Minutes for September 13, 2020, 7:00 pm – Zoom Conference
Members: Mike Hugo, Beverly Hugo, Kurt Fusaris, Barbara LeDuc, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Cheryl Tully Stoll, Chris Broyles, Doug Lawrence, Maria Robinson, Mel Warshaw, Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Robert Case, Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, Jack Patrick Lewis, Larry Stoodt, David Magnani, Jack Duffy, Carmen Chico, Margareth Shepard, Adam Steiner, Jim Hansen, Chris Lorant, Patrick Dunne, Barbara Fontes, Thom Mahoney, Jean Bullock, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Kathie McCarthy
Associate Members: Ohad Klopman, Andrew Machkasov, Tracey Bryant, Dhruba Sen
Guests: Liam Horsman, Audrey Hall, Alex Bausch, Selvin Chambers, Donald Harding, Joe Sherlock
Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo
At 7:03pm the Chair called the meeting to order. Reviewed the agenda for the meeting.
Secretary’s Report – Minutes of July 19, 2020, Business Meeting – Robert Case, Secretary
Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley made the motion to approve the minutes as amended to correct spelling errors, Norma Shulman seconded.
There was no discussion. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt – Annual Dues are due, Associate Member discussion.
$4,504.64 was previous balance, we collected $140.00 in dues and donations plus $0.39 interest, 31.86 reimbursed $31.86 to the Chair for our zoom account leaving a total balance of $4,613.17.
Phil Ottaviani, Adam Freudberg, and Dhruba Sen have paid dues. A lot are still outstanding.
Beverly made the motion to approve the report, Kathie McCarthy seconded.
Motion passed unanimously.
Reports from Mayor, City Council & School Committee
Robert Case – big meeting on Tuesday night, voting to overturn the Mayor’s veto on the apartment moratorium, vote on the historic re-use by-law, review some more Mayor appointments to committee, so tune in on Tuesday.
Margareth Shepard – hoping everyone is healthy and would love to hear from everyone about the important items before our next meeting on Tuesday.
Tracey Bryant – Going to send out a document with both sides of the moratorium issue, the issue is will the moratorium solve or cause problems. It focuses on quality of life, the ambience, the character of Framingham. The financials, environment, etc. Pro side – Christine Long – we need to make sure the studies are done, that we end up where we want to be and that it is a balanced model, larger apartments, more traffic, financially no more TIF agreements, we need to see if we can fill the existing units or not. Anti-Moratorium side – Courtney Thraen – we need to continue building as we recover from pandemic, says units are almost full, this will lower taxes and carbon footprint and shopping and eating where they live, it will be a modern suburban city with apts being built to use train and buses. Pandemic is a natural moratorium; the studies will be done before any new buildings are breaking ground. Wrong messages to send to the business community and a mistake to make Framingham appear unreliable.
Jack Duffy – are buildings required to provide parking?
Tracey – some but they do not provide a lot.
Adam Steiner – For him, if votes are still there the moratorium will be instituted and what do we do then. We need to make sure those economic studies are done effectively. Unions are presenting petitions on awarding of public contracts and TIF incentives.
Cesar Stewart-Morales – Mayor has proposed funding for chief diversity officer, and this is something the Finance Subcommittee will take up at their next meeting.
Beverly Hugo – over 100 hours in collective bargaining with teacher’s union. Sept 16 starts remote school, Oct 5th 155 of highest need students return, Oct 25th other high need students return to in person learning, on Nov 5th the hybrid model will start if the city’s COVID numbers are down. School Dept has spent millions of dollars to retrofit buildings and new air filtrations systems. Only 170 days this year instead of 180. Teachers will be able to teach from where is best for them.
Tracey Bryant – will teachers have tech help to run their meetings?
Beverly – With so many retiring or not coming back there is less help. We are going to try to get tech help.
Pat Dunne – wireless internet access is still an issue for the city.
Beverly – The Superintendent’s staff have purchased 400 hotspots and can purchase more if needed. The ultimate solution is citywide wi-fi.
Report from our House Delegation, discussion of upcoming docket and equity legislation
Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis– congrats to Liam and Ed Markey for his campaigns win for the primary. We were not as successful getting the most progressive leaders elected. Locally there is a group to support the CPA seems to be uniting all sides. Continue to have calls 3 times a week with Mayor and DPH that services come to Framingham that we need. Uptick in unemployment help requested. Two races Becca Rausch is in a nasty race running against a Trump republican. Any help that folks can help with is needed. Carmen Gentile has some confidence going into his race, but his opponent is working hard. She is trying not to appear as a Trump supporter, but she is highly conservative. Cynthia Creme did a write-in campaign over Sen. Fattman; Cynthia is a big union person and has worked hard for other campaigns and now she is the candidate.
Rep. Maria Robinson – getting funding for COVID released to the city is the focus for the next couple of weeks. A good bit of advocacy is needed that human services are not cut, but a lot of cuts will be made. Adam Scanlon is running to flip a seat in the Attleboro area. Running against Dean Tran is John Cronin both are races that are good races and could use any volunteer work that people are able to give.
Chair – another race that could use our help is Jake Olivera. He was an aide to Pam Richardson and now a candidate in Ludlow.
Larry Stoodt – Dan Sena is also running again and will need help.
Chair – do not shy away from COVID testing, it is only in the first part of your nose, so if you think you need it please go use it.
Candidates & Campaigns
- MetroWest for Biden – Alex Bausch, Beverly Hugo – MetroWest for Biden– we are holding weekly phonebanks and trainings on Thursdays.
- Alex – state coordinator for state for Biden – since the primary is over we are working to get Markey re-elected to the Senate, and on a call today he said his opponent is a Trump voter and that’s all he needs to know. 130 state captains state-wide are holding weekly phone calls. Going forward will start to work closely with New England and Pennsylvania. 51 days left and voting has started in Michigan.
- Chair – Biden signs will be available soon from the State Dem party.
- Chair proposes spending $350 to buy 50 signs and giving them to volunteers first and then creating an ActBlue account so other in the community can purchase them. It will be a mini fundraiser for the Framingham Dems, and we can re-invest the money and buy more if we do well with the first batch.
- Kathie McCarthy makes a motion to approve spending $350 for 50 Biden/Harris signs, Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley seconded.
- Motion passed unanimously.
- Ed Markey – Liam Horsman, Norma Shulman – Thank you to everyone who put in an enormous amount of time to help Ed with the primary. I personally owe a large debt to many people on this call. Ed is of course incredibly grateful! A lot in flux between state party and national party and the Markey campaign. Ed does have a republican opponent and they are a full-throated Trump Republican, Kevin O’Connor. Would love to have Kennedy supporters join our team.
- Norma – fortunate to have Liam as regional organizer. She was a featured speaker on the victory night broadcast. Opened for Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye. What was special is that we had a lot of young people.
- Massachusetts Senate/House Races That Need Attention – Joe Sherlock.
- Coordinated campaign happens next to make sure volunteers are used effectively and working for all Dems. John Cronin running against Dean Tran who has two scandals. Out of state partnerships in both NH and ME to keep them blue.
- Swing State Participation – James Arena-DeRosa
- For Togetherfor2020. Over 1,000 young people have been placed in swing states.
- State Committee Report – Parwez Wahid
- A lot of info from various sources for volunteers, State Dem party wants people to volunteer as much as they can. Controversy over letter sent by college Dems at UMASS and the Mayor of Holyoke. Former State Sen. Cheryl Jacques was appointed to investigate, but many say she is not independent enough and want another independent person appointment.
Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions and votes:
- Bylaws – Mel Warshaw – No report
- Communications – Gwen Holbrow/Jim Hansen – Jim is sick, but not with COVID. Needs to straighten out forms on website and who they go to.
- Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
- Changed regular meeting time to weekends before the next meeting.
- Pat Dunne – Census 2020 is particularly important, so we keep our number of Reps in DC and it decides where money goes in the city. Census Coordinator is Alaa in the Mayor’s office.
- CPA is the best piece of legislation the state has ever done. It has good ideas and shelters funding to use for those targets of open space, recreation, community housing, and historic preservation.
Pat Dunne – makes motion for FDC to endorse Yes on CPA Questions 3, Larry Stoodt seconded.
25 yes -1 no, motion passes.
Mel Warshaw – we have already voted to support question 2 and voted in the past to support Rank Choice Voters
- Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt – no meeting, but we need to discuss soon the climate legislation that is in committee right now.
- Legislative – Kurt Fusaris/Barb LeDuc – no report
- Outreach – Carmen Chico – no report
- Programming, to include discussion of Racism, Equity and Social Justice, and a vote for funding – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales
- August was spent interviewing potential facilitators for workshops
- Committee members are Jack Patrick Lewis, Tracey Bryant, Cesar, Barbara Fontes, and Chair Hugo
- How do each of us embody racism and not realize it, how do we become more diverse and what it means to be anti-racists.
- Liza Talusan and Joanie McGee both from MA and are skilled facilitators. We are presenting both to get feedback from the committee.
- Chair – this will be a separate longer session or sessions on this outside of regular meetings.
- Gwen – are they white or POC or women of color?
- Beverly – Joanie has put on presentations for colleges, business, schools. She is white. She presented a workshop on White Fragility for Progressive MW. There is some Indigenous heritage in Joanie’s background.
- Robert – Liza is Filipino, and her husband is Latino.
- David Magnani has a contact who is African American, has a white wife and he does this type of training and is slightly concerned about the amount that would be spent though it has been a while since he has been involved in this type of training. He would like to reach out to his contact and see if he would be interested in bidding for this training.
- Jack Lewis – We have a lot to learn as Democrats when it comes to the experiences of different races, and we should not think this course is going to solve the entire issue for us as a committee.
- Rozzy – no one should think this is one course and its over, this is an introduction and something to build from.
- Norma Shulman made a motion to spend up to $1,000 on training, the committee should check in with Dave Magnani’s contact and then come back with a final proposal of one facilitator since they will know exactly how much they can spend, Mary Kate Feeney seconded.
- Motion passed – 26 yes and 2 no.
- Gwen – are they white or POC or women of color?
Discussion and Voting on Police Resolution and Stamps Resolution – Barbara Fontes, Mel Warshaw; and Donnie Harding, Chair #JusticeForEurie
- The Chair thanked Mel Warshaw and Mary Kate Feeney for helping to craft this resolution. Special thanks also go to Tracey Bryant for all her work to make this happen.
- The Chair introduced Don Harding and Selvin Chambers as leaders of the Justice for Eurie movement. They will share this document with their group the following Tuesday night. It is a very good and thorough document.
- Chris Lorant made a motion to suspend the rules to allow Associate Member, Tracey Bryant, to formally introduce the motion for the committee to approve the Eurie Stamps resolution., seconded by Kathie McCarthy.
- No discussion. The motion passed unanimously.
- Tracey Bryant made the motion to approve the Eurie Stamps resolution and for the FDC to deliver the resolution to the Framingham City Council as well as the entire list of state and local elected leaders included in the resolution; seconded by Gwen Holbrow.
- Kathie McCarthy wants to support the resolution but she is voting no because she does not agree with the redirection of financial resources and because the officers in the schools have been pulled from the regular department when we are already short staffed.
- 21 yes, 1 no, 1 abstention. The motion passed.
- Donnie Harding congratulated the committee on their work today and for passing the resolution tonight. They are requesting the FDC’s help in getting Officer Paul Duncan fired. They are requesting a petition to be signed and sent to the Mayor and the City Council to get this done.
- Selvin Chambers thanked the committee as well and reiterated that they need local people in Framingham to push this issue to get this done. They are planning a vigil on the anniversary of Eurie’s death on January 5th.
Kathie McCarthy made a motion to accept Audrey Hall as an Associate Member of the FDC; seconded by Cesar Stewart-Morales; the motion passed 20-0
- Kathie McCarthy made a motion to adjourn; Parwez Wahid seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 9:29pm.
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.
Please Mark Your Calendar for our Next Meeting on October 18th (tentative)