Norma Shulman made a motion (Kathie McCarthy second) to pass the Resolution urging our Senators and Representatives in Congress to vote against the TPP.  The Resolution, as amended, passed on a vote of 18-0-2.

6. Announcements:

•           BBQ Preparations:  The date for our BBQ is still undetermined, but volunteers for the BBQ Subcommittee were: Jim Stockless, Mel Warshaw, Norma Shulman, Joan Rastani, Parwez Wahid, Barbara LeDuc, Margareth Shepard, Chris Lorant and Mike and Bev Hugo.  Jeanne Bullock will be the convener.

•           Concerts on the Common will begin June 17th, and Norma needs volunteers for setup, take down, and assisting with voter registration. Jim Stockless, Ohad Klopman and Mike & Barbara LeDuc have signed up for shifts. More are needed.

•           The Coordinated Campaign will probably be unable to procure free space for an office this year.

7.  By-laws Discussion: After prolonged discussion, it was decided that the present discussion by the full FDTC should be tabled until our September 18 meeting.  In the meantime, the Bylaws Subcommittee will reconvene and resolve the few remaining issues, some involving co-ordination with the State Democratic Party charter, and be ready to present the completed document to the full FDTC on September 18.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:47 PM.

Respectfully submitted by Barbara LeDuc, Secretary

The charity for our September meeting will again be the Boys & Girls Club of Framingham. They will need back-to-school items, board games and art supplies. Their wish list is at http://www.bgcmetrowest.org/ways-to-give/wish-list/  


Candidate Forum

From 7 to 9 PM following the business meeting, we held a Forum for candidates for the office of State Representative for the 7th Middlesex District. The 7th Middlesex District is comprised of Ashland plus Framingham precincts 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18.) The forum was cosponsored by the Framingham and Ashland Democratic Town Committees (Makeda Keegan & David Rosenblum, Ashland DTC co-chairs, were present).

Rick Holmes, the Opinions Editor, Metrowest Daily News, served as Moderator; Francesca Cerutti-Harris and Phil Reimann from Access Framingham Cable TV directed filming. The event will be broadcast to Framingham and Ashland residents at a time to be announced.

The candidates were:

·         Jack P. Lewis of Framingham

·         Phil Jack of Ashland

·         Brett Walker of Ashland

Candidates were permitted a three minute opening statement, two minutes to answer each of the questions posed by Rick Holmes, and a three minute closing statement.

The topics of questions presented by Mr. Holmes were: Immigration issues (e.g. In-state tuition for undocumented students, driver’s licenses for undocumented residents, and police cooperation with ICE), the Charter School cap, raising the minimum wage to $15 / hr, agreement with Common Core standards, recreational marijuana legalization, the opioid crisis, transportation priorities, income inequality, dealing with the State House Speaker’s Office and the attendant frustrations.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Zone

Whereas:            U.S. trade deals over the last 25 years have been corporate-driven, incorporating rules that skew benefits to economic elites while requiring working families to bear the brunt of such policies; and

Whereas:            The growing trade deficits, driven by the North American Free Trade Agreement, China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, and the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement, have displaced 700,000 jobs, 3.2 million jobs, and 75,000 jobs respectively, and

Whereas:            U.S. employment in manufacturing dropped by 5 million jobs from 2000 to 2015, jobs lost due to trade devastate families and entire communities, and this can permanently reduce lifetime earnings for hundreds of thousands of workers, and

Whereas:            The long decline of the American manufacturing base-exacerbated by bad trade policies that reward outsourcing-has undermined our economic security and poses a threat to our national security; and

Whereas:            The offshoring of manufacturing and service jobs deprives local and state governments of sorely needed revenues, jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of public servants as well as construction workers whose jobs depend upon infrastructure building, repair, and maintenance, and

Whereas:            Under NAFTA-style trade rules, the U.S. annual trade deficit has increased dramatically from $70 billion in 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, to more than $508 billion in 2014, and

Whereas:            The disproportionate voice of powerful global corporations in the formation of U.S. ”free trade” agreements has advanced an agenda that undermines the public interest  and threatens democracy; and

Whereas:            NAFTA and all but two of the U.S. trade deals that followed it include special legal rights for foreign investors, known as “investor-to state dispute settlement” (or ISDS), that allow foreign firms to bypass state and federal courts to challenge state and federal laws, regulations, and administrative and judicial decisions in international tribunals; and

Whereas:            Foreign investors already have used NAFTA’s ISDS provisions to challenge decisions regarding local building permits, environmental regulations, state bans on toxic chemicals and decisions of state courts; and

Whereas:            Climate change and environmental degradation threaten communities across the globe, and ISDS provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may expose enacting policies to fight climate change to ISDS cases that undermine these efforts, and

Whereas:            Promoting economic growth with equity in Massachusetts requires an approach that reforms the entire trade negotiation process to ensure that the voices of workers, farmers, small businesses, Families and communities are heard and their interests addressed; and

Whereas:            The TPP has not been negotiated in a transparent manner, effectively shutting state and local governments out of the process, limiting our ability to influence its rules to ensure the people in communities like Framingham can participate in the benefits of trade; and

Whereas:            Given the enactment of fast track trade negotiating authority, states, localities and their citizens will have no opportunity to correct shortcomings in the TPP since its text was not made public until it is final and can no longer be improved; and

Whereas:            Repeating old mistakes in negotiating new trade agreements such as the TPP represents a missed opportunity to strengthen our economy, reduce income inequality and promote sustainable growth; now therefore be it

Resolved:            The Democratic Town Committee of Framingham formally goes on record in calling upon our elected officials in the Massachusetts Legislature to support H3133, and the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose the TPP and similar trade deals if they fail to restructure the misguided and failed policies of the past; and be it

Resolve:               That the Secretary be hereby requested to forward suitably engrossed copies of this resolution to the Framingham delegation of the Massachusetts House and Senate, and to the Massachusetts Delegation to the United States Senate and the United States Congress and to the President of the United States on behalf of the Town of Framingham.