Minutes Feb 11, 2024

Members: Lori Bornstein, Christopher Craig 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, Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley,  Shahid Khan,  Doug Lawrence, Barbara LeDuc,  Caraline Levy, Chris Lorant, Jack Patrick Lewis, David Magnani, Thom Mahoney, Kathie McCarthy, Amanda Northrup, Phil Ottaviani,  Isabella Petroni, Cindy Rubin, Margareth Shepard,  Norma Shulman,  Priscila Sousa, Yvonne SpicerAdam Steiner, John Stefanini, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Jim Stockless,  Larry Stoodt, Cheryl Tully-Stoll,  Parwez WahidMel Warshaw, Leslie White-Harvey


Associate Members:  Rob Adamson, Kalee Balde, Stephanie Deeley, Maureen Dunne, Ricky Finlay, Karen Garafolo, David Gordon, Tilia Klebenov Jacobs, Heather Klish, William LaBarge, Samantha McGarry, Katherine Murphy, Brandale Randolph, Joan Rastani, Pamela Roberts, Grace Snedden, Meghan Todd, Cynthia Villanueva, Brandon Ward, Joel Winett 


Guests:  Mayor Sisitsky, Dave Reservitz, Muriel Kramer, Susan Labandibar, Nanette Magnani


3:03 – 3:05 Welcome and reading of FDC Mission Statement – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, Co-Chair

3:05 – 3:10 Preliminary announcements – Cesar Stewart-Morales, Co-Chair

  1. Election of FDC Members on 5 March ballot – there are 2 competing groups this year
  2. State Convention delegate nominating Caucus – will be held Sunday Mar 2 at Framingham Public Library.

3:10 – 3:15 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt

As of 12/17/23 we had 4005.71 in the bank

We earned interest of   0.17

We accepted $15.00 in dues.

We had no expenditures.

As of today, we have $4020.88 in the bank.

Motion to accept the treasurers report:  K. McCarthy, seconded by C. Lorant – Unanimously approved.


Larry Stoodt:   We need to pay our annual Zoom renewal:   159.90 Zoom charges + tax, request we approve

Motion to approve Zoom renewal by Chris Lorant, seconded by Kathie McCarthy

Approved unanimously.

Parwez Wahid:  We should consider increasing dues in 2024 to permit more use of paying meeting venues.

Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley:  Need new name tags for Caucus.  Will spend up to $50 to print them, Treasurer and Chair agreed that for <$50, no motion is required.

3:15 – 3:20 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence

Dec 10 2023 Holiday Party – Chris Lorant moved acceptance with spelling corrections noted, Kathie McCarthy seconded the motion.  Unanimously approved.

Jan 21 2024 Business Meeting – Kathie McCarthy moved acceptance with spelling corrections, Chris Lorant Seconded.  Unanimously approved.

Jan 28 2024 Special meeting on Legislation Endorsement:  Kathie McCarthy moved acceptance with spelling corrections noted, Larry Stoodt seconded the motion.  Unanimously approved

3:20 – 4:20  Guest Speakers

Dave Reservitz – Candidate for Governor’s Council.  27 years as a lawyer, tried >300 cases to verdict.  Running for open seat.  Brockton attorney.   Appointed by D. Patrick for Judicial Nominating Committee.  Was displaced by Baker.   Would like to return to good and rewarding judicial nominating work on the Governor’s council.    The Governor’s Council focuses on good appointments, especially of judges.    www.votefordave.net

Muriel Kramer – Candidate for Governor’s Council.  Muriel is a Social Worker, she works in Medicaid, and substance abuse populations.  We know we have incarcerated too many people.   We have criminalized poverty, race, illness.   Judges can change all this.  Parole board appointees are very important.  Under Healey administration, we are starting to make progress.   I am particularly invested in diversionary programs.  We should invest in people not in incarceration.      murielkramer4govcouncil@gmail.com  web site is in progress.

Mayor Sisitsky – State of City Address is available to view.  Significant recent progress including:  School building committee is in place for Bethany, Marion HS Community Center Committee is in place, Composting program is being chartered.  Cushing Chapel Committee is also announced.   Cleanup of Dennison Playground, working with Mass DEP, Avery Dennison will pay 82% of cleanup costs.  Chris Walsh trail design is under way, MWRA will contribute pipeline access, Bruce Freeman rail trail work is also moving forward.   The governor’s budget only increases Ch 70 aid by $1M this year, will be a constraint on the City.   50 families of asylum seekers are in Framingham hotels, currently reimbursed for education cost of refugee students, cost of housing is born by the state,  and administered thru JFS and SMOC.

Any further questions, reach out to him at [email protected]

3:45pm   Swing Blue Alliance  – Susan Labandibar 

SBA is the largest grass roots group in the state, helping revitalize Democrats from the ground up.   They have a research group, and talented people who worked on Clinton and Obama campaigns. 

Number one priority is voter registration in key states.   It is very time-intensive, the most effective way is on site work in the swing states.   NH is unfortunately very restrictive about 3rd party or online registration.   Some parties are making voter registration seem like a partisan activity.  Only 2/11 colleges in NY recently approved on site registrations on campus, scared off by political concerns.  Sometimes registration must be done by a non-partisan committee, rather than a political party.

Working on a way to use letters to register Democratic voters, 18-26 year olds who live in a household with older people who can encourage them to register.  FDC could consider doing / supporting this activity.

Will eventually SBA will work on Phone Banking when closer to the general election.

For more information.   https://swingbluealliance.org/

3:58pm Katie Murphy, President, MA Nurses Association – State of Hospitals in Massachusetts

She works as a critical care nurse on night shift at the Brigham.   The Association has members from Berkshires to the Cape.   We are facing issues seen around the country and the world.    Hospitals are closing all around the state, especially where the most vulnerable populations exist.   Closure of maternity services at Leominster Hosp is one example, driven by the UMass system.   Women now have to travel to Worcester.   In hospital patients are far sicker, more care intensive than in the past.     Moving beyond 4 patients per nurse in ICU increases mortality by 15%.   Constantly looking at bedside issues, working for greater oversight by DPH.   Hospital closures require hearings before terminating an essential service, but they end up closing anyway after hearings.   Stewart Hospital group is in bankruptcy, closing services, eg substance abuse moved from Taunton to Dorchester.   We file bills related to safe staffing every year.   Due to our past work, Massachusetts, unlike other states, must have at most 2 patients per nurse in ICU.   We want the state to be much more active in keeping health services open.  Also supporting a bill on violence in the medical workplace.  Improved Medicare for All bill also supported…Prof. Jerry Friedman projects billions in savings if we had a better program.   Prop 2.5% limits city tax growth.    MA Nurses is working as hard as we can to come up with potential solutions to these many problems.   Please reach out to our legislators to support these bills.   Health Care bills in HC Financing have another month, not all blocked by Joint Rule 10.

4:20  Q&A for Katie Murphy

4:25 – 4:38 MetroWest Blue and Beyond Update: targeting  NC, PA, AZ

Dave MagnaniDave shared slides and introduced the group, then handed it over to Nanette to speak about All in for NC.    MWBB plan to use network organizing.   Initial focus is on increasing registrations in these key states

First event on March 6th, 7:30pm   – focus on Mecklenberg County, NC, supporting Action for Climate Emergency, A. Philip Randolph Institute.   A video from fmr. Gov Patrick on the importance of NC activities was shared.

We do not run phone banking or post-carding directly, we support on the on the ground organizations.

e.g.  Turn PA Blue, New Pennsylvania Project

See  www.mwblueandbeyond.com for information and to participate.

4:30 – 4:40 Reports from City Council, School Committee

Councilor Adam Steiner – City Council during public participation we had 3 persons come to deliberately make antisemitic comments, just short of hate speech.   ADL reached out to us about how to handle it better, will be invited to a future council meeting.    The audience sang “baby shark” to drown out these speakers which was appreciated.

Long discussion of violence in the schools.     New limitations in state law on how quickly students are suspended to address inequitable punishment may be limiting/slowing punishment options as a side effect.    Jack Lewis was scapegoated by a city councilor for the entire problem on the basis of this argument.   

Good discussion on rules changes.   Have added a Council Subcommittee for Facilities.   Get ahead of large capital requests.   Next subcommittee assignments will soon be announced.   

Councilor Leslie White Harvey – Antisemitic groups at Council were upsetting and threatening.   Was shocking.   We have had emails calling out black and Jewish councilors for not speaking up, but this is blaming the victim for not acting, when it is the responsibility of all.  

Violence in the schools – need more communications to families about the discipline process.   Was not able to do a councilor report for 2nd month, working on being able to do that.   Held first District meeting this month on Tuesday.   On Feb 24th will be a repair event.  Happy Black History month.

Rozzy:  Congrats to Adam for Polar Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics.

Larry:  Should we pass a resolution denouncing comments at City Council.  Cesar will address by our next meeting.

School Committee – W. LaBarge

No hate speech activists, good police support for our meeting.   We dealt with an issue relating to moving children from school to school during the year.    It was disappointing to see the hate speech invoke God and religion.

4:40 – 4:50 Reports from our Legislative Delegation

Jack P Lewis – Joint rule 10 day was last week, majority of bills go to study, not forward for action.   All of Jack’s priority bills are moving forward, Progressive Caucus which Jack chairs has a percentage that is also good this year.   Leverage of the rainy day fund to leverage Federal grants is focus of Jack’s committee work.

Ashland Planning Board also was invaded by camera-wielding antisemitic and homophobic speakers.  Research was done and remarks were targeted to individuals on the planning board.   Agenda of these groups is to scare away good people who may wish to volunteer.   

Campaign kickoff on March 26th in Ashland VFW.

Disappointing to be targeted by a City Councilor for damaging the schools, who forgets Jack has children in the schools.   The legislature is being scapegoated for portions of a mental health bill, supported by the Senate President, voted for by all our delegates, but only Jack is being scapegoated for schools violence.    

 4:50 – 4:55 Reports from State Dem Committee: Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Kathie McCarthy

Parwez Wahid:   At large seats on State Committee, Election will be April 6th, Letter of intent must be in by 26 March.

Will be 5 State Comm meetings this year, extra meeting in May to elect Add-on delegates to the National Convention.    Chris Lorant is running for one of the male disability National seats.

Norma Shulman:   Caucuson 2 March is very important… We will elect delegates to go to the State Convention on June 1.   Any delegates are invited to come and vote.   Press release will go out, must be welcoming to all Democrats who attend.  We will have nomination papers to sign for many state offices.    National delegate status may best be reached by putting a slate together.   Costs of attending the national convention include transport and hotel, but you can raise these funds before traveling.

5:12pm Nomination for Associate Members:

Cesar mentioned that Grace Snedden was interested in Assoc Membership and invited Grace to speak.

Grace has lived in Framingham 8 years, became active in the coronavirus response.  Is organizing around bodily autonomy, pro -choice activity.   Look forward to working on subcommittees.  

Grace was nominated for Associate membership by Rozzy, Seconded by Kathie.

Cesar indicated that Grace will be put to a vote at our next meeting, likely following the caucus.

4:55 – 5:15 Sub – Committee Reports 

Civics Education – Acting Ch. R. Hooper-Hamersley 

Constitutions in Spanish are sourced, still working on Portuguese.

Legislative Subcommittee – Audrey Hall 

Death with dignity bill we have supported is finally reported out of Committee.

Environmental – Larry Stoodt

City aggregation plan has been filed with DPU. 

One Aggregation bill passed Jt rule 10.  

Committee will meet first Monday of the Month at 7PM.

Communications – Adam Steiner

Programming – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley

Will bring up violence and antisemitism in Framingham

ByLaws – Mel Warshaw

5:15 – 5:20 Announcements – from members, future events:  There were none this week

5:20 Adjourn – Moved by Kathie McCarthy, Seconded by Larry Stoodt, Motion was unanimously accepted.