Minutes for July 18, 2021

Meeting Attendees

Members: Mike Hugo, Robert Case, Beverly Hugo, Barbara LeDuc, Carmen Chico, Parwez Wahid, Larry Stoodt, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Adam Steiner, Phil Ottaviani, Mel Warshaw, Norma Shulman, Tom Mahoney, Chris Lorant, Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley, Kurt Fusaris, Doug Lawrence, Margareth Shepard, Kathie McCarthy, Tracey Bryant, David Magnani, Jack Patrick Lewis, Ricky Finlay, Christopher Broyles, Jim Stockless, Patrick Dunne, Lori Bornstein, Cindy Rubin, Jeanne Bullock, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Maria Robinson, Mary Kate Feeney, John Stefanini


Associate Members: Andrew Machkasov, Cheryl Gordon, Mayor Dr. Yvonne Spicer, Isabella Petroni, Ohad Klopman, Vanessa Hargrove, Tilia Jacobs

Guests: Trent Fortner, Bijan Afshartous


Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo

  • The chair reviewed the agenda and called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.

FDC Anti-racism discussion: Next Steps – Community Outreach & Being a Catalyst – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales.

  • Reviewed the projects developed based on ideas from the anti-racism workshops and our previous business meetings.
  • How can we put into practice from what we are beginning to learn?
  • Courageous conversations need to continue so our entire committee acknowledges the situation in the “room.” A new mission statement to drive our work and decisions.
  • Revamp the hospitality committee to be more than set-up/take down and bringing refreshments.
  • Ask the Civics Ed Subcommittee to help develop a survey for community members.
  • Finding a way to partner with other like-minded organizations that are engaged with the community and will help us diversify our members and outreach.
  • This is a natural step for us to create these action items to move this forward.
  • The buddy system is similar to having greeters at meeting.
  • Should Outreach subcommittee be point person for the Buddy System instead of Hospitality?
  • Hospitality is too busy to really participate in the meetings now and it is too much work. There should be a separate welcoming committee.


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

  • Motion to approve the minutes by Cesar; seconded by Tracey.
    • There was no discussion; motion approved unanimously.

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

  • Starting balance of $4,249.29; we added .17 in interest and $15 in dues from Priscilla Sousa and spent $200 on the room for causes. Leaves u with a current balance of $4,064.64
  • Motion to approve the minutes by Phil; seconded by Mary Kate Feeney.
    • Motion approved unanimously.

Reports from City Council, School Committee and Mayor

  • Mayor
    • Recently received $200,000 grant for funding to work on ADA work on School Street
    • Our US Senators are moving forward seeking funding for a joint dispatch center in Framingham.


  • City Council
    • Adam Steiner – long agenda for Tuesday night; take another look at plastic bag ban and fees and probably just a referral for further study; Mayor’s office is seeking bond approval for rail trail.
    • Tracey Bryant – no report
    • Robert Case – no report
    • Phil Ottaviani – the Council voted unanimously to expand the Board of Health from 3-5 and it has not happened yet, so hopefully we can look into that on Tuesday night and get it resolved.
    • Margareth Shepard – no report
    • John Stefanini – no report
  • School Committee
    • Beverly Hugo
      • a candidate for each of the nine districts and none of the school committee candidates are opposed.
      • Going over the new logo
      • Reviewing the new code of conduct
      • Collective Bargaining is continuing over the summer
      • Continuing the talks on how to spend the ESSER funds
    • Ricky Finlay
      • CDC recommendations on masks for the fall return to school
      • The change of logo is an administration decision and not in the realm of the school committee. It was brought up in conjunction with a new Welcome Center for the district. It will include fresh marketing materials and a new website to make it more user friendly.
      • Have discussion started in case there is a new surge of COVID in the fall? Not specifically, but we are working on guidelines for the Fall between CDC and City Board of Health.

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

  • Jack Lewis – there is no fiscal cliff so do not worry, the legislature has passed a 1/12th budget and there will be more press around that soon. More federal funds are coming our way and we are meeting with community leaders to see what needs are currently. Part of the funding for the new welcome center for the school district was part of a budget earmark. The new logo is part of the new branding for the center, and everyone is encouraged to speak with Dr. Tremblay about the new center. He is also working on an environmental funeral bill with Rep Natalie Higgins based on legislation from Washington State. Backlog of rape kits have been vetoed from the budget by the Governor.
  • Maria Robinson – We have a budget and only a little late so by all standards we are doing well. The Governor has signed it with a number of vetoes and the legislature will be working on those soon. We did not have to take any money from our state rainy day fund, so we are in good financial shape. The film tax credit has been made permanent. We will be working on mail in voting as quickly as possible and in time for Preliminary and General local elections. DCAN should be announcing later this week where the new justice center will be either in Framingham or Natick. That will be the next big step in that project.

State Committee Report & Convention – Parwez Wahid & Norma Shulman

  • Parwez Wahid – our platform hearings are coming up, most of them are being done virtually. A few will be in person, and one has been scheduled for Aug 7th in the Costin Room in the library. Be prepared to have your testimony written and take questions on your testimony. The convention is mid Sept, and you have until mid Aug to pay for Convention Fee. If something is really important to you, your testimony should be submitted to multiple hearings, so it is heard more than once.
  • Norma Shulman – Aug 6th is the deadline to apply to be an add-on delegate. We did not fill all of our seats here in Framingham, so everyone is encouraged to apply to be an add-on. The deadline for the fee waiver form is August 13th. The summer State Committee meeting is August 21st and add-ons will be selected then. If you are interested in joining the organizing hub you can join every Saturday. If you are new you can join at 2:45 for an orientation. Each week there is a pump-up meeting where interesting info is shared to encourage outreach. MA made 25% of calls for GA special election. If you would like to join the Women’s Outreach Subcommittee, please join the organizing hub on that date and ask for our breakout room. Aug 22nd is the Annual Summer Gathering in Weston and quite a few elected women and women candidates will be attending. You should also subscribe to the Dem Dispatch which comes out every Friday. You can also submit written testimony if you wish and the links to do that are on the State Committee Website.

Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions and votes:

  • Bylaws – Mel Warshaw
    • Amendment on Endorsement; Discussion, Vote
    • A quorum required to endorse is increased from 18-24 because you need 24 votes to pass an endorsement vote.
    • It is not easy under this new by-law to obtain an endorsement. 2/3 is much harder to get.
    • Broad based consensus is needed for an endorsement, and we should not be limiting our ability to endorse.
    • The chair thanks the By-Law Committee and to Mel for working on this by-law and making it more appropriate for our committee. Thank you to our members for suggestions made to improve this by-law.
      • Motion by Mel Warshaw to amend the endorsement by-law as presented; seconded by Gwen Holbrow.
        • Motion approved 25 yeas, 7 nays.
      • Communications – Gwen Holbrow/Jim Hansen
        • No report
      • Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
        • A questionnaire will be sent to all Mayoral and City council contested races. We will have in candidates’ hand by the end of this week. Instructions will be given to candidates on how to answer the questionnaire. All responses will be posted on our social media and sent to news sources.
      • Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt
        • Subcommittee did not meet but please pay attention to the City Council reviewing the bag ban as it concerns the chair of our FDC Environmental Subcommittee.
      • Legislative – Doug Lawrence
        • Dignity at Work (Jack Lewis Bill) vs. Federal Healthy Workplace Act,
          • Prof of Finance Carol Ossler at Brandeis University presented on this bill.
          • Committee 5-0-0 for endorsement.
          • Jack Lewis’ bill is stronger and should be passed and we are asking our other representatives on beacon hill to co-sponsor this bill.
          • Place with highest incidence of bullying are college campuses among staff and professors.
          • Motion made to accept resolution to support the Dignity at Work Bill by Doug Lawrence; seconded by Larry Stoodt.
            • Discussion revolved around some members not being able to review the legislation being voted up.
            • Doug Lawrence and Larry Stoodt withdrew their motion and will bring it back for further review and discussion at the next regular meeting.
          • Urban Forestry Resolution Vote
            • Motion made by Larry Stoodt to send letter of support to our US Federal delegation to support urban forestry and recommending it be accommodating in one of the two spending bills before Congress; seconded by Kathie McCarthy
            • Motion passed; 29 yeas, 1 opposed and no abstentions.
          • Outreach – Parwez Wahid/Carmen Chico
            • Last two outreach subcommittee meetings did not have a quorum, just general discussion.
            • If you could volunteer to work at least one summer concert that would be great.
            • Carmen Chico – Thank you to everyone for the work done on the committee during my recent situation, and thank you, thank you to everyone for your help and support recently.
            • The chair recognized Carmen and Jack for their tireless volunteer work from the Democratic party over the years and wished Carmen well as she moves home to Puerto Rico.
          • Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales (Includes discussion of Barbecue)
            • No report.

Municipal Elections and Endorsement Discussions and Votes

  • Motion to endorse Cesar Stewart-Morales for District 2 City Council made by the Chair; seconded by Tracey Bryant
    • Cesar spoke about his current work
    • Motion passed 27 yeas, 0 opposed, and 3 abstentions.


  • All Democratic candidates running for municipal office in Framingham made brief introductions and remarks to the FDC.

New Business, member announcements, general announcements

  • Veteran Memorial Donation by Framingham Dems., C. Patrick Dunne
    • Initiative to repair Veterans Memorial park on Concord Street. A collection will be taken up at the FDC BBQ in August to be donated to the park on behalf of the FDC.
  • Combating voter suppression, Sen. David Magnani
    • Invited everyone to join the OC2020 efforts over the next 14 months to make sure Republicans do not keep voters from the polls in the next election, or Democrats will lose the Congress.
  • The Chair and Phil Ottaviani will discuss further details of the FDC BBQ offline and send details to members.


  • Motion to adjourn by Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley; seconded by Cindy Rubin.
    • Motion approved unanimously.
  • The meeting adjourned at 9:28pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Case, FDC Secretary


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.