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, Thom 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, Andrew Machkasov, Isabella Petroni, Joan Rastani, Pamela Roberts, Brandon Ward, Joel Winett
Guests: Kate Donoghue
7:00 – 7:15 Social interaction with old friends who haven’t seen each other for a while! Enjoy a snack.
7:15 – 7:25 Welcome, & initial announcements – Mike Hugo
7:25 – 7:27 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
7:27 – 7:29 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence
7:29 – 7:45 Reports from City Council, School Committee and Mayor
7:45 – 8:00 Report from our Legislative Delegation – Including our newest Reps!
8:00 – 8:40 Discussion/brainstorming about the FDC as we enter the next municipal election cycle, and look towards the next presidential cycle
- Legislative priorities our members are interested in discussing at the upcoming legislative breakfast
- Subcommittee viability and priorities
- Self-critical analysis of how we can improve as an organization through the lens of
Our subcommittee activities
- Public service/promotion of our party ideals
- Municipal priorities
- Participation in city government
- Available opportunities for our members to pursue
8:40 – 8:45 Announcements for the good of the order
8:45 – 9:00 Socialization time, if we don’t run long on the program
The group socialized and enjoyed a broad array of holiday treats from 7:00 to 7:20.
Meeting called to order at 7:20 PM by M. Hugo
Will discuss the upcoming year. There will be a municipal election. We need to establish how we can influence legislation in what could be a productive period of Democratic control of government in Massachusetts.
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
Opening Bank Balance 3892.04
+ 20.00 in dues paid
+ $0.16 in interest
3912.20 as of 12/11/22 before December activity
$ 3892.04 is the current bank balance!
All but one member have paid their dues, and that member is aware of the need to pay.
- 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.
Vote to accept Treasurer’s Report: Motion: Kathie McCarthy. Second: Chris Lorant: Moved to accept Treasurer’s Report, vote to accept was unanimous.
Acceptance of Prior Meeting Minutes – Doug Lawrence
Doug noted 1 correction, William LaBarge pointed out that he should be shown in Associate Member list, rather than Full Member list.
Motion to accept as corrected: K. McCarthy, Second: Chris Lorant. Unanimously accepted.
Report from our City Council representatives
Cesar Stewart-Morales: Use of signifcnat opioids settlement money will be discussed at council. There will be one more council meeting 20th Dec. Nobscott petition on expanded village zoning deferred to January, and while the final plan is not yet presented the proposal is generating broad skepticism. Planning & Zoning Sub comm will discuss downtown parking requirements with an eye to increasing spaces developers will be required to provide for new projects.
General Discussion of issues with City Appointments process: A Framingham Unfiltered person known to have made numerous racist / hateful comments was just confirmed to the Veterans Commission for a 6 month partial term. Disappointment was expressed that the Mayor chose to appoint this person, and that never at the Appts subcommittee nor at Council were any searching questions asked of this candidate, and they were confirmed via a group vote with 2 other candidates. There is a sense that government is failing to complete due diligence on candidates, perhaps in reaction to or as a part of the struggles we are having with the appointments process in the City This appointment is very disturbing to many Democrats members.
Framingham Unfiltered is becoming more legitimized. At least one City Councilor posts on the site as themselves.
Separately, it is felt that certain liberal/progressive councilors are expected to deal with all progressive items….but there are other Democrats on the council. Other officials who are Democrats need to help address these issues. There is disappointment in the Mayor for not having a more rigorous vetting process for candidates for city positions.
Report from School Committee
Beverly Hugo –We just closed out the FY 2023 budget. Starting the 2024 budget process. Each member is being asked to go into the community to ask about uses of any extra funding. Examples: Electric buses, ECE, etc Teachers contract is over in June 2024, so contract negotiation prep work will begin soon. Lots of RSV, Flu COVID is circulating. Follow us on Framminghamma.gov. If you email the school committee, your message will go to all, and we need to hear from you BEFORE votes. We are seeking to have disciplinary procedures move from Zero Tolerance for eg. Fights, to trying to explore underlying issues. We are seeing a big change in kids post-COVID…70% may have PTSD from the pandemic. Test scores are somewhat down.
Tilia Jacobs: Never subject our kids to remote learning again. It was worth than nothing. Up to all of us to speak up.
Jack Patrick Lewis – Karen, Priscila, Kate and I will come to City Council on Dec 20th for our annual visit. Framingham hosted the progressive caucus for the state last week. Deadline for filing bills not set, lilkely end of January time frame.
Question from B. Hugo: City funds of some $30K for recycling were given by the governor. Can you help us understand the timing?
Kate Donoghue – Q: What impacts will we see from having a Democratic governor? Kate had her annual party, which included both MA Senators. Thanks to everyone from Framingham for supporting my campaign.
Legislative Priorities – Mike Hugo
Our January meeting will be a Saturday morning legislative breakfast on Jan 21. We should have our Legislative SubComm meet and zero in on state and federal issues that are important to us.
Discussion of how best to support legislation: Be aware that key swing votes may not be motivated by what drives the majority of supporters. Supporting a bill publicly for the “wrong” reasons for these constituencies can set a bill back. Please consult with bill sponsors about what actions will actually be helpful.
Jack Lewis points out that helping build the coalition behind a bill can be key to getting a bill moving. Where can our support make a difference?
What legislation should we advocate for in 2023:
- Mel Warshaw – 1,800 abortions laws around the country remain on the books. We had them here in MA. We took ours off the books. Same for anti LGBTQ laws on the book. One remaining kind is not acted on: Separation of Church and State. NOW: We should repeal the blasphemy law. For example: Stating that JC is not the son of God is a crime. Some sodomy laws remain. Oath of office still contains a great deal of God language. These issues should be cleaned up.
- Barbara LeDuc – student loan issues, could be raised with Sen Warren.
- L. Stoodt Environment – Local, State and Federal legislation and funding/ targeting.
- B. Hugo – Personal financial knowledge educations in the schools. Which of 5 bills can we advance?
- MK Feeney – Trails, transport, MWRTA network, electrify buses, the Pike project at Harvard will threaten our commutes to Boston. Kim Driscoll, new Lt Gov. did great things for Salem transit and we hope to see the same for Framingham.
Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions, and votes:
- Hooper-Hamersley – Concerned we do not have active subcommittees right now. Goals for committees may help people to be committed.
Chris Lorant: Suggest we reach out to committee members. Treat this as a transition time, reach out to members, pick best time to meet.
Committee Reports: Un-minuted committees were SKIPPED in interest of time. Chair Hugo asks committee chairs to contact all members by phone as assess willingness to continue to serve, discuss agenda, etc.
Bylaws – Mel Warshaw (Ch. Emeritus) subcommittee is being reformed
Communications – Jim Hansen
Civics Education – Beverly Hugo
Outreach – Parwez Wahid
Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt
Legislative – Barbara LeDuc is serving as convener, looking for a Chair. Will be developing new list of legislation to consider by January. Audrey Hall has volunteered to lead the Subcommittee, and was appointed as the ne SubCommittee chair by M. Hugo on the spot.
- McCarthy – Hybrid or Zoom choice for meetings would be helpful in the future Sick people could attend from home. Some members with immune issues or age-related risks could participate safely.
City Elections – we should start to consider encouraging candidates to run for Council.
Adjourned at 9:07pm – moved by K. McCarthy , seconded by Beverly Hugo , 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: SATURDAY Morning, January 21th, 2022
Planned as Hybrid Meeting