Meeting Attendees: All FDC members listed, those in BOLD were present :
Members: Lori Bornstein, Christopher Broyles, Tracey Bryant, Jeanne Bullock, Jerry Desilets, Patrick Dunne, Mary Kate Feeney, Barbara Fontes, Adam Freudberg, Kurt Fusaris, Linda Fields, Danielle Gregoire, Audrey Hall, Jim Hansen , Brooke Harvey, Leslie White Harvey, Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley, Beverly Hugo, Mike Hugo, Shahid Khan, Ohad Klopman, Doug Lawrence, Barbara LeDuc, Caraline Levy, Chris Lorant, Jack Patrick Lewis, David Magnani, Tom Mahoney, Betty Muto, Kathie McCarthy, Amanda Northrup, Phil Ottaviani, Cindy Rubin, Margareth Shepard, Norma Shulman, Ravi Simon, Priscila Sousa, Yvonne Spicer, Adam Steiner, John Stefanini, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Jim Stockless, Larry Stoodt, Cheryl Tully-Stoll, Parwez Wahid, Mel Warshaw
Associate Members: Rob Adamson, Kalee Balde, Maureen Dunne, Ricky Finlay, Karen Garafolo, David Gordon, Tilia Klebenov Jacobs, William LaBarge, Diane Markowitz, Isabella Petroni, Joan Rastani, Pamela Roberts, Brandon Ward, Joel Winett
Guests: Meghan Todd
7:00 – 7:05 Reading of the Mission Statement – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley
7:05 – 7:10 Welcome and preliminary announcements – Cesar Stewart-Morales
7:10 – 7:20 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
Requested Vote: to pay for dedicated FDC Zoom account: $99 per year
7:20 – 7:30 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence
December 2022, January 2023, February 2023
7:30 – 7:50 Reports from City Council, School Committee, and Mayor
7:50 – 8:15 Other City Issues
CPC Project Selection process – Tom Mahoney
MTA Legislative Priorities – Kurt Fusaris
8:15 – 8:30 Report from our Legislative Delegation
8:30 – 9:00 Sub – Committee Reports
Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
Possible vote on funds for translated Constitution brochures
Legislative Subcommittee – Audrey Hall
Environmental – Larry Stoodt
Communications – Jim Hansen
Programming – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley
ByLaws – Mel Warshaw (includes new PR policy)
Set April/May Meeting Dates – Cesar Stewart-Morales
April 23 ?
May 21 ?
State Dem Committee report – Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Kathie McCarthy
9:00 – 9:10 Announcements – from members, future events, etc.
FDC Member Vacancies – Accept nominations in April, Vote in May
Meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM by Cesar Stewart-Morales and Rosamund Hooper-Hamerlsey
Reading of Mission Statement: Rosamund Hooper-Hamersley
Remarks from the Chair: Cesar Stewart-Morales
The Chairs reminded the Members that we expect decorum and respectful behavior at meetings. By treating each other with respect at all times, we can focus on the mission of the FDC. 2023 will be an Election year in the City. Our April Meeting will be annual dues, please be proactive in making payment to L. Stoodt
NB: The Secretary reminds everyone: Under Roberts Rules, speakers must be recognized by the Chair, no shouting or outbursts. Remarks should be directed to the Chair or the body as a whole, never directed toward an individual member. It is best practice not to refer or call out a member by name unless you are the Chair and rather to refer to “the statement of the previous speaker” or similar.
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
Opening Bank Balance 3712.37 Opening balance in January.
+ 20.00 in dues paid
+ $0.16 in interest January
+$0.14 Interest February
3712.67 Ending Balance in March
Motion to approve treasurer’s report: Kathie McCarthy, Chris Lorant seconded. Passed by acclamation.
Motion: Chris Slammer moved that we authorize the Treasurer to spend $99 on Zoom services for 1 year. Kathie McCarthy seconded. Passed by unanimous consent.
It was noted that 2023 Dues are required to be paid by April 30th.
- Dues are $20 Member /$15 Associate. You can pay by Act Blue, or cash but check is preferred, to save the $0.79 Act Blue admin fee (to offset the cost of ActBlue, please increase your donation to $21.00)
- please mail your 2022 dues to Larry Stoodt at 615 Belknap Road, Framingham, MA 01701.
Acceptance of Prior FDC Monthly Meeting Minutes – Doug Lawrence
December Minutes: Parwez Wahid moved to accept and Chris Lorant seconded. Unanimously accepted.
January Minutes: Kathie McCarthy moved to accept & Chris Lorant seconded. Unanimously accepted.
February Minutes: Kathie McCarthy moved to accept & Chris Lorant seconded. Unanimously accepted.
Report from our City Council representatives
Adam Steiner: Thanks to everyone who donated to Polar Plunge at Exhibit A, we raised $40K for Special Olympics. City council it is a light season, leading into budget season. Revenue is looking positive, key questions will be making investment in infrastructure, schools etc or on cost cuts / tax rate reductions.
Cesar Stewart-Morales: City has purchased building adjacent to Memorial Building, will redesign parking lot to include the new spaces.
Report from School Committee
Beverly Hugo – Just had public budget hearing in a joint meeting with council finance committee. There will be a 7% increase in overall school funding. Bev recently took ALICE (active shooter) training, and intruder awareness training, which helped her advocate well at the next meeting. MASC day on Beacon Hill planned for May 4th, for lobbying. We have opened up more quality preschool seats (99 new seats). There were no bids on a request for 10 extra buses for the city. Will be rebid differently.
CPA (Community Preservation Act) and City CPC (CP Committee) Project Selection Process – Tom Mahoney
Tom is chair of the CPC and provided background on the CPA/CPC. A surcharge on real estate taxes voted in during 2019 is to be used for housing, historic preservation, open space and outdoor recreation. FY 2022 was first year for the Framingham surcharge. $1,567K was available in June, state added 38%. $611K. $2.2M available to spend.
10% is dedicated to each of the CPC uses, and the remaining 70% can be allocated to any projects within the 3 approved uses.
11 projects have applied. The committee vetted each project in working groups. 3 months of diligence work have been done. In the last 3 weeks CPC members are discussing which projects to fund and assign a funding amount.
Tom briefly covered all 11 contending projects. CPC will vote on projects on 27th March, then recommend projects to City Council by 1 April. Council can reject or lower spend on projects, not add or increase.
MTA Priorities – Kurt Fusaris
Kurt is Senate District coordinator for MTA. MTA has 4 key priorities:
- Cherish Act – debt free higher education, adjunct salary improvement
- Thrive Act – Eliminate high stakes MCAS testing (high stakes = grad requirement, school receiverships)
- Right to Strike – it is illegal for teachers to strike, heavy penalties. Will allow strikes after 6 months.
- Fair and Affordable Retiree benefits for Educators
MTA is seeking state rep support. Jack Lewis is co-sponsor to all 4. Please contact our other state reps. Kurt has a letter template that can be used to ask for Rep support, ask him for the template. FDC Legislative Committee will also take this up. Calls and social media strategy will be put together and you can get involved.
For letters formats: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12xSo9SefcyY8bPqGYNjlCWDOvAdYOO8IqG_KOXS_YEg/edit?usp=sharing
Jack Patrick Lewis – Ashland has been benefiting from CPA for 6 years, so happy to see Framingham getting these funds. The governor is putting forth her budget in 3 weeks, so big focus now is on the House budget. All bills have been assigned to committees, committee assignments have all been completed, hearings starting. He will Chair Federal Stimulus Oversight Committee. There is some talk in Washington of some stimulus claw back.
Danielle Gregoire is now a Division Leader in the House, so congratulate her.
State Democratic Committee Update – Parwez Wahid and Norma Shulman
Need to identify a caucus location in May, are looking at the library, and hoping for June 10th. Not aware of any state committee vacancies. If anyone wants to run to be a national convention delegate, you need to start working on it now.
Next State Committee Meeting: April 24th Newton. Will be recorded for later viewing.
We do have a new state Committee Member from Framingham: Kathie McCarthy, as well as current members Jack, Parwez and Norma.
Women’s Outreach Committee is holding a meeting this Tuesday 21st 7pm on Zoom. Audrey Hall will come to talk about MA Comm on Status of Women. Details on FDC page.
This year’s state convention will be a Platform Convention at state level. Sat 23rd the State Dem Convention will be held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.
Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions, and votes:
Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
Barbara LeDuc will contribute 100 Spanish-language constitutions. We may also need a Portuguese version, are discussing with the Superintendent. Search for US constitution in Portuguese translation is under way. Will propose a vote on funds for Constitution brochures next month.
Portuguese and other languages Constitutions are available here:
Will do an updated brochure on Why Voting Matters and the importance of voting for use this summer. Could be an additional cost.
Can we get a booth at Earth Day?
Legislative – Audrey Hall
Audrey is the new Chair, planning an initial meeting in coming weeks. The committee will talk about organization, structure of committee. Then a structure for evaluating bills, prioritizing, then defining appropriate levels of action and support.
Communications – Jim Hansen / Norma Shulman /
Busy month, cleaning up member and associate member list on website, please check and let us know of any required changes. Also cleaning up subcommittee email lists, for Committees need to clarify who is “informed” vs required for a “quorum”.
[email protected] list goes to many non-members. We have another list just for members.
Moderation policies were tested in February, many disruptive people, many from outside of the City were blocked from posting to FB page, etc. Things are calming down in March.
Discussion@FraminghamsDems.groups.io will go only to members and associates.
Members@FraminghamDems.groups.io will go only to members.
Assoc@FraminghamDems.groups.io – the Associates list may not be up to date
We would be happy to have help if there are questions.
Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt
Had a meeting on the March 11th, but did not have a quorum. There are many ways to get locally involved. On April 22nd there will be a festival on the Common, many organizations presenting. Larry will investigate whether we can have a presence.
Local programs can be found here:
Programming – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley
Investigating Earth Day presence and locating a Project BluePrint Speaker from the MA Democratic Party – If you can identify speakers and or engagement opportunities please let Rozzy know.
Bylaws – Mel Warshaw
The committee met and have drafted a bylaw on “approval process for statements made on behalf of the FDC”. The committee will need to meet again to finalize a suitable bylaw. Will present to April meeting, then vote at May meeting.
Future Meetings – Cesar Stewart-Morales
Brief discussion of our upcoming meetings, dates were finalized as:
April 23 – Annual Meeting
June 10th – tentative date for Caucus.
Outreach – Parwez Wahid no report
Announcements and Other Business:
- Ravi Simon has moved out of City creating a vacancy for a full Member. Will accept nominations at the April meeting. Voting will be at May meeting.
- Motion to reconsider raising approved Zoom expense to 149.90 cents per year. Motion M. Hugo, Second A. Hall. Amended to approve at up to 160.00 center per year if needed. Motion: K. McCarthy Second: C. Lorant Passed unanimously.
- Announcement: Progressive (B. Hugo) – Framingham Chapter, shares many priorities with FDC, Thurs April 13th will be a Statehouse Day on the Hill. Speakers 10-11, wrap up around 1-2pm. $5 to join PD and come to the event.
As we prepared to adjourn, there was a brief discussion about the need to keep the FDC meetings focused on Democratic Party business and keep interpersonal quarreling on the shared Zoom platform to a minimum. It was noted at this point and in email dialog following the meeting that this March meeting was marred by a couple interpersonal verbal outbursts and inappropriate use of 1-1 messaging in the meeting Chat. Following the meeting, 3 persons were warned to not repeat this behavior. The chairs are considering further steps to control out of order behavior in our April meeting.
Adjourned at 9pm – moved by K. McCarthy, seconded by Y. Spicer, passed by acclamation.
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, we would be honored to render discreet aid to anyone in need, to the best of our abilities.
Next FDC Meeting Date: Sunday, April 23rd, 2023