Minutes for October 18, 2020

Meeting Attendees

Members: Mike Hugo, Beverly Hugo, Kurt Fusaris, Adam Freudberg, Barbara LeDuc, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Chris Broyles, Doug Lawrence, Maria Robinson, Mel Warshaw, Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Robert Case, Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, Larry Stoodt, Jack Duffy, Carmen Chico, Margareth Shepard, Adam Steiner, Chris Lorant, Patrick Dunne, Thom Mahoney, Jeanne Bullock, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Kathie McCarthy


Associate Members: Ohad Klopman, Andrew Machkasov, Tracey Bryant, Audrey Hall, Cheryl Gordon


Guests: Tom Hickey, Jesse Mermell, Steve Weisman, Liam Horsman, Carmen Gentile, Karen Spilka, Becca Rausch, Cam Charbonnier, James Arena-DeRosa, Joe Sherlock


Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo

The chair called the meeting to order at 7:03pm and reviewed the agenda and speakers for the meeting.

“We’ve got all the Questions and Answers: A review of the 3 ballot questions”

  • Question One: Right to Repair: Auto repair and privacy
    • Tom Hickey, Chair, Mass. Right to Repair Initiative – explained this ballot question is to update the 2012 law to include data from new wireless technology that is in 90% of new cars today and to continue to allow the consumer to continue to have the choice of where their car is repaired.  The data will not include personal or GPS info, just data to repair the car.
      • From an economic standpoint it just makes sense to keep cost of repairs down for consumers.
      • No on 1 side is trying to confuse voters with misleading and confusing ads.
      • Consumer Reports does not usually take a position but endorsed the YES on 1 question.
    • No reply from the “No on 1 initiative” for a spokesperson
    • Question Two: Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts
      • Jesse Mermell, Former Brookline Selectwoman, Primary Candidate for CD-4
        • Introduced by Doug Lawrence, FDC Member and guy with the signs, knowledge, and persistence
        • 130,000 signatures collected for the largest signature drive in MA ballot question history.
        • Only apply to State and Federal elections, would not apply to President or local municipal elections.
        • RCV ensures that someone receives a majority support (50%) to win the election. Voters rank their candidates of choice, if a candidate wins a majority of votes during counting, they are the winner.  If no one wins 50% then the lowest vote getting candidate is eliminated and their votes are re-distributed to other candidates, so their 2nd choice is recognized.  Voting continues and the lowest vote getter continues to be eliminated and votes re-distributed according to rankings by voters until someone receives a majority of support.
        • RCV encourages other people to run for office and creates a chance to build more coalitions during the election process.
      • Question three: Community Preservation Act in Framingham
        • Steve Weisman, Chair of Framingham CPA Study Group, Chair of “Yes on 3”
          • Introduced by Pat Dunne, FDC Member and guy with the signs, knowledge, and persistence
          • This ballot question will allow projects that usually fall outside of the city’s budget to be done for the betterment of the city – such as Open Space, Historic Preservation, Affordable Housing, and Outdoor Recreation. There are a number of exemptions (first $100k is deducted from the value of your property, Seniors, etc) and the average taxpayer will pay $50 per year. It would go into effect in July of 2021. The money that the city puts in will receive a 20% match from the state – around $1.8 million in a restricted CPA fund. If it passes the Council will need to pass an ordinance to create the CPA Committee. The CPA vets the projects and proposes them to the City Council and the Council can approve, reduce, or delete funding for a project but cannot add other projects or funds.
        • Cheryl Gordon, Assoc. Member and former School Committee Member, Issues raised against passage
          • Over a year before the pandemic the city was at 11% poverty and many are out of work, cash poor, and not able to refinance loans without a steady income.
          • Passing the CPA will become very political as the City Council is the ultimate decision maker over CPA projects. People will support City Council candidates when they want their land purchased or their idea passed through the CPA.
          • We need to focus on making sure residents are ok through the pandemic first, open City Hall and schools, and ensure our local economy recovers before we raise taxes.

Candidates for Election

  • Ed Markey – Liam Horsman, surrogate spokesperson
    • The coordinated campaign has it hands in a lot of different things. Phone-banking for Sara Gideon on Tuesdays, Joe Biden on Wednesdays, and three women of color who are running for Congress in Texas, Ohio, and Kansas.
    • Continue to focus on swing states and down ballot races, especially for more local races.
    • Hosting a phonebank with MassDems for John Cronin who is running against Dean Tran.
  • Carmine Gentile – Challenged race for 13th Middlesex District, includes part of Framingham
    • Thanks to Cesar Stewart-Morales, Audrey Hall, Barbara LeDuc, Ron Chick, and others for all their help so far.
    • His opponent is a Trumpian type of candidate. She does not say outright she is a Republican when asked or on her mailers. He is a Democrat in the morning, at night, and always a proud Democrat and proud to say so.
    • Looking forward to Nov 3rd and urge everyone to get on the phone to call and text for Joe Biden and Becca Rausch too.
  • Jake Oliveira – Challenged race for the 7th Hampden District – Classic progressive young guy vs. obstructionist old Republican in a tough race. Fmr. Legislative Aid to Pam Richardson.
    • Former President of the Mass School Committee Association
    • His opponent is a proud Trump Republican and not afraid to say it.
    • We need legislators than despite the pandemic will go to Beacon Hill and continue to support public education.
    • He is from Ludlow just outside of Springfield, and it is a very purple swing district. His opponent was a Democrat and now running as a Republican.
    • If there is anything, we can do to help his campaign it would be much appreciated.
  • Becca Rausch – Candidate Bristol & Middlesex District in the Senate.
    • Introduced by Senate President, Karen Spilka
    • Incredibly important races going on including around the state. We need to make sure Ed Markey and Carmen Gentile are successfully re-elected. If you can help Sue Moran please do, as well as John Cronin who is running against Dean Tran. We need to make sure that she comes back to the State Senate as well – Becca Rausch.
    • Scott Brown’s former Senate seat so it was no small feat to flip it blue.
    • Only the second Dem ever to hold this seat. The opponent is a Trump conservative, and we need to defeat them. It is a very tight race.
    • Working successfully on reproductive rights and women’s rights in the Senate.
    • If you have any time available in the next 15 days, please join us. We would really appreciate the help.
  • P. Joe Biden – Cam Charbonnier, Mass. State Director, surrogate spokesperson – 16 days left in the campaign. We are an export state where Biden and Harris are likely to win, but we have several experienced activists and volunteers that would be valuable to use in other states. 21,900 hours of calls to voters just in MA, only behind California and NY. We can win several battleground states and states that may not be battleground such as GA, TX, etc. but it is only possible with volunteers coming from states like MA. Phonebanks will be done over zoom and in regional rooms with people from your area. Phone calls for Biden and Harris will also be calls for down ballot Dem races.
    • The chair reminded committee members it is a requirement and their duty to be volunteering and working 40 hours over two years with most of the time to be spent during the Presidential election. If you are not volunteering and helping the Biden/Harris team you are in effect working for Trump.
  • Swing State Efforts – James Arena-DeRosa, Together for 2020 Swing State Chair
    • Coaching opportunities are available for those who do not want to be on the phones.
    • Maine has asked us to pull down are Maine phonebanks because they are over-subscribed.
    • So many opportunities and if people have time there is somewhere to plug them in every day of the week.
  • Mobilize MA – Joe Sherlock, Mass. Dem. Party Campaigns Director, Local races to help
    • We have phonebanks hosted by Lori Trahan upcoming this week, and as long as you are working for any campaign you are doing the right thing. Your work goes further in down ballot races, so do not forget to help these local races too. Do not take any of these races for granted!

Secretary’s Report – Minutes of July 19, 2020, Business Meeting – Robert Case, Secretary

  • Motion to approve the minutes by Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, seconded by Chris Lorant.
  • Discussion – The Secretary informed the membership there are a couple minor corrections, changes (Spellings, attendance additions/deletions, etc) that are not substantive that will be made, and members should always check the attendance record at the beginning of each meeting to make sure you receive credit for attending.
  • Motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt – Annual Dues are due, Associate Member discussion.

  • $4,613.17 starting balance, earned $515 from signs, $20 in dues, and .38 for interest = $5,148.55 in revenue
  • Spent $350 on signs and another $175 on signs and paid $20.47 to ActBlue for processing= $545.47 in expenses
  • Leaves an ending balance of $4,603.08.
  • Carmen Chico, Jack Duffy, and Mel Warshaw have paid their dues.
  • Motion to approve the report by Kathie McCarthy, seconded by Cesar Stewart-Morales.
  • Motion passed unanimously.

Reports from Mayor, City Council & School Committee

  • Mayor’s Office – Not in attendance
  • City Council –
    • Cesar Stewart-Morales – Council voted to urge voters to support Yes on 3 and it was a unanimous vote. At the Council meeting tomorrow the Council Environmental Subcommittee is bringing back a proposal for a 9 member Citizens’ Sustainability Committee that will be appointed by the Mayor, including one position for a Framingham youth.
    • Adam Steiner – there will be a meeting with the Mayor’s Officer and State Delegation to discuss the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Its going to be important to continue the work of Sudbury and get this project finished and through Framingham. There were some budget adjustments made from the last FY. Some people were proposing a doomsday scenario, but thanks to the hard work of our Senate President and our state delegation it was not as bad as some made it out to be.
    • Tracey Bryant – her constituents would like to know if there is a cheat sheet or a short list of responses to Trump’s lies to counter the arguments. The Mayor’s Office is already putting out the job description and the hunt for the Diversity Director for the City. Also, kudos to Mary Ellen Kelly as her budget numbers matched exactly what we received for education and local funding.
    • Margareth Shepard – It was important that the Council approved the position of the Diversity Director and it will help make a difference in our City. It was thanks in part to the help of FDC members for talking to their Councilors. We continue to work towards the election and getting the message out about voting by mail and early voting.
    • Robert Case – Council will be getting an update on Community Aggregation program and where we have made progress with that. We also have to vote on several appointments made by the Mayors to ZBA, Board of Assessors, etc. We will also be getting an update and more involved with communicating with MassDOT regarding the Mass Pike Project and how that will affect Framingham and MetroWest.
  • School Committee
    • Adam Freudberg – School Committee has slowed down a little bit since the summer, the remote learning plan is being continuously updated and continuing to do what we can to deliver education to all children remotely. Thanks to the Councilors and the State delegation and their work on the budget for the school department. The Committee started a new committee to looking into renaming the Woodrow Wilson School. The Committee is recognizing LGBTQ History Month and if you drive by any school you will see the Pride flag flying. The Fuller Building project is on time and under budget and it will be ready in less than a year. The Climate Change and Sustainability Subcommittee will be meeting on Thursday.
    • Beverly Hugo – the Committee is also working on the 3 year Strategic Plan, the Superintendent’s goals, and School Committee goals, and also beginning the FY22 budget which will be interesting due to revenues that may not be coming in next year. The teaching and Learning Subcommittee will be meeting, and the Assistant Superintendent’s will be in attendance to speak about remote learning, Laura Spears the head of Special Ed program will also be speaking about services are being delivered currently. We are also paying attention to the Red Zone cities and there will be an update soon on when students may possibly be going back to school.
    • The Chair of FDC thanked the School Committee for flying the Pride Flag for the entire School year and for showing the spirit of inclusion in our city.

Report from our House Delegation, discussion of upcoming docket

  • Maria Robinson – still waiting on new version of the budget for the remainder of FY21. Looks very good for school department and the city.  Thanks to the Senate President for her work in getting education funding and local aid for Framingham. Still waiting on several bills to come out of conference committee and should hopefully be significant movement after Nov. 3rd. Thank you to every for continuing to voice your opinions as much as possible to the committee chairs.
  • Carmen Gentile – met with the Ways & Means Chair and would expect the new budget would be started after the Nov 3rd $3.5 – $5Billion shortfall.  Probably use $1-1.75Billion out of the rainy-day fund and come up with some other progressive revenues to make up the difference.
  • Senate President Karen Spilka – working closely with the state COVID task force to make sure Framingham has sufficient funding and help to get testing services and whatever else the city needs to help curb the surge happening in Framingham. The Cochituate Rail Trail had a new bridge put up and another one will be put up in November. We are actively working on a Chris Walsh trail and met with the city this week to keep it moving forward and coordinate efforts.  Stay safe, wear masks, and keep pushing towards Nov 3rd.




State Committee Report – Parwez Wahid, Norma Shulman

  • Parwez Wahid – we will have a report from Cheryl Jacques tomorrow on the investigation on party leadership. There will be a contest for State Party Chair after the Presidential Election – those running include Gus Bickford, Bob Massie, and Mike Lake. Good luck to all three of them!
  • Norma Shulman – Women’s Outreach Subcommittee is partnering with other phonebanks to get more people involved in battleground states and calling for the three women of color running for Congress, Sara Gideon, and Jeanne Shaheen. There will probably not be an opportunity for others to attend and watch the Electors as they vote for President and Vice-President. There has been a decision made this year to not wear formal attire as it is hard to obtain formal tuxes and gowns during the pandemic.

Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions, and votes:

  • Bylaws – Mel Warshaw – No report
  • Communications – Gwen Holbrow/Jim Hansen – No report
  • Civics Education – Beverly Hugo – working on CPA and everyone is busy working on the Presidential Campaign
  • Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt – committee is busy working on the Presidential election and after the election the conference committees should be bringing the environmental legislation to the floor of the State House and a meeting for the Subcommittee will be scheduled soon thereafter.
  • Legislative – Kurt Fusaris/Barb LeDuc – Mel Warshaw presented on increasing the size of the Supreme Court; Barbara LeDuc checked with our State Delegation on the Roe Act and there has not been any more movement on that yet; Mike Hugo will present on the minimum public health standards in the future; Andrew Machkasov since the last committee women Tulsi Gabbard HR8452 which is legislation to reform the Espionage Act so Whistleblowers could invoke a Public Interest defense. There is a backlog on this, and we will bring it up at the next Subcommittee meeting.
  • Outreach – Carmen Chico – No report, a meeting will be called after Nov 3rd.
  • Programming, to include update on Racism, Equity and Social Justice Project– Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Moraleswe have chosen Liza Talusian to do our training. We met with her over zoom and fleshed out in detail more of exactly what the training sessions will look like in January. David Magnani’s contact is retired, so we have chosen Liza.

New Business, member announcements, general announcements

  • Larry Stoodt introduced Isabella Petroni to become an Associate Member of the FDC.
  • Isabella Petroni introduced herself and explained why she would like to be an Associate Member. She wants to make sure the Youth voice is heard and a part of the Democratic Party. We will vote on her membership at the next meeting in November.


  • Holiday Toy Drive – we will be getting ages and Pathway Shelters are happy to receive toys and household goods. They do not need clothes right now.  It is especially important for us to do this to help our fellow people and children who are in shelters to understand they are important, and we care. Barbara LeDuc would be happy to collect donations and head up buying gifts, etc. If anyone wants to make private donations of toys and goods you will need to deliver it to the shelters yourself. We will send out all the information out after the Election in November.


  • Chris Lorant is still a Member of The Disability Outreach Committee, a SubCommittee of Our Democratic State Committee. They recently launched their Facebook Page. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158490816474277&id=856989276
    • It contains lots of information for The Disability Community and Voting Information too. Please like Our Page and love and share Posts and invite other Democrats to Our Page.  We are all in this together.  Thank you all for all that you do. Always appreciated.



  • Motion to Adjourn by Barb LeDuc; seconded by Robert Case.
  • Motion passed unanimously. Meeting was adjourned at 9:22pm.


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. Our Committee has many well placed members who are always happy to answer the call to action, and we would be honored to render discreet aid to anyone in need, to the best of our abilities.