Minutes – April 5, 2020

Framingham Democratic Committee
April 5, 2020, 7:00p.m.

Meeting Attendees
Members: Mike Hugo, Beverly Hugo, Gwen Holbrow, Kurt Fusaris, Adam Freudberg, Barbara LeDuc, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Cheryl Tully Stoll, Chris Broyles, Dhruba Sen, Doug Lawrence, Maria Robinson, Mary Kate Feeney, Mel Warshaw, Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Robert Case, Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, Jack Patrick Lewis, Kathie McCarthy, Larry Stoodt, David Magnani, Jack Duffy, Carmen Chico, Jim Stockless, Margareth Shepard, John Stefanini, Lori Bornstein, Tom Mahoney, Caraline Levy, Patrick Dunne, Adam Steiner, Jim Hansen

Associate Members: Ohad Klopman, Andrew Machkasov, Chris Lorant, Vanessa Poindexter, Pam Roberts, Priscilla Sousa

Guests: Liam Horsman

– Welcome and Announcements-Beverly Hugo, Chair
We are meeting remotely due to COVID-19. The chair reviewed the meeting agenda. Thoughts and prayers with our members and associate members whose families are dealing with Covid-19. Welcome to newly elected FDC members. At the end of the meeting anyone who wants to be associate member please speak to the Chair.

Congrats to Patrick Dunne, Cheryl Tully Stoll, and Norma Shulman for achieving lifetime member status.Congrats to Parwez Wahid, Gloria Pascual, and Maria Robinson for being elected to MA Democratic State Committee. Please fill out your census forms as Framingham is currently at 45%.

– News from Capitol Hill and the State House – Federal and State Legislators in attendance. Rep. Maria Robinson and Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis presenting–
Rep. Lewis is co-chair of progressive caucus which are having daily check ins and pushing state executive branch to do more. Governor is 3-7 days behind what they are pushing. Both Reps are meeting with Mayor’s team on daily check ins for over a week now, as well as meeting with Senate President Spilka’s staff as well.

Focus is on trying to make antiquated state systems and processes updated to function in a fully virtual/electronic world. As mentioned earlier it’s a great time to fill out your census forms, we are in a friendly competition with Ashland and Leominster and losing currently.

Rep. Robinson – the legislature has passed a lot of legislation to help cities and towns function and to postpone town meetings. Governor signed legislation allowing restaurants to serve take out and wine and beer, not liquor. The pandemic is going to kill the state budget this year and we won’t know more until we are past this. We probably will not see a bare bones version of the updated budget until May. Pushing to keep Student

Opportunity Act going as essential part of the budget. State taxes are not due until Fed Taxes are due. If constituents need assistance getting unemployment or federal stimulus money both Rep Lewis and Robinson can put people in touch with the right contacts.

– City of Framingham Updates – Mayor Yvonne Spicer, City Council, School Committee
Mayor’s Office – no presentation

City Council –
Councilor John Stefanini – His neighborhood is doing neighborhood check in meetings, and it’s a good thing forothers across the city to conduct as well. Next City Council meetings is Tuesday night.
Councilor Adam Steiner – The City Council has transitioned to zoom meetings and we are continuing to tweak the process for better, increased public participation. The Finance subcommittee is looking at a challenge for the next fiscal year. Domestic Violence organizations have important resources if residents are in need of help.
Councilor Robert Case – The council is continuing the business of the city and accomplishing what needs to get done. The city has food resources online for anyone who may need assistance. If any resident can think of anything more that the city should be doing, please let us know.
Councilor Cesar Stewart-Morales – The Environmental Subcommittee is going to be looking more in depth at the Go Solar petition and setting up an environmental committee for the city. If residents need anything, please reach out.

Discussion on how to approach others who are not social distancing?
Councilor Stefanini – Call directly and have a candid conversation. The city needs to do more to limit cars, more signage, more distancing, etc.
Councilor Steiner – Highlight the positive of what everyone is doing and make it recognize everyone that is doing it, positive peer pressure. He was told the FPD officer made a mistake and should not have closed Cushing Park, the closing was for the skate park.
Rep Lewis – Governor has only given an advisory, not an order. The executive level has not given clear messaging. We need him to do much more.
Rep Robinson – She has been pushing the Mayor to do a mail drop to people who do not have internet or phone. Rep Robinson is going to do a mailing of her own in different languages.
Cheryl Tully Stoll – be polite and just try to talk to people and give kind reminders. Most people are trying and will comply. There are other places outside of the city who can help. Other Facebook groups, etc.
Chair Beverly Hugo – The chair has been calling members asking if we can help them in any way.
Secretary Larry Stoodt – there is a city-wide mailer going out in English, Spanish and Portuguese that was finished today and going out soon.
Kathie McCarthy – mixed messaging right form the white house on down. Its personal responsibility and lets all be positive. There have been signs in multi languages and some people are obstinate. Let’s not rehash and point blame.

Just learned that Patrick Dunne’s brother passed away and he along with Adam Steiner left the meeting at this point.

Councilor Margareth Shepard – It is great to see everyone so active. She is reaching out to her district and to entire city that she can in order to try and get in touch with as many residents as she can. It would be helpful to have the number of people in the city who are in quarantine. We do not have hospital capacity so other health issues are being overlooked. We need to do our best to make sure people are not left behind or die from something not Covid-19 related.

School Committee
Chair Adam Freudberg – School Committee has had two committee meetings remotely so far. Subcommittees have been meeting remotely too. School nurses have been helping at the city’s Health Department. Remote learning starts citywide tomorrow. Wi-fi hotspots are being set up and close to 400 hotspots are free for the next month. Musical instruments were also passed out to students.
School Committee Member Priscilla Sousa – She has been focusing on food security of students and that students have devices they need to learn.

– Candidates and Campaigns
Liam Horsman – From the Ed Markey campaign – Good to see everyone and hope all are staying safe. Grateful for everyone who worked so hard for Sen. Markey leading up to Framingham caucus. Signatures are a real  challenge to gather, we need to find a way to meet 10,000. Instituted signature by mail nomination papers and voters can mail them back in paid addressed envelope. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are jeopardizing their safety so we are not collecting signatures door to door at the moment.

– Secretary’s Report – Barbara Fontes, Approval of Minutes of February 9, 2020 (March meeting was a caucus, no business meeting)  Minutes emailed out. Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley – motion to approve, Kurt Fusaris seconded. No discussion held.

Passed unanimously.

– Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
Request Approval of Consolidated Treasurer’s Report that was emailed to everyone.
Motion to Approve, seconded.

Discussion of dues – Members and Associate members can mail their dues to Larry. $20 for members; $15 for associate members. Larry Stoodt, 615 Belnap Rd, Framingham, 01701. The Treasurer can now deposit checks remotely into the committee’s bank account.

Can we use ActBlue? We would have to set up ActBlue account and then a portion of the dues would be taken out as a service fee.

Treasures’ report passes unanimously.

– Subcommittee Reports:

1. Affirmative Action and Outreach – Margareth Shepard
a. NO report
2. Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
a. Resurrect the brochure that the subcommittee came up with on importance of voting.
Need a new chair to be appointed.
3. Communication – Michael Hugo
a. New members need to sign up for IO group asap.
4. Hospitality – Rozzy Hooper Hamersley
a. No outreach presentations because of quarantine.
5. Legislative and Advocacy – Kurt Fusaris
a. Discussion on Trump revocation of land from Wampanoag Native American tribe.
Checking in with federal delegation on their support and what we can do to help.
6. Nominating Committee Report – Mel Warshaw

a. Chair Warshaw gives thanks to members and said it was a pleasure to lead our group.
Thanked all of the subcommittee chairs, the Executive board, and our current chair’s
husband for all of their work and support. Our current chair could not have done it
without these people and sincere gratitude to all. Our outgoing chair is looking forward
to working with the new committee however possible to defeat Trump.
b. Special thanks again to the entire nominating committee.
c. Lots of great members to choose from. Great candidates all around. Everyone must be
able to work together, be dedicated Democrats and dedicated to progressive causes.
i. These new officer recommendations were nominated unanimously by the
nominating committee.
ii. The Nominating Committee recommends the following members for officers:
1. Chair – Mike Hugo
2. Co-Vice Chairs – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley and Cesar Stewart-Morales
3. Secretary – Robert Case
4. Treasurer – Larry Stoodt
5. Affirmative Action Outreach and Advisor – Margareth Shepard and Carmen Chico

Parwez Wahid nominates all recommended members for officers; seconded by Kathie McCarthy;

Motion to close nomination, seconded. Motion to close nominations passes unanimously.
Vote to elect nominated members passes unanimously.

– Election of Officers
Newly incoming Chair Mike Hugo, now presides over the meeting. The chair thanks everyone for their support and looks forward to working very collaborative with the Executive Board and all members.
Adam Freudberg – Thanks everyone for supporting him as the former Co-Vice Chair and thanks to Rozzy for doing all the work.
Jack Duffy – Special tha ks to Mel Warshaw for leading the Nominating Subcommittee’s work and everyone agreed on everything.

Jim Hansen is going to be the new communication chair. He will be sending out a Doodle Poll. Please respond asap to let us know what subcommittee you want to be on.

– State Committee Updates, including convention advisory –
Parwez Wahid – State convention is not going to be held. You can get a refund, or you can get a ticket for a possible unity event to be held later at Tsongas Center. National Convention is in Milwaukee in August, one week before Republican convention. There will be no caucuses for national delegates, but everyone will be vote for national delegates by mail. Results will be announced by May 15th . If you wanted to run the due date for the letter of intention is passed. Campaigns are deciding who they will support, and the intent letters will go to the campaigns and they decide if you can go on the ballot. If you can afford it, please consider not asking for a
refund if possible. A lot of expenses have already been incurred for the State Convention.

– New Business

1. Progressive Framingham
a. Beverly Hugo – several in Framingham have been meeting with Progressive MA –
yesterday we received approval to start our chapter. The chapter will be dealing
with State and National issues. The chapter will be separate from the FDC but will
supplement the work of the FDC. If interested in being involved with our new
Progressive MA chapter please email or call Beverly Hugo. There will be a soft
launch now and a full launch on May 1 st .

2. OC2020
a. Mike Hugo – moving forward and the hires are being made now. Conversation is
beoing held on what to do if not in person campaigning. FDC has raised $30k now;
$35k was our goal and we should pass that. We have several more zoom house
parties to fundraise.

b. Sen. David Magnani – Thanks to Mike and Bev for carrying the ball. Thank you to all
involved and anyone that wants to donate still can. We are still raising money.
Those that are hired or volunteer are ultimately being groomed to be candidates in
the future which is possibly the biggest impact of OC2020.

3. Recurring Donations
a. Gus Bickford has asked all members to sign up for recurring monthly donation to
state party. No amount is too small or too big.
4. Intro of New Members – priorities and ideas
a. Mary Kate Feeney – glad to be a full member and participate in the work of the
b. Jim Hansen – We will get through Covid -19 and he looks forward to serving on the
communication subcommittee.
c. Doug Lawrence – He is a medical device engineer and happy to be a full member of
FDC. He is currently chair of EDIC, and looking at what can we do to support small
business in Framingham now. Looking forward to working on environmental
committee and motivated to get a new president
d. Cesar Stewart-Morales – Thanks to all and excited to be a full voting member of the
FDC, he has been an associate member for 2 years. He has been inspired by
members of the FDC. He couldn’t have gotten to where he is and coule not have
won his election to City Council without everyone’s support. He is looking forward
to getting more involved in Dem causes and conversations.
e. David Magnani – honored to be a new full member. He has been an associate
member for a year and impressed with how the Hugo’s have run the FDC and gotten
us lots of state recognition.

5. Membership update, vacancies, new associate members – Chair
a. Chris Lorant was on State Committee and agreed to step back and be an ex-officio,
He was not reelected to the MA Democratic State Committee. Chair makes a
motion to nominate Chris as an associate member for the next meeting and to
waive the by-law to nominate him to get his old seat back as a full member next
b. Cheryl Tully Stoll’s seat is now open and needs to be filled.
c. Judy Gatlin – would like to be associate member and we will deal with it next month
since she is not here.
d. Cheryl Tully Stoll nominates Joel Winett as associate member; Larry Stoodt seconds.
No Discussion. Passes Unanimously.
e. Parwez Wahid requests contact info of all members; The Chair is going to send this
to the communication subcommittee. Chair would like to set up a member portal.
Gwen thinks it too messy and an admin burden possibly. Gwen thinks the IO groups
might be the perfect spot to hold that info.
f. FDC bought ZOOM account for $15 a month until real time meetings can take place
again. Account is open to all members and subcommittee for our meetings.
g. Beverly Hugo made the motion to temporarily continue to pay for a ZOOM account;
Mary Kate Feeney seconded.
Discussion – Norma Shulman and Cheryl Tully Stoll recommend keeping Zoom
account for future use, even after the pandemic. How will the cost of Zoom account
be transferred to treasurer? The Treasurer will talk to the bank. Thank you to Ohad
Klopman for all of his work helping with Zoom. We are fortunate to have him home
and helping us. Kathy McCarthy suggests it may be cheaper to pay by the year for
the ZOOM account and should be looked into. Beverly Hugo amends motion to
remove the word temporarily and makes a new motion to pay for a zoom account.
The vote passes unanimously.

– Adjournment

Next Business Meeting: May 17, 2020, at 7:00 PM, location to be determined!

Motion to adjourn; seconded. Adjourned at 9:15pm

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Case