Minutes April 23, 2024

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 SpicerAdam 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, Phanenca Babio-James, Yasmine, Mike Gatlin


7:05 – 7:07 Reading of the Mission Statement – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley

7:05 – 7:10    Welcome and preliminary announcements – Cesar Stewart-Morales

Introduction of guests.

7:10 – 7:20 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt

7:20 – 7:30 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence 

March 2023

7:30 – 7:45 Earth Month Report – Larry Stoodt

7:45 – 8:00 Reports from City Council, School Committee, and Mayor

8:00 – 8:15 Reports from our Legislative Delegation 

8:15 – 8:25 Reports from State Dem Committee: Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Kathie McCarthy

8:25 – 8:50 Sub – Committee Reports    

Civics Education – Beverly Hugo

Vote on funds for translated Constitution brochures: English, Espanol, Portuguese

Legislative Subcommittee – Audrey Hall:  First meeting of reconstituted committee

Environmental – Larry Stoodt

Communications – Jim Hansen

Programming – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley

ByLaws – Mel Warshaw:  new PR policy bylaw

8:50 – 9:00 Caucus: Parwez Wahid

  1. Library, Costin room.  11 June, 1pm to 5pm
  2. Appoint a Caucus Committee

9:00 – 9:10 Announcements – from members, future events, etc.

FDC Member Vacancies – Accept nominations in April, Vote in May

9:10 Adjourn


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


Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt


Opening Bank Balance   3712.67   3/19 Opening balance


+  $160.00 in dues paid (8 persons)

+  0.16 in interest March/April


+ 3869.83 Ending Balance in April


Motion to approve treasurer’s report:     Kathie McCarthy, Chris Lorant seconded.   Passed by acclamation.


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.      

March Minutes: Parwez Wahid moved to accept and Chris Lorant seconded.      2 abstentions, minutes passed.


Larry Stoodt presented a slide deck on Earth Day and an environmental subcommittee update.   The slide deck will be sent out by the Secretary to the Membership.    We have a long way to go in Framingham.   Embarrassingly 2 schools now have panels but are not activated and on-grid.  (Fuller and Brophy).  A private company, NLX, owns the system and is working with Eversource. Framingham Sustainability Committee.


Motion proposed by Larry Stoodt:   FDC asks those bodies concerned in city government to make every effort to activate the solar panels on Brophy and Fuller Schools.


Motion to table for 1 month to allow school committee members to investigate / advocate:  Norma Shulman, seconded by Mike Hugo.    Motion to table passes. 1 opposed, 2 recusals.


Report from our City Council representatives


Adam Steiner:  SeaBra supermarket will move into downtown Framingham.    CPA funds were approved as requested at Finance subcomm by the CPC with removal of Temple St park design funds.   The mayor’s initial budget was released 20 April and is raising some questions about priorities, what the City should more actively pursue.   2.5% increase in tax was requested but will be resisted by some councilors.  We have taxed well below the 2.5% state levy limit for many years now, resulting in effective budget cuts after inflation. The new “stretch code” on environmental issues in buildings is being adopted by Boston, etc. but being delayed in Framingham.    City infrastructure has been neglected.   The Welcoming Committee ordinance is progressing slowly.    Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance is being advocated.   Our focus should be on flexible, affordable housing, but there are concerns about how the ADU rules might be abused.  The budget materials are linked in the agenda in the public meeting portal at: http://framinghamma.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=6485&Inline=True


Questions:  Kathie McCarthy advocated for restoration of CPC funds for redesign of the Temple Street Park, which were the only changes to the CPC recommendations by the Council.   Mike Hugo asked why we are not advocating more strongly for the stretch code?   A:  Other cities are adopting it now, and Framingham is trying to slow developers replacing open space or 1-2 story structures with multistory apartments.   These has not been a discussion of this yet.   M Hugo:  Can we look at a resolution in support of the “stretch code” to be voted on next month?   The Chairs will refer to Legislative Comm for consideration. 


Report from School Committee Members


Beverly Hugo – Yesterday Schools booth at Earth Day highlighted environmental action in the schools, recyclable food trays, solar panels, charging stations, etc.  Bev and Willy were at the booth.   A Natick visitor inspired by our progress at Earth Day will donate 100 trees to the city.  On May 4th school officials across the state will lobby at the statehouse.   Policy subcommittee meets tomorrow to update the policy book.


Adam Freudberg – We should be proud of the Earth Day initiative summary of activity across the schools.   Geothermal, Walk in fridges, solar, etc.  Farley roof solar under construction this summer.  The final pages of this document have the two slides on school district sustainability initiatives:


SC submitted budget to mayor in March.   Joint meeting with Council, Mayor.   Made agreement $23.41M in new state aid was a part of the budget, new state aid reduced the need for hard choices. 


Charter review commission and SIFOC both have vacancies.    SC sponsors certain members, please apply thru SC website.  


Bussing will be discussed at back-to-back meetings next week.    55 of 77 drivers are in place.   Existing busing provider is failing.  No other companies have bid.  Something is wrong.   Company is no longer showing up for City meetings, and it is time for action.


Library Board – Leslie White-Harvey, Vice Chair, Library Trustees.   New ramp at downtown library is complete and will be commissioned.   Bookmobile has made more than 400 visits in the city this year.    Q:   Are book banning activities appearing in Framingham?  Are we acting?    A: Not yet, but the Library Director is committed to raise any activity to the Board.    Please write to your City Counselor. Ask to support our library budget. Give a few examples of what services you or family members use at the library. What library means to you. Thank you all!


State Legislature – No delegation members were in attendance


State Democratic Committee UpdateParwez Wahid, Norma Shulman, Kathie McCarthy


Gus Bickford is stepping down as State Comm Chair, new Chair will be Steve Kerrigan. 


We had a successful Mass Dems Women’s Outreach meeting on Tuesday 21st.  Framingham’s Audrey Hall was on the Panel discussion.    Audrey Hall spoke about the MA Comm on Status of Women.   If you missed the program, or just want to listen to 3 inspiring speakers again, here is the link: bit.ly/MDP WomensProgram.  If needed, the passcode is U4^WqYas


Quarterly meeting of Mass Dems tomorrow (24th April) in Newton.   295 California St, Newton 6-7pm Social, meeting at 7pm.


Norma Shulman will be recognized as a Senior Hero Award recipient – recognized for Diversity and Inclusivity.


Caucus: planned for FPL Costin room, June 11, Sunday, 1-4PM.   The caucus will elect a delegation to the MA state convention.  We need to set up a caucus committee to run the event.  Kathie McCarthy, Norma Shulman, Cindi Rubin volunteered.  We will attempt a hybrid caucus.


This year’s state convention will be a Platform Convention at MA state level.  Sat 23rd the State Dem Convention will be held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.


Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions, and votes: (if section is blank, there was no report)


Civics Education – Beverly Hugo

English constitution booklets are available.   Barbara LeDuc will contribute 100 Spanish-language constitutions booklets.   Our vendor does not currently produce Portuguese booklets, and we will also need a Portuguese version following discussing with the Superintendent.  US constitution in Portuguese translation in PDF can be printed on 8.5/14 legal sheets in color at Staples, so we proposed to print our own paper Portuguese constitutions.


Motion (by Beverly Hugo):  Allocate up to $300 for Constitution brochures for Civics Education so that all 8th graders can has the Constitution in their choice of English/Spanish/Portuguese.

Second:  Kathie McCarthy.      Passed unanimously.


Legislative – Audrey Hall 

Met  to reorganize on 27 March.   We had an issue with Zoom link, but still had a quorum, and we had a good discussion.    We are working on the Legislative Breakfast.    Lewis and Spilka have been consulted.    The delegation would prefer to come to a regular Sunday evening FDC meeting.    The sense from speaking with FDC chairs is that this makes sense and can be organized later in the year.   Discussion of Legislative event ensued.    It has historically been at St Patrick’s day, early enough to influence the course of statehouse developments.    Could we use the August BBQ this year?    There will not be a lot of candidates this year.


After discussion, a consensus was reached to propose a meeting on Sunday, June 25th in lieu of our regular monthly FDC meeting, if that date works for our legislative delegation.  We will try for an in-person or hybrid meeting.


Communications – Jim Hansen / Norma Shulman 


Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt  


Spoke at length earlier in the meeting.    Local programs can be found here:



Programming  – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley


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 May meeting?


Outreach – Parwez Wahid


Announcements and Other Business:


Nominations for Associate Members – unlimited slots available

Meghan Todd – Member of State Commission on persons with disabilities.  Will join Mayor Sisitsky’s staff as city grant manager in a few weeks.  Motion to nominate:  Kathie McCarthy…Chair indicated motion will be in order next month. 


Membership Vacancies – 1 regular member vacancy

Mike Gatlin – Nominated by M. Hugo, spoke about his background in City politics and commitment as a Democrat.


Joel Winett – Moved by Kathie McCarthy, seconded by Audrey Hall.  Joel spoke about his interest in helping with the ByLaws committee and rules and governance to help ensure that all voices are heard.


Motion to close nominations – Kathy McCarthy, Beverly Hugo seconded.  Motion was passed unanimously.


Vote will be at our next meeting in May.


Announcements and Other Business:

Request for future topic from A. Steiner – can we add to agenda next month a discussion of MCAS graduation requirements.  M. Hugo mentioned that the Thrive Act will address MCAS putting schools in receivership, and student graduation requirements.  Mike advocates working hard on this via Legislative Committee and drawing on his files and knowledge for background. 


https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/HD3162 Jack Lewis is a sponsor – we need them all to get this done!


Adjourned at 9:23 pm – moved by Audrey Hall, seconded by Chris Lorant, passed by acclamation.


Respectfully Submitted,

Doug Lawrence
Secretary, FDC