FDTC Minutes of May 15, 2016

Framingham Democratic Town Committee

Framingham Green 136 Maynard Road, Framingham, MA 01701

Minutes – Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 7 PM 

Call to Order: Chairman Beverly Hugo called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM and thanked Parwez Wahid and Norma Shulman, DSC members who gave a preconvention review for delegates attending the state convention for the first time.

–       Welcome back to Betty Muto who is recovering from an orthopedic injury

–       Welcome again to long time former member Rosalie Cotton

–       – Charity for tonight is “Hoops & Homework”.  Herb Chasan described the program and its         needs for school supplies (chairs, puzzles, snack foods) and thanked FDTC members for their support & donations.

1. Attendance: Members: Elsa Aviza, Lori Bornstein, Chris Broyles, Jeanne Bullock, Carmen Chico, Jack Duffy, Jeanne Eversley, Linda Fields, Beverly Hugo, Mike Hugo, Shahid Khan, Barbara LeDuc, Jack Lewis, Chris Lorant, Tom Mahoney, Kathie McCarthy, Stephanie Mercandetti, Joan Rastani, Cindy Rubin, Margareth Shepard, Norma Shulman, Jim Stockless, Parwez Wahid, Mel Warshaw. Lifetime Members: Betty Muto.  Associate Members: Cynthia Villanueva. Guests: Nick Bokron, Herb Chasan, Rosalie Cotton, Jim DeSimone, Tania Jaime, Ohad Klopman, Rachel Quinn, Sheri Thomas.

2. 4-3-2016 Minutes: Secretary Barbara LeDuc                               Approved unanimously

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

A total income of $115.32 and expenses of $97.98 increased the 4-3-16 balance of $3907.39 to $3925.05. 

4.  Announcements:

·         Larry Stoodt spoke about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Zone. The proposed agreement is much like the NAFTA, will cost American Jobs, and exposes US businesses to a substantial risk of lawsuits.  It is currently under consideration by the US Congress, and is opposed by Sens. Warren and Markey and endorsed by President Obama.  Larry wants the FDTC to consider supporting a resolution to oppose the TPP at our next meeting on June 5.  A draft of the resolution is attached to these minutes. (For members interested in further information, Larry can be reached at schlangeme@rcn.com or 508-877-3838.)

·         Candidate Statements:

Jack P. Lewis is a candidate for State Representative for the 7th Middlesex District, to replace Tom Sannicandro who is not running for re-election.

– Jack announced he has been endorsed by Mass Alliance (www.massalliance.org)

– He will speak at a Candidate Forum held by the Advocates, Inc. on 5/24.

– Jack introduced his new campaign manager, Rachel Quinn (rachel@electjacklewis.com).

·         AAPI month
Parwez Wahid noted that May is Asian American Pacific Islander month. In 1978, President Carter signed a Resolution denoting May as the recognition month for two historic events: in May 1843, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the US, and in May 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, largely by Chinese immigrants.  

·         Nick Bokron (nbokron@gmail.com) spoke on behalf of PassMassAmendment.org.  The FDTC is a sponsor of the Amendment, and our legislators supported it.  The amendment was defeated in committee for this year, purportedly at Chairman DeLeo’s urging, and so renewed efforts to pass it next year will begin after July.

5.  Program & Discussion: Lifting of the Charter School Cap

            Tania Jaime (tania.jaime@yahoo.com), a field organizer for Save Our Public Schools, spoke on the Governor’s proposal to remove the cap on the number of charter schools in MA.  At present, charter schools serve approximately 3% of MA students, but absorb 6% of school funding. Cities and towns lose state Chapter 70 funds for transferred students, and must increase property taxes to compensate. Last year Framingham had a $600,000 shortfall in Charter school reimbursements, and another charter school for Framingham is planned.  Save Our Public Schools MA seeks to maintain the cap on charter school numbers.  FDTC members held a vigorous discussion on the merits of charter schools and requested to hear more about the benefits of charter schools in the future; some are excellent.  Other members feel the state should compensate the cities and towns for the full costs, or at least acknowledge the true losses.

(see www.saveourpublicschoolsma.com for further information).

6.  Announcement of a vacancy on the FDTC:

            Lloyd Kaye has resigned from the FDTC due to personal time issues. An election to fill the vacant seat will be held on 6-5-2016. Please convey this message to any qualified candidates interested in running for the seat.  For further information, contact Bev Hugo, Chair (bev.hugo@rcn.com). 

7. Updating the By-Laws: Discussion was led by Mike Hugo, Chair of the By-Laws Subcommittee.

            There were 24 voting members of the FDTC present. (A quorum is 9.)  A meeting of the By-Laws subcommittee was held earlier today and some changes to the proposed text were developed.  Possible updates were divided into two categories: “Consent” changes vs. “Discussion (possibly controversial)” changes.  Regarding the “Consent” updates, “Sense of the Committee” votes were taken on several Articles, which were passed unanimously, with the exception of Article 3, Section 3: Vice Chair duties, which had one vote opposed.  (A copy of the most recent draft of the proposed By-laws is attached to these minutes. Approved Articles appear in black; Articles remaining to be discussed in June are in red.)

            Discussion began on the potentially controversial (“Discussion”) updates: Article 1 (Purpose of the FDTC), Article 2 (re: Youth membership, which does not appear in the current draft), Article 3, Section 7 (Composition of the Executive Subcommittee), and Article 4, Section 1 (Annual vs. Organizational Meetings). In addition, an FDTC voting member proposed that we codify the existence & composition of the Nominating Subcommittee; this does not yet appear in the attached draft.  These items will be further discussed and voted on at the June 5 meeting, and, if the entire document is approved, then sent to all FDTC voting members.  The final approval vote, required to be taken after a minimum of 30 days after distribution, will be taken in September.

8. Funds for the General Election:

Parwez Wahid asked that we discuss appropriating funds at our June meeting. In addition to the approximately $400 remaining from the DSC meeting funds, we may need to disperse another $500.  Norma Shulman noted that our needs may be substantial, since the Route 9 office will not be available this year.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the State Democratic Convention              on June 4 in Lowell.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:13 PM.

Respectfully submitted by Barbara LeDuc, Secretary

The charity for our next meeting is the Boys & Girls Club of Framingham which provides summer programs for disadvantaged youth.  Jim Stockless has contacted them to determine their needs.  Their wish list is at http://www.bgcmetrowest.org/ways-to-give/wish-list/   or a few representative items are cold packs, bandages, sun screen

(spf 30), pens & pencils, plastic bags, plastic silverware, plastic cups, freeze pops, & various art supplies (see list).