Minutes for November 15, 2020

7:00 pm – Zoom Conference


Meeting Attendees

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


Associate Members: Ohad Klopman, Andrew Machkasov, Cheryl Gordon, Vanessa Pendexter, Tracey Bryant


Guests: Isabella Petroni, Karen Margolis, Alex Bausch, Kate Donoghue, Liam Horsman, Sam Wong, Michael Ansara, Jeffrey Blum, Becca Rausch

 Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo

The chair called the meeting to order at 7:05pm and reviewed the agenda for the meeting.

Georgia On My Mind: A Discussion of the Upcoming Runoff Senatorial Election and How we WILL Help to Take Back the Senate

  • High Level View and the Stacie Abrams FairFight Organization – Michael Ansara
    • The chair shared Jon Ossef’s concern about oversaturation because so many people will be helping that his name will be mentioned 5 different times a night by text and phone calls to the same household. Chair introduced Michael Ansara.
    • GA runoff process was created so African American candidates could not win with a plurality of the vote. It was historically meant to disadvantage African American candidates because Republicans tend to vote more in run-offs than Democratic voters.
    • GA electorate is changing with more African American voters in Metro areas and a growth of younger voters as well.
    • Fairfight is the method the Biden campaign used to win Georgia by identifying 1.9 million low propensity voters and working to register and turnout those voters instead of focusing on just the likely voters.
    • Absentee ballots in GA can be requested online by now through January 1st. They must be received by 7pm on January 5th, the day of the election. Early voting Dec 14th – 31st and election in January.
    • Michael will post weekends of action put together by Fairfight – both phone calling and texting. Multiple ways to donate including a triple fund to support both candidates and Fairfight.
    • It is important that outside volunteers take cues from the grassroot organizations on the ground in GA.
  • Novel Approach to Voter Engagement – Work America – Jeffrey Blum
    • A part of the AFL-CIO for people who should be in unions but are not part of a union due to anti-labor laws or other issues.
    • 3 Million members and generally non-partisan and opt out of partisan news and other partisan organizations: a working-class constituency.
    • Their system results in 8.5 votes per volunteer; encourage union members to vote for union supported candidates which are generally Democratic.
    • There is phone banking starting tomorrow for experienced phone bankers. They will use scripts that never mentions a candidate’s name but asks questions and their opinions instead.
    • There are also letter writing projects. They are not looking for more texters because they have that covered.
    • There is something for everybody to do! This election will be as close as the Presidential election, every vote matters. Swing left is working with Vote Forward and will be sending out info on how to receive an absentee ballot.
    • Kate Donoghue mentioned the MA State Dem Party will be hosting a phonebank for a DA’s runoff near Athens, GA.

COVID-19 and Framingham: A Look at the Social/Racial Equity Considerations, What’s Being Done to Serve the Underserved, Where we are and Where we are Going – Dr. Samuel Wong, Health Director

  • No question we are in our second surge. The numbers are going to get worse before it gets better.
  • We are a city with inner city issues and this second surge is not surprising. Low-income residents are driving the numbers up. Higher income homes can work from home, but low-income homes are not able to do that. Low-income households are also multi-generational and crowded – and we are seeing a lot of household transmissions.
  • First program the city started was emergency food pantry back in April. The demand was lower over the summer, but demand is extremely high again.
  • Second program was household transmission issues where the city was able to convince hotels of using rooms to allow residents a room to live to stop transmission amongst their family members.
  • Some residents would not quarantine in a hotel or could not because they had to work and could not afford to lose a paycheck.
  • We have been pushing the state to look at public health through a health equity lens, and they have not done it. We have to do it locally.
  • Outreach to condominium and apartment building –working with State Outreach teams to visit apartment and condominium buildings. Masks are passed out and those residents are more likely to go get COVID testing.
  • Is there any plan this week to give people a strong push to keep people to stop holiday gatherings outside of your household? Yes, and all gatherings outside of your household should stop. Every group that invites Sam to speak he goes and tells the how dangerous COVID is currently.
  • Framingham is the only city that has private donations and money going to immigrant and undocumented community members to pay them to not go to work. Sam Started this program.
  • Where do you see the schools going next during the pandemic? We recognize that remote learning is far from ideal. It is not ideal to bring everyone back to school all together. He is cautious to bring students back during this surge.  He is recommending bringing back the high need students and teachers and eventually once the surge is over rolling into a hybrid model.
  • It is recommended to make returning to school optional for families because of high-risk family members at home. If possible, staff members with this situation should teach remotely.
  • Do you think there will be more money coming into Framingham for contact tracing? We are counting on it because CARES act money runs out on December 31st.
  • The city partnered with Kennedy Health Center and Latino Insurance program on contact tracing and outreach to undocumented community members.
  • Small gatherings are driving the increase in numbers. The second driver are people in the service industry who then also infect their households.
  • We are in the process of purchasing more subzero freezers for the eventual vaccines that will be distributed here. Locally we will do our part to distribute those vaccines to our residents.

A Word from the Campaigns

  • Ed Markey – Liam Horsman, Regional Organizer – thank you to everyone for all their help. 426,000 volunteer calls, and over 11 million voter contact calls. So many people here contributed to the efforts and thank you to everyone.
  • Alex Bausch – Biden Campaign – Biden/Harris – MA made the most number of calls that is a non-battleground state only behind NY and CA. On behalf of the campaign, thank you to everyone for all of your work.
  • Becca Rausch – Re-elected Senator, Bristol & Middlesex District
    • Special thank you to everyone who helped with her campaign. Thank you to everyone from Framingham and the state delegation from Framingham who helped. We all helped to turn her district blue, defended it, and won by more than a 20 point lead.

Secretary’s Report – Minutes of October 11, 2020, Business Meeting – Robert Case, Secretary

  • Mel Warshaw made the motion to approve as amended; Beverly Hugo seconded.
    • Motion passed unanimously.

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

  • Starting month balance of $4,603.08. We now have $4,904.84 with a $15.93 check outstanding to the Chair.  We made $710 in donations off of the signs. We spent $27.72 through ActBlue, we spent $12.68 during in time period for ActBlue, we collected $20.00 in dues from Kathie McCarthy, $0.39 in interest, and $284.05 in ActBlue donations for a total balance of $4,904.84.
  • Mel Warshaw made motion to accept the report; Kathie McCarthy seconded.
    • Encourage members to pay their dues or make an arrangement. There are many members that have not paid yet.
      • Motion passed unanimously.
      • A motion to donate $500 to each organization Fair Fight and Working America.
        • Phil Ottaviani made the motion, Beverly Hugo seconded.

Discussion – Is this money we would have spent on a campaign office but didn’t have to for this election cycle?  Yes.

  • Motion passed unanimously.
  • The Chair made a recommendation to spend up to $300 for those who may not be able to afford it to send letters to GA to pay for stamps and envelopes. Only the treasurer will know who he gives stamps and envelopes to.
  • Motion made by Norma Shulman; seconded by Mary Kate Feeney.
    • Discussion – if members need it they go to the Treasurer.
    • Motion passed unanimously.

Reports from Mayor, City Council & School Committee

Mayor – not present

City Council

Tracey Bryant – no report.

Adam Steiner – Thanks to Christine Long who revised and update the Historic Reuse bylaw. Council will be referring the topic to create CPA committee to the ordinance and rules committee. Framingham passed a home rule petition to increase the maximum income limit to $60,000 for Seniors to still receive a deduction on their property taxes. The Council will be taking it up at our next meeting.

Margareth Shepard – The Apartment moratorium should address some concerns with COVID. 

Phil Ottaviani –703 Central was a big call to action as well as the Winter Street property. Rules Committee will look at CPA. Appointments Subcommittee will look at Lester Baker who was nominated as Chief of Police for Framingham. Thank you to our state delegation for helping with the water chestnut problem in his district.

Cesar Stewart-Morales – City Solicitor has already reviewed the CPA ordinance that is being referred to the Rules and Ordinance Subcommittee, and hopefully that will go smoothly. We will start looking at the make-up of that committee next.

Robert Case – no report.

School Committee

Adam Freudberg – 500 days of zero safety incidents and Fuller School Building committee will receive $168,000 green energy credits. Budget memo is coming out this week to start the committee’s budget process.  Committee will discuss new metrics on Wednesday on COVID issue with Dr. Wong, Tremblay and health and wellness director. Fuller will have solar panels on the roof and the parking lot canopies.

Beverly Hugo – Extra $3.2 million we received for funding this year, to help achieve equity for a district that works for all. Judy Steyer will present a new behavioral system called Code of Conduct.


Report from our House Delegation, discussion of upcoming docket

Jack Patrick Lewis – Senate will take up the budget starting next week.  ROE Act was taken up and most of what was originally proposed remained in the legislation. Carmen Gentile won re-election. In 15 days everyone is invited to Jack’s virtual online birthday celebration. No movement on police legislation yet. Governor decided earmark for wi-fi was from pre-existing monies and not additional monies as originally thought.


State Committee Report – Parwez Wahid, Norma Shulman

  • Parwez – We are doing the right thing with GA Senate run-off elections. Gus Bickford won reelection as the State Party Chair with overwhelming support. Some controversy in Cheryl Jacque’s report on misconduct of party leaders. Platform meetings will be done remotely in the Spring.
  • Norma – She hopes the other candidates for Chair of the State Party will step up and help with areas they said they would. State Electors will meet with Sec Galvin to go over logistics for the Electoral College vote.


Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions and votes:

  • Bylaws – Mel Warshaw – no report
  • Communications – Gwen Holbrow/Jim Hansen – reviewed various tools the committee is using and a couple security rules were tightened up.
  • Civics Education – Beverly Hugo – last few months has focused on CPA and Census and thank you to Pat Dunne for his work to pass the CPA. Pat Dunne thanked everyone for their work to pass the CPA. It passed in every precinct in Framingham and received wide support.  The ‘No’ side is still making noise, and we need the City Council to form the CPA Committee quickly to get things going.
  • Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt – Gives the City Council an A for their Environmental Work; state level is looking for bills coming out of conference committee; and nationally it looks like we will rejoin the Paris Agreement. This is why we need to focus on the GA Senate Runoff elections.
  • Legislative – Kurt Fusaris/Barb LeDuc – no report
  • Outreach – Carmen Chico – invited community members to reach out to contacts to hear presentation on COVID tonight; we did not focus or do enough on Rio Grande area for the Presidential campaign.
  • Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales – 7 kids; 4 boys and 3 girls. One boy is 13 and we are going to try to get more specific info and will send out info in an email in a membership. There are 4 shelters in Framingham and their needs change. Now they need household goods when they are able to place families in alternative housing.
    • Postcard writing – will send out more info by email to the membership. Minimal letter writing and you supply the envelop and stamp. Minimum of 50 postcards to get started. If anyone wants to do post carding at all contact Rozzy.

Election to Associate Membership, Isabella Petroni

  • Larry Stoodt made a motion to nominate and accept Isabella Petroni as an Associate Member; seconded by Phil Ottaviani.
    • Motion passed unanimously.


New Business, member announcements, general announcements

There will be a December meeting to discuss racial disparity issues in Framingham. The Chair will send out a date to the membership.



  • Motion to adjourn made by Kathie McCarthy; seconded by Carmen Chico.
    • Motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 9:39pm.


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.