Minutes for February 21, 2021

7:00 pm – Zoom Conference

 Meeting Attendees

Members: Mike Hugo, Robert Case, Beverly Hugo, Barbara LeDuc, Jim Stockless, Parwez Wahid, Larry Stoodt, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Gwen Holbrow, Jack Patrick Lewis, Adam Steiner, Phil Ottaviani, Mel Warshaw, Chris Broyles, Norma Shulman, Carmen Chico, Jack Duffy, Thom Mahoney, Mary Kate Feeney, Jeanne Bullock, Chris Lorant, Cindy Rubin, Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley, Kurt Fusaris, Doug Lawrence, Maria Robinson, Cheryl Tully Stoll, Kathie McCarthy, David Magnani, Margareth Shepard, Jim Hansen, Patrick Dunne, Shahid Khan, Caraline Levy

 Associate Members: Andrew Machkasov, Tracey Bryant, Audrey Hall, Ohad Klopman, Isabella Petroni

Guests: Julia Koehler, M.D., Ricky Finlay, Kelly Garofalo, David Gordon, Brandon Ward, Mendy Tarkowski, TIlia Jacobs, Rep. Tami Gouveia, Diane Markowitz, Ronna Kabler, Shari Van Hook, Michael Miller, Lisa Miller, Susan Petroni

 Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo

The chair reviewed the agenda and brought the meeting to order at 7:03pm

Presentation by Julia Koehler, M.D.,

Massachusetts policies – what they needed to be like, and what they were instead.

  • The chair introduced Dr. Koehler and presented the FDC with her background.
  • COVID infections on a national average are disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic communities 2-3 times more than White people. MA is doing significantly worse in these minority communities.
  • This is not just a moral failure, but a pragmatic failure as well as disproportionately affected communities carrying the virus from their workplaces, infect their home residents and spread it to their workplaces, etc. The racism being shown towards minorities is killing everyone as a result.
  • In the US there has been more of a focus on wiping down and cleaning surfaces, however aerosols are much worse at infecting people. Aerosols have been downplayed significantly here in the US and MA because they require more resources and financial cost.
  • McKenzie Management is receiving $8Million to advice the Baker Administration and DESE – what was their advice? They were the ones who advised Purdue Pharma to turbo charge Oxycontin.
  • The Baker Administration is significantly responsible for the 3rd worst death rate in the country.
  • Push your elected reps to use their power in the legislature to do something about this disparity and overlooking issues.


Introduction of Democratic School Committee Dist. 2 Candidates

  • Ricky Finlay, Kelly Garofalo, David Gordon, Brandon Ward were all invited to attend.
  • Candidates gave a three-minute introduction of themselves to the FDC and why they would like to serve on the School Committee. There was no debate and no questions asked.

Secretary’s Report – Minutes of December 13, 2020, Business Meeting – Robert Case, Secretary

  • Minutes were emailed to all members in the chair’s meeting notification email.
  • Motion to accept the Secretary’s report by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by Jack Duffy.
    • There was no discussion; Motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt – Annual Dues are due, Associate Member discussion.

  • Starting balance of $3,932.21, donated $500 to Working America but they returned the donation due to the way they are set up. We received $35 in dues – Audrey Hall and Cindy Rubin paid their dues. We received $0.19 interest, paid $15.93 for Zoom which leaves us with a grand total of $4,451.47 for the month.
  • The Treasurer will send out a reminder to anyone who has not paid dues yet.
  • Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by David Magnani.
    • Motion passed unanimously.

Reports from Mayor, City Council & School Committee

Mayor – Not in attendance

City Council

  • Tracey Bryant – Pass
  • Robert Case – First reading of a solution to fund the Water & Sewer deficit; several appointments have been made by the Mayor so those will go to Appointments Subcommittee; Education Subcommittee met jointly to discuss the process for the next new school building in Framingham – it should be much the same as the process as for the new Fuller Middle School and may take several years before we are accepted into the MSBA program. We should hopefully have an answer about this application sometime next March.
  • Phil Ottaviani – a lot of appointments need to be made soon including Parks & Rec, discussion on expanding the Board of Health from 3 to 5; budget season is coming, and we have several challenges, we want to resolve the fund deficits so we can send out tax bills and move forward.
  • Margareth Shepard – thank you to Chief Baker for meeting with each Councilor and starting a good relationship with each of us; shared the importance of a walk-up site needed on the South Side of Framingham; she is working on a quiet zone for train horns for Framingham.
  • Adam Steiner – installation of solar panels on McAuliffe is important and City Council is standing in the way. Referral along with Councilor Cannon to send accessory dwellings back to the ZBA.
  • Cesar Stewart-Morales – email the Council and support moving the solar project forward, it comes at no cost to the city and only saves money.

School Committee

  • Beverly Hugo – Phase I and Phase II are returning to school tomorrow and Phase III will return Feb 24th; Hybrid learning (alternating one week from school and one week remote) will start on March 4th. If there are any issues, please contact the School Committee.

Report from our House Delegation, – Rep. Jack P. Lewis, Rep. Maria Robinson, Rep. Carmine Gentile, Sen. Pres. Karen Spilka  

  • Maria Robinson – busy couple of weeks on Beacon Hill focusing on submitting bills; excited that Jack Lewis is taking the lead on the Nip Bottle Bill; Voting by mail and same day registration are popular now and most likely something around elections will be done; most of the time is spent complaining to the Baker administration about the Vaccine rollout; the Climate Bill came back with amendments from the Gov, but some kind of overrides will be done in the coming months. Excited about several of her bills including PILOT issues here locally for the many state facilities we have here in Framingham.
  • Jack Patrick Lewis – entered a period of co-sponsorships for bills on Beacon Hill so if there are any important bills to resident please let us know.
  • Tami Gouveia – filed legislation requiring a rapid antigen test for nurses and those giving vaccinations; this would have helped to limit the people a nurse at a mass vaccination site came into contact with before she received her positive test; filed another bill to make sure we can open safely, and a third piece of legislation to make sure teachers and students are safe when they return to school before they are forced to return to school.

State Committee Report – Parwez Wahid, Norma Shulman

  • Parwez Wahid – caucus window will be June – July 15th; nothing will be decided until April state Committee meeting, platform meetings should be held June – July as well; it all depends on vaccination and COVID issues. The last State Committee meeting was poorly handled.  The Rules Committee gave their finding that the leadership of the Mass Dems were not directly interfering in the 1st Congressional District primary. This is probably not the last we have seen or heard about this.
  • Norma Shulman – The anger and opinions about the finding of the Rules Committee is evenly split, and we hope we can work it out. The Women’s Outreach subcommittee is back in action and there are two new co-chairs.  Norma will send out invitations to the FDC IO group to panel conversations hosted by the subcommittee.
  • Jack Patrick Lewis – There is a lot that has not been processed regarding the issue of leadership involvement in the primary race issue, and he worries younger members and activists will leave. We need to keep at it and have safe spaces for these conversations and hold leadership accountable.

Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions and votes:

  • Bylaws – Mel Warshaw
    • New proposed by-law changes were sent out a few days ago to give 30 days notice regarding an endorsements by-law and a suggested revised by-law to make by-law changes with a majority vote. Please review and we will discuss and vote at our next meeting.
  • Communications – Gwen Holbrow/Jim Hansen
    • We have changed requirements to join some of our social meeting platforms and the committee agreed we should keep discussion open to all. We can revisit if necessary.
  • Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
    • Met on Friday Feb 12th – resurrected our Voting Brochure on why it is important to vote, and it is being translated into Spanish and Portuguese. Working on a program to discuss the 2020 election and runoff elections. Will send out questionnaires to all candidates running for office in the fall. Beverly will be recusing herself from the questionnaire process as she will be a candidate again.
  • Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt
    • The solar panels at the McAuliffe is a baby step we need to take; it needs to move forward and not be delayed further. Working on a petition to bring this up at the Council level sooner than later.
    • Gov Baker vetoed and made amendments to several sections of the Environmental Bill and we encourage everyone to contact your state reps and delegation to forcefully override Baker’s amendments.
    • Three sections most concerned about are the emission target dates, the net zero stretch building codes, sector emission sub-limits, but we should keep the language of the environmental justice section of his amendments.
    • Motion to approve the letter to send the state delegation to override the Baker’s vetoes and amendments.
      • Motion by Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley; seconded by Norman Shulman.
      • There was no discussion; Motion passed with 33 in favor and 1 abstention.
    • We need to pay attention and fight against the burning of biomass in Springfield.
  • Legislative – Doug Lawrence
    • The FDC submitted their support for an Eviction Moratorium, and it passed the Council and Health Dept unanimously and the Mayor has signed it.
    • Discussed making Vote by Mail permanent and we have a resolution written for the full FDC support; the Sec of State is firmly behind this as
      • Motion to accept the Vote by Mail resolution by Dough Lawrence; seconded by Mel Warshaw.
      • There was no discussion; Motion passed 33 in favor, and one abstention.
    • Discussed supporting Vaccine Equity Now and to sign a letter for the FDC to support:
      • Motion to accept the Vaccine Equity Now Letter of support by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by Phil Ottaviani.
      • There was no discussion; Motion passed unanimously.
    • Discussed sending a letter to the City Council to move forward expeditiously with putting solar panels on McAuliffe library. The subcommittee is asking approval to send such a letter to the City Council.
      • Motion to send the letter to City Council by Gwen Holbrow; seconded by Kathie McCarthy
      • Passed with 28 in favor and 6 abstentions. All City Councilors present abstained.
      • Larry Stoodt presented the TRIPPS letter sponsorship and signing on as the FDC to send to our President.
        • Motion to support the letter made by Mike Hugo; seconded by Margareth Shepard.
        • No discussion; Motion passed unanimously.
      • Outreach – Parwez Wahid/Carmen Chico
        • The pandemic is hampering the efforts a little to invite and engage new members, no door to door, no holiday party, etc.
        • Jointly with Civics Ed Subcommittee we will be working on tri fold brochure on why it is important to vote.
      • Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales
        • Discussion of Upcoming Social/Racial Justice and Equity Seminar
          • Dignity Matters gave update on donations through FDC.
            • Other towns joined us in donating goods, and $650 in donations were made online.

Voting on New Regular Member

  • Joan Rastani has resigned from being a full member and will become an associate member of the FDC.
  • All Associate Members were nominated on 1/17/21 to fill the open full FDC position and only Tracey Bryant identified herself as being interested.
  • The members of the FDC unanimously elected Tracey Bryant to be a full member of the FDC.

New Business, member announcements, general announcements

  • Beverly Hugo – helped to found Progressive Mass chapter in Framingham and dues are only $5. You will be able to attend the annual meeting for free and help to pick endorsements.
  • Audrey Hall – is a Commissioner on the Status of Women in MA – and there is a hearing this Thursday on how COVID is disproportionately effecting women of color. Registration is free and all are invited. She will send it out to the IO group for Framingham.
  • There are 4 candidates in the race to replace Robert DeLeo. One of the Democrats running, Turko, supported Trump as a Democrat and was the Chief of Staff for Guy Glodis. The other three are progressives.

Guests who are interested in joining the FDC identified themselves and gave brief statements on wanting to become an Associate Member.

  • Ricky Finlay
  • Brandon Ward
  • Tillia Jacobs
  • Kelly Garofolo
  • David Gordon

We will vote on these candidates for Associate Membership at our next meeting on March 21, 2021.


  • Motion to Adjourn by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by Robert Case
    • There was no discussion; Motion passed unanimously.
    • The meeting adjourned at 9:59pm


Special Note: If you or a loved one are experiencing any issues that we can help with during this extraordinary time please contact the Chair or any Officer and we will do all we can to get services or meet any needs that we can for that person. Our Committee has many well placed members who are always happy to answer the call to action, and we would be honored to render discreet aid to anyone in need, to the best of our abilities.

Thank you for your support of our Democratic Values!