Minutes for January 17, 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, John Stefanini, Carmen Chico, Jack Duffy, Thom Mahoney, Mary Kate Feeney, Jeanne Bullock, Chris Lorant, Adam Freudberg, Cindy Rubin, Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley, Kurt Fusaris, Doug Lawrence, Maria Robinson, Cheryl Tully Stoll, Kathie McCarthy, David Magnani, Margareth Shepard, Jim Hansen, Patrick Dunne

 Associate Members: Andrew Machkasov, Tracey Bryant, Audrey Hall, Cheryl Gordon, Vanessa Pendexter, Joel Winett

 Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo

The Chair reviewed the agenda, rules of zoom etiquette, and brought the meeting to order at 7:06pm.

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

Motion to approve the report – with minor changes by Mel (to submit after the meeting)

Motion made by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by Cesar Stewart-Morales

Motion passed unanimously.

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

Starting balance of $4,925.24; received $40.41 in dues and dividends which brought us to $4,965.65. We spent $500.00 for Fair Fight in GA and $1.58 for ActBlue fees for $501.58. We have pending $500.00 for Work America and $31.86 to the Chair for Zoom – Lori Bornstein has paid her dues. Gives us a final balance of $3,932.21.

Motion to approve by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by Mary Kate Feeney.

Motion passed unanimously.

Reports from Mayor, City Council & School Committee

Mayor – not present

City Council

Robert Case – Appointments Subcommittee on Tuesday at 6pm to review the Mayor’s appointment for the Diversity Director for the City; Youth Council is discussing lowering voting age for municipal elections; free menstrual product access, and a Youth Art Project; they have invited Superintendent Tremblay from FPS and Superintendent Evans from Keef Tech to speak at the next Youth Council meeting.

Phil Ottaviani – the Council will vet the Diversity Officer position on Tuesday. Great week for all Dems this week!

Adam Steiner – called for more civility from everyone and to reach out to your elected officials to do the same towards other elected officials and city employees.  We must try harder to avoid personal attacks and debate ideas with more respect towards each other.

Cesar Stewart-Morales – agree with Councilor Steiner’s statements and he recommits to do that going forward; we lost Karen Foran Dempsey in District 2 from the School Committee, applications to replace her as the D2 School Committee member is due by Feb 5th.

Tracey Bryant – lets support the work to impeach the President, and thanks Adam for his call to action for more civility.

John Stefanini – CPA Ordinance is also being discussed on Tuesday.

Margareth Shephard – Happy New Year to all and thank everyone for electing President Biden and again in GA for the Senate elections. At the City council the budget is our biggest challenge, and we are facing difficult challenges that are not going to be popular. We did make progress on the council and incredibly happy to be on the Council.

School Committee

Adam Freudberg – thanks to the chair for his public health efforts and his efforts to organize things for GA senate run-offs. Last School Committee meeting was a challenge between honoring Karen Dempsey and the insurrection at the Capital in DC. The State has offered COVID testing for students finally; its not a done deal but looking good. FPS was recognized for its remote education learning efforts and ranked highly by the state. Looking at the bids for the next 5-year period for bus transportation. Taking another vote to enter the MSBA program for the next school building.

Beverly Hugo – hearing more about a survey on sleeping and homework during remote learning. A new anti-drop out program will be rolled out and reviewed.  The flu vaccine requirement has been removed for students this year.  Increase diversity to SAGE services, and the School Committee voted to support a scholarship in memory of Karen Dempsey and will be announced soon.


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

Jack Lewis – last hours of session were extremely productive in conference committee with compromise legislation. There is no question that Gov Baker is not a Dem or a progressive; he vetoed key parts of Police Reform Bill and ROE Act bill.  Gov also vetoed low-income fare for MBTA and landmark environmental bill and the legislature will confront those vetoes. Baker’s conservative cred really showed over the last two weeks. Jack and another House Rep file every year to keep the conversation going to reduce the voting age in municipal elections.

Maria Robinson – frustrated with the vaccination roll-out, it is coming and will get better with the new federal administration. MA State House has been briefed and all should be safe and hopefully ok on Wednesday. Commissions to look at a re-do for the state flag and seal, study on higher ed sexual assaults, Laura’s Law passed – she could not get to the ER fast enough due to not enough lighting and signage.  Brewer’s distribution bill passed, and a look at racial equity in maternal health. A big transportation bond bill will bring benefits for Framingham, but Gov vetoed the language to not raise tolls to pay for the Allston multimodal project. Please always reach out with any issues and happy to help anyway they can.

State Committee Report – Parwez Wahid, Norma Shulman

Parwez – we will have a remote convention this year, rules committee is working at caucus details and hopefully find out on Jan 28th. If interested in serving on subcommittee contact the MASS Dems Exec Director.  Parwez is now one of the co-chairs for the public policy subcommittee for the next year for the state party.

Norma – will continue as cochair for the Women’s Outreach Subcommittee. The meeting on Jan 28th is available for anyone to watch on Jan 28th. The video of the meeting will be on YouTube afterwards. Link should be on MassDems.org.



Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions and votes:

  • Bylaws – Mel Warshaw
    • Discussion and Voting on Bylaw Amendments
      • For our by-laws to be legal they must be approved by the State Committee. Jim Roosevelt, the attorney for the state committee, reviewed our by-laws and said our by-laws are not in accordance with the state charter. There are several changes in green that we need to make to be in line and approved by the state party committee. The subcommittee chair reviewed the changes in green that were recommended by the state party attorney.
      • Motion for a consent agenda to approve the changes suggested by the attorney for the Dem State Party Committee.
      • Motion made by Phil Ottaviani; Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley seconded.
      • Some discussion to eliminate of Article 1 section 5 “of for endorsement” before the words open vote in green.
      • Motion passed unanimously.
      • Changes in red are changes the rules subcommittee voted unanimously to approve.
        • Motion to accept both changes made by Beverly Hugo; seconded by David Magnani.
        • Discussion:
        • Recommendation taking up each change separately. Members not having email would need more than 14 days’ notice.
        • Cautioned that reducing the numbers to change bylaws could cause an issue that ¼ of the members could overpower and disadvantage the other members of the committee. It could come into play during a gubernatorial or state election when seeking delegates or for a particular position.
        • There is concern this is not the right time to be making changes and greatest concern is this could divide the committee and the party in Framingham. Thinks we should wait two years to lower the threshold because it stacks the deck against the people who cannot participate due to health or tech difficulties. We need to enlarge our tent and not shrink it.  It could harm our ability and influence.
        • Has been in communication with others who used to be part of the committee and we do need to be united as a party.
        • 2/3 could mean it could be difficult to change if we find something that does not work, and it could mean that it could just be fighting against the status quo.
        • 1/8 of members could stop a change and it is not right they could overrule the majority of the committee.
        • A supermajority allows for the tyranny of the committee. Gwen Holbrow offered a friendly amendment to make the change to 21 days advanced notice of by-law changes. Beverly Hugo accepted the friendly amendment.
        • The Mass Dems by-laws says 30 days’ notice must be given.
        • Norma makes a motion to table this issue until we can get more info; seconded by Phil Ottaviani.
        • 11 in favor, 16 opposed; the motion was not tabled.
        • The chair moved to call the question seeing no further debate; seconded by Beverly Hugo.
        • 27 yes; 4 no to call the question. The question is called.
        • The motion is for 21-day notice and a simple majority to change by-laws.
        • 20 yes – 14 no, the motion does not pass.
        • We need to honor the call for respect previously called for by a member.
      • Communications – Gwen Holbrow/Jim Hansen – communications systems are up and running, sometimes mistakes are made and we are not purposely trying to silence voices.
      • Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
        • Thank for Pat Dunne’s idea to increase access to the internet for seniors.
        • Progressive questionnaires will go out to all candidates and we will hold candidate forums.
        • There will be a debrief of the 2020 election.
        • Discussion of Election Age Reduction
          • Spoke with Isabella and Rob Case will follow up with the Youth Council on this.
          • Thank you to Rep Lewis for his dinosaur bill.
        • Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt
          • Next Steps for Climate Legislation, Why the Veto is Misstated
            • Gov Baker vetoed this legislation, making many false statements.
            • Complained that it would reduce housing, it would redline stretch housing codes.
            • His statements were false and not backed up by facts.
          • Legislative – Kurt Fusaris/Barb LeDuc
            • Update on Public Health Legislation, Subcommittee voted to support SAPHE 2.0 Act.
            • We have a real chance to get statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.
            • Discussion and Vote on Resolution to Support Eviction Moratorium
              • Motion to approve by Larry Stoodt; Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, seconded.
              • Discussion:
              • Resolution needs to support small landlords in addition to tenants.
              • The Council will refine this and its important just to show this is important and the Council and administration needs to make this happen.
              • Cesar Stewart-Morales requested to add a friendly amendment and it was accepted by the original motion maker.
              • We need to involve the Community and Economic Development that they help landlords investigate ways to work with the state and avoid losing their properties.
              • Motion to add further details of ways to include more assistance for landlords by Cheryl Tully Stoll, seconded by Cindy Rubin.
                • 14 yes, 10 no, 4 abstentions to add Cheryl Tully Stoll’s amendment
                • Vote on the Main Motion as amended.

27 yes; 1 no; 2 abstentions – motion passes.

  • Doug Lawrence is the new convener for the Legislative Subcommittee.

                                                SAPHE (State Action for Public Health Excellence) Act

Chair asks for a motion to allow the chair to state on phone calls that the FDC supports the act.

This Act will mean the Public Health departments will all be required to meet minimum standards and nurses will be credentialed. It will allow cities who have equipment or something another town needs to share resources and incentivize them to do so. It also sets up a fund for the State to start paying for some Public Health initiatives so individual cities and towns do not have to cover it all like they do now.

Motion made to approve support for the SAPHE Act and allow the chair to state the FDCs support.

Motion made by Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, Pat Dunne, seconded

Motion passes unanimously.

  • Outreach – Carmen Chico
    • Margareth Shepard is stepping down due to the by-law change and nominates Parwez Wahid to help co-chair the Outreach Committee, Kathie McCarthy seconded.
    • Motion passed unanimously.
  • Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales
    • Discussion of Upcoming Social/Racial Justice and Equity Seminar
      • Liza Talusan is our facilitator and the three dates have been chosen and will be emailed to members. 2 dates in March and 1 date in April all on Thursday nights.
    • Discussion of Biden/Harris MLK Day of Action
      • Donation drive for Dignity Matters to collect donated items from members and be delivered tomorrow.

COVID Update

                                Vaccine and the new strain’s effects on children.  We do not have the vaccines as we were promised. The new British variant is affecting children more, they are not getting sicker, but more are getting sick.

New Business, member announcements, general announcements

                Joan Rastani has resigned as a full member and would like to be an associate member.

All 6 associate members have been nominated to be full members and will be voted on the next meeting.

Motion made by Mel Warshaw; Phil Ottaviani seconded

Motion passed unanimously. We will vote on a new member at the next meeting.

Wed 7-8:30pm and Annual Gala is Jan 25th at 7pm for Progressive Mass

Together 2020 has an Inaugural Ball on Wednesday night with several speakers.

Thank you to everyone for all your work to save our country!


Motion to adjourn by Mary Kate Feeney; seconded by Beverly Hugo.

Motion passed unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 10:35pm.


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!