Framingham Democratic Town Committee
Framingham Green Community Room
136 Maynard Rd. , Framingham, MA 01701
Meeting Minutes – Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 7:00 PM
Call to Order: Chair Beverly Hugo called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM
Announcements & Updates: Our last meeting was in June. Since then we have hosted two candidate debates and held our annual BBQ. We congratulate Maria Robinson for her victory in the primary election to fill the seat of the late State Rep Chris Walsh. A Co-ordinated Campaign Office is now open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1071 Worcester Rd., 4th Floor. There is elevator access; the office is handicapped – accessible, including restrooms on the first floor. A memorial service for long-time FDC member Stephanie Mercandetti was held on September 22 at Cushing Park. A park bench and a tree were dedicated, and a scholarship established in memory of Stephanie. Jay Gonzalez will speak at the First Church at 6 Eliot St in Jamaica Plain on Oct 1 at 6:30 PM. See Larry Stoodt for information. Former FDC Secretary Barbara LeDuc is filling in this evening for Secretary Barbara Fontes, who is at her daughter’s wedding this evening. Best wishes to Barbara Fontes and her daughter!
Attendance: Members: Lori B. Bornstein, Craig (Chris) Broyles, Robert Case, Patrick Dunne, Kurt Fusaris, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley, Beverly Hugo, Michael Hugo, Barbara LeDuc, Christopher Lorant, Joan Rastani, Maria Duaime Robinson, Farooq Mirza, Margareth B. Shepard, Norma Shulman, Cheryl Tully-Stoll, Larry Stoodt, Parwez Wahid, Mel Warshaw. Lifetime Members: none. Associate Members: James DeSimone, Amanda Northrop, Summer Shaud, Amanda Shepard, Adam Steiner. Youth Members: none. Candidates / Officials: Margareth Shepard, Cheryl Tully Stoll. Guests: Beth Amslei, Andrew Harding, Robin Lucia, Katie Murphy, Stephen Roche, Nora Watts.
– City Councilor Cheryl Tully Stoll noted that the recreational marijuana plan has been settled. Six outlets have been permitted, but not that many will open; the permissible zoning areas are in the Route 9 or Route 30 areas. One medical marijuana site is currently open and another is due to open shortly. City Councilor Adam Steiner agreed with Cheryl’s assessment.
– City Councilor Margareth Shepard noted that a recent District 7 Priorities meeting identified traffic, sidewalk repair, downtown crime, the need for a Community Center as priorities. Margareth is soliciting opinions on the Mayor’s appointment of police Chief Trask; he is viewed favorably.
– Beverly noted that information on the Fuller school debt exclusion will be included on the next agenda.
– Maria Robinson is the Democratic nominee to replace the late State Representative Chris Walsh on November 6.
– Chris Lorant is running for one of the two male Disability Seats on the Democratic State Committee. That election will be held November 14. Chris is running to advocate for accessible conventions and education of disabled persons about available assistance in the voting booth. To support Chris, please mention our local support to members of the DSC.
Coordinated Campaign Office:
The office needs canvassers and volunteers. It will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 to 8 PM, Saturdays 10-4 PM and Sundays 11 to 5 PM. Quentin Palfrey, candidate for Lt. Governor, will be at the office on Saturday Oct 6 at 10 AM.
Ballot Question Discussions:
( n.b. The Mass. Democratic Party’s official position is to vote yes on all three ballot initiatives)
Question 1: Law Proposed by Initiative Position: Patient Safety Act, see below
Question 2: Commission on Limiting Election Spending and Corporate Rights. Mel Warshaw.
Question 3: Referendum on an Existing Law: Transgender Anti-Discrimination, A yes vote would keep in place the current law.
re Q2: the MA Democratic party is advocating for a “yes” vote on Q2. Mel noted that we should establish a commission to overthrow Citizens’ United. However, the danger in opening a Constitutional Convention is that many unrelated issues/changes can be introduced.
re: Q3: the MA Democratic Party is advocating for a “yes” vote on Q3, i.e. to support the current law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation.
re: Q1: the MA Democratic Party endorsed a “yes” vote on Q1: Speaking in support: Katie Murphy, previous employee of BWH & MWMC, & currently on the Board of Directors of the Mass. Nurses Assoc. Speaking in opposition: Andrew D Harding, Acting CEO and Chief Nursing Officer of MWMC, a graduate of St Anselm’s College, and Editor, J. Emergency Nursing. There was a 15 minute presentation by each speaker, followed by many questions from the audience.
Norma noted there will be two forums on Question 3 coming up.Committee Reports:
Civics Education: Pat Dunne & Adam Steiner: Framingham had a 21% turnout for the recent primary election. The committee is assembling voter information. The Fuller School vote will be held 12/11/18.
Communication: Mike Hugo may reactivate the newsletter; please send items for publication to Mike.
Legislative & Advocacy: Kurt Fusaris prepared a demonstration of Ranked Choice Voting concerning favorite cookies. The subcommittee also discussed moving Mass primary elections to an earlier date, upcoming environmental legislation & actions, and the Indigenous Peoples act.
Outreach: Margareth has been preparing voter information in Portuguese and English. A version in Spanish is under construction.
Programming: Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley discussed programming for 2018-2019. She will additionally email an updated version of overall proposed programming for the calendar year.
Secretary’s Reports: Barbara LeDuc: Previous reports will be presented at our next meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: Larry Stoodt
The March 28 balance was $3,899.50. Income of $445.98 and expenses of $514.47 yielded a current balance of $4,276.99.
Chair Beverly Hugo noted that the FDC needs a new banner. Barbara LeDuc made a motion (seconded by C. Lorant) to approve up to $250 to pay for a new banner. The motion passed. Beverly will order a new banner.
FDC needs to elect a new voting member to replace State Rep. Chris Walsh. Amanda Northrop was nominated by N. Shulman (seconded by M. Hugo). A motion to close nominations passed and Amanda was elected by acclamation. Congratulations to Amanda!
Chair Beverly Hugo made a motion to table a change in member status until our next meeting.
Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley noted that there will be a new format for charitable donations. A list has been assembled and each month there will be a speaker for the subsequent charity. This was approved at this meeting.
Margareth Shepard noted that BRACE will be our chosen charity for our Oct 21 meeting. BRACE needs money to fund the 2018 Election Guide plus non-perishable food items and hygiene products.
Mike Hugo noted there is uncertainty as to whether we must vote to approve new Associate Members. The state charter indicates this may be true, but our current Bylaws may be ambiguous. A vote was taken and approved to ask Mike Hugo to contact MA Party Chair Gus Bickford to determine the correct actions and report to us next month.
On Oct. 28, the League of Women Voters will host a Candidate & Ballot Question forum.
All business being concluded, a motion to adjourn passed; adjournment was at 9:15 PM
** REMINDER ** Please give as generously as you can to the work of BRACE (see above) with either cash/check donations made out to BRACE or non-perishable food items and hygiene products.
Barbara LeDuc, Secretary Pro temp