Minutes Jan 21, 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 Spicer,  Adam 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, Brooke Harvey, Tilia Klebenov Jacobs, Heather Klish, William LaBarge, Samantha McGarry, Katherine Murphy, Brandale Randolph, Joan Rastani, Pamela Roberts, Meghan Todd, Cynthia Villanueva, Brandon Ward, Joel Winett 


Guests: Sean Murphy, Keltie Murphy, Atty Britney Murphy, Nanette Magnani, Grace Snedden, Diana Zimmerman-Porter


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

3:10 – 3:12 Welcome and reading of FDC Mission Statement – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley, Co-Chair

3:12 – 3:15 Guest Speaker:  Sean Murphy – Candidate for Governor’s Council, Open seat, attorney, will be on the September ballot

3:15– 3:20 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt

Balance 12/17/23 4276.76

Dividends Dec 0.18

Jan 0.18

Balance Available 4277.12 

Expenditures ??? Secretary needs to catch up w/Treasurer

State Year-end Reports to the State are complete.

3:15 – 3:20 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence – December 2023

Doug sent out December minutes too late for review, will approve at the February meeting 

3:20 – 3: 30 Jack Patrick Lewis

Robust gun safety bill was passed in Legislature.

Working on location sharing on mobiles, senior group housing to complement governor’s housing bill.   Senate working on using interest on rainy day fund for federal funding.   

Joint rule 10 day (on Feb 7th) most bills have to be voted out of committee.   7,000 filed bills will be narrowed down.   Committees have 4 options: can pass bill, send to study, extension or vote down.

Question:  Why are Jewish students not feeling safe at state Universities in Massachusetts?  Jack will follow up with questioner offline.

3:30 – 4:00 Guest Speaker:  Alex Bausch, MASS Dems
2024 elections and NH phone-banking for the Biden write-in campaign.

We were involved in KY governor’s race last year.  Also we were in Maine to collect signatures for Biden/Harris.   January to Rhode Island.   

We will be going to NH on Tuesday to support the Biden write-in campaign.  Would love to have you. Over 3,000 phone calls made locally.  To make calls contact Rozzy or Alex.   Use virtual phone bank.  alex@massdems.org   cell 847 648 1066.

Caucus window opens Feb 1 thru June 1.   May be moved back to 15 Feb due to forms not available.

2024 Mass Dems Convention will be in Worcester Fri May 1st.

3:20 – 3:30 MetroWest Blue and Beyond:  Dave Magnani, Dr Nanette Magnani on Democrats taking action nationally.

Dave spoke first:

Dream:  Democratic house next year (need 10 seats), Greater Senate Majority, and of course President.   How Mass Dems can have a national impact on this?

What we are doing:  Organizing Corps 2020 started 3 years ago.

Registering young voters who tend to vote Blue.   

In 2022, focused on 3 swing states and feel we really had an impact.

For 2024 elections, will again focus on key states:  NC, PA, AZ with critical races and organizations on the ground we can support.    Join us for Mar 6th kickoff event, you should participate and draw in your network.


Metrowest Blue and Beyond: email blasts don’t bring donors.  Instead, we are doing relational fundraising.   Look at our own contact list.   Many people we can reach are not activists.

NC- 2 of our organizers went to a Cambridge event with Jeff Blum.   Connected to book “9 to 5”.   Dems have decided that NC is in play for presidential electors.    All In For NC, A Philip Randall Assoc.   POC voter registration, Action for Climate Emergency, will do registration and GOTV.

PA – Turn PA Blue, New PA Project.   

AZ Dems – use the Georgia organizing model.   Organizing Tribal Communities and Latino organizations within AZ.   March 6th.   

3rd election for MWBB, are learning, expanding beyond MetroWest.  Have already raised over $250K.   

4:00 – 4:15 Reports from City Council, School Committee

City Council reorganized.  Phil returns as Chair, Tracey Bryant is Vice Chair.   Grant-supported Diversity audit was unnecessarily controversial but will go ahead.    

Phil Ottaviani, Council Chair: Mediated a meeting between city council and MetroWest Medical Center management.   A contentious meeting. 

Picked a new Rules Committee, and Finance Subcommittee.   Appointing subcommittee chairs roles is a juggling act.   Some Mayoral appointments this month may go thru on 30 days rule in January due to slow start to council review processes.   Former councilors are now recognized on a permanent plaque in the Memorial Building.   DFI will have Jan 31st anniversary event.   Adjustments are being made to salaries…some positions are paid too little to attract great candidates.   

Adam Steiner – Jim Paolini is an example of a great employee we need to retain, and there are many similar in City employ (general agreement from FDC was noted).  City Council has played a role in pushing people out thru excessive criticism.   There is a need to do a better job of sticking up for public employees.

On hospital, nurses and staff deserve respect.   Hospital is symptom of our broken national health system.   Give staff credit when you can, they too are struggling within the system.

Diversity audit under grant funding means we can do it for free, should not have been controversial.    Finance subcomm discussed at length for little to no reason.   Passed unanimously in Council:  maybe change is coming.   

Police Body cams still on agenda.  It too is grant funded, need the union and administration to come together.   Now is the time to influence the police to start body cam program.  Unions want to be paid to wear cams.   Reach out to councilors to demand progress.    Grant money must be used soon or it can be lost.   It is amazing given our history (E. Stamps etc) that we are slow to implement in our city.

Extensive group discussion of MWMC hospital…advocacy here maybe a new program for FDC.   Ultimate solution may be to find a better owner for MWMC, and Tufts or MGB were suggested.

Willie Labarge:    Buses may be brought back in house, NRT (Not Reliable Transport?) is letting us down.     Dr Anthony Pope did right thing.  

 Norma…parents are driving kids to school, but pickups at a set time are not working.   Many buses are empty because service is so bad kids find another way.  Behavior issues on buses are not being addressed.  Kids are not being disciplined.  2 hour bus rides not unheard of.   Larger musical instruments not allowed on the buses.   Drivers are not being paid enough, and even after council voted $500K additional funding, somehow there was no more funding for driver pay.  Again, considerable energy among FDC to work this local issue.

4:15 – 4:15 Reports from our Legislative Delegation

Jack spoke earlier as he had to leave by 4PM.

 4:15 – 4:35 Reports from State Dem Committee: Norma Shulman, Parwez Wahid, Kathie McCarthy

Marlborough meeting next Wed.  at High School on Bolton St, chance to meet Steve Kerrigan.  At large seats will be indicated in future.    

For the nominating convention, caucus attendance may have to be in person this year.    We will use Memorial Building or Library for caucus.   

Chris, Parwez, Kathy are running for state committee seats.   

Motion:   to set Feb 10th for our Framingham Caucus:   Norma moved, Parwez seconded.   Approved by unanimous acclamation. (NOTE…STATE RULES MAY REQUIRE LATER DATE.   TBD)

4:35 – 4:55 Sub – Committee Reports 

Civics Education – Acting Ch. R. Hooper-Hamersley 

We need $200 additional funds for Constitution books for High School students, in English/Spanish/Portuguese, with money from 2023 budget ($300) for a total of $500

Motion:   Phil made motion to appropriate $200 additional funds, Kathie seconded.  Passed by unanimous acclamation.   Norma mentioned that in the past she has been able to source free booklets from Cong. Clark office.   

Legislative Subcommittee – Audrey Hall – Meeting TOMORROW Monday 21st Jan 7PM

Zoom invite went out last week.  Last change to influence what comes out of committee.

Environmental – Larry Stoodt

Framingham Climate Action Plan.   CO2 levels now at 422PPM, 450 said to be catastrophic.     

Creating Healthier Communities 

The committee met this month.   Would all FDC members do Framingham Climate Action Plan survey please!   Was sent with our property taxes.  

 Next meeting is 1 Feb.   We will take up the future of clean heat, network geothermal, as well as local issues. The Framingham Demonstration project is leading in the USA.   

Aggregation:   There is a bottleneck in the bureaucracy.   We need to default clean:   You are in green electric plan unless you opt out.    Surrounding communities can opt in to up to 100% clean energy.    We need to do this in Framingham, it is the biggest impact we could have as a city.    Education is the key, we have to educate citizens on what can be done.  Please support HB 3852 an Act supporting local electric load aggregation by Feb 7th joint rule 10.   Can lose 2 years if they are not reported out of committee.

Q:   Updated bottle bill in Mass.  Can we add nips to 5 cent deposit bill?    We also need to update the deposit amount: $0.05 was more 40 years ago, not so much now.      A:  2 bills in legislature, can add this topic to our subcommittee work plan.  

Larry moved that we add an environmental section to FDC‘s website.   General discussion that it was a good idea.

Communications – Adam Steiner

Looking for volunteers to help with web site and communications tasks.

Programming – Rozzy Hooper-Hamersley

We are considering for March the matter of immigration/refugees in Framingham and/or the ongoing crisis with our local hospitals.

ByLaws – Mel Warshaw

Will meet in person Wed 7pm at Mel’s house,149 Maynard Rd.   Mel will send an agenda.   

4:35 – Announcements – from members, future events

FDC next meeting will be the Caucus, currently planned for 10th Feb, no other meeting in February.   Caucus will be at either Loring or Memorial.   Planned FDC meeting on 18th cancelled.    

Kathie:  Feb 2nd is deadline for Senior Hero nominations, looking specifically for inclusivity and diversity candidates.

MA Committee on Status of Women Scholarship is seeking applicants.  $5K per applicant for 2nd year students.   Money from their trust.

Next week is National Gun Violence Survivor week.    

Tilia:  Thurs 25th MA Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer will be speaking let us know if you would like to attend.

4:43 Motion to Adjourn:  Phil Ottaviani, seconded by Barbara LeDuc. Unanimously approved.