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, , 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: Diane Markowitz
7:00 – 7:10 Welcome and preliminary announcements – Mike Hugo
7:10 – 7:12 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
7:12 – 7:15 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence
7:15 – 7:30 Reports from City Council, School Committee and Mayor
7:30 – 7:50 Report from our Legislative Delegation
7:50 – 8:50 Community Discussion – Media Bias, the age of variable reliability and why we will never be able to trust our TV again. R.I.P. Walter Cronkite.
8:40 – 8:45 Announcements for the good of the order
8:50 – 9:00 Socialization time, if we don’t run long on the program
Meeting called to order at 7:05PM PM by Mike Hugo
Legislative breakfast will be held when our state house delegation signals timing is right. Original date was date after filing deadline, and totality of what has been filed is not yet clear. So timing was wrong. We will have it when the timing is right. Maybe early March.
Tonight we will talk following a presentation prepared by M. Hugo on media bias, and how we can right the media ship
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
Opening Bank Balance 3,912.20
+ 20.00 in dues paid
+ $0.17 in interest
-200.00 rent for Edwards Church venue
3712.37 as of Jan 22, 2023
- 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 dues to Larry Stoodt at 615 Belknap Road, Framingham, MA 01701.
Vote to accept Treasurer’s Report: Motion: Kathie McCarthy. Second: Priscila Sousa.
Moved to accept Treasurer’s Report, vote to accept was unanimous.
Acceptance of Prior Meeting Minutes – Doug Lawrence (Doug was not Present)
Motion to table Dec Minutes Acceptance for next meeting in February
Motion to table: K. McCarthy, Second: MK. Feeney
Report from our City Council representatives
- Monday hearing a PH&S for a proclamation supporting Roe Act, and we will ensure safe secure access to abortion, speaks to deceptive advertising, protects those who travel for medical reasons, but no regulatory mechanism as yet. Can add enforcement mechanism if needed in future. Proclamation may head off choice of Framingham as a location for future CPC organizations.
- In-migration for abortion in MA has risen from 5% to 6% over the past year.
- Proposed Welcoming Committee ordinance will come before Rules Comm
- Capital Budget, dept by dept review under way, will submit at end of April
- Relatively quiet period for Council
Council on Aging needs new director, new Health Director appointed.
Today was Roe decision anniversary, significant demonstration in Boston today.
No other council members were in the meeting at this point.
Report from School Committee
Priscila Sousa – This week we celebrated Fuller Building Committee closeout. Gearing up for future Southside School Committee. Student COVID travel restrictions are eased. Superintendent is picking up on diversity agenda in 4th season. Transport is a frustrating issue, exploring ways to fix. MWRTA has been very helpful. We do not accept students arriving late, stressed, etc. due to bus issues.
Adam Freudberg – New City Solicitor is added to our legal team, generating cost savings. Bus Company is in breach of contract, freeing some funds for MWRTA and other alternatives. Budget season under way, submissions in, now working down to final submission, Ch. 70 will not be known until March.
Fuller School contractor managing a few remaining items (shrubs etc.). The school came in in $4.3M under budget, 80% of electric is from solar. Adam misses the school committee, which has been meeting since 2018, our work is now done. Mayor is committed to starting new school committee this Spring, to address major equity issues with busing to the North Side.
Beverly Hugo – Thank Adam again for his dedication and thank taxpayers for the override that enabled construction. We are winning design awards for the building. Congrats! Legislature approved FY24 Legislature added 14% increase for students going to out of district schools which will be very helpful. Workshop on Equity and Anti-racism training is under way. Bev is back on the Board at MASC and on the State Policy Committee.
Comments: Pat mentioned his granddaughter, a student, got to play exhibition basketball at Boston Garden. Very cool! Pictures on web.
Jack Patrick Lewis – Filing deadline was last Friday. Bills will be assigned to Committee. Reps to be assigned committees in about 1 month. Focus on youth health wellness, human LGBTQ rights, animal welfare, etc.
Sponsored 30 bills this session, last year 46. All bills sponsored by statewide groups, MAPC, etc. Let us know what bills you are interested in co-sponsoring.
Priscila Sousa – Sponsored 12 bills in the new session, moving on to cosponsoring. Great to hear from voters during bill writing process. Guiding principles for her participation in bills 1) how promote equity, 2) how it helps Framingham. Bills include: Collaboration between RTAs and schools. Community hospital accountability, to preserve MWMC. Need for early childhood education. Mental health wellness for all children, ties to school committee work. How to bring kids fully back after COVID. With Marian Ryan, hate crimes bill. With Jack Lewis, facilitate auto sales, help dealerships. Assistance in housing, with renters and landlords’ groups. Diversity in teaching population that resembles student population. Female inmate population reproductive justice. Proud to serve in MA, where legislature acted on Roe. Female inmates should not be set further back by issues in criminal justice system. Hired Legislative aid, Tim Askew, Framingham / District Resident.
Kate Donoghue – Not present
Danielle Gregoire – Not present
Parwez – Moment of personal privilege to recognize passing of Tom Birmingham, former MA Senate President, Governor candidate in 2022. Helped bring billions of dollars aid to local K-12 schools.
Main Topic: Media Integrity – Mike Hugo
Mike presented slides he prepared on Media Integrity, mis- and disinformation for approx. 40 minutes. How to react to social media in way that do not contribute to the algorithms spreading disinformation (e.g. Importance not to DisLike)
There was extensive discussion among the members following Mike’s presentation. Insights resulting were broadly felt to be very valuable to the membership.
FDC Meetings and Misinformation
We (FDC) are not under OML, so we run a public meeting, but do not allow anonymous attendees. Moderators are asking people to identify themselves and we remove them if they refuse. Happens almost every month.
Some anonymous attendees at City meetings are impersonating FDC members. E.g. Someone impersonating Norma attended the Council on Aging last month. It is getting creepy.
- Hugo – Progressive MA will meet on Saturday, for $5 /year you can join. ProgressiveMA.org
- Stoodt – Next meeting we need to address the subcommittee membership/leadership.
- McCarthy – Please support me in running for Disability seat on the State Democratic Committee.
Adjourned at 9:07pm – moved by K. McCarthy , seconded by L. Stoodt , 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: Sunday Feb 26, 2023
Via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87525510969