Framingham Democratic Committee
Minutes for November 20, 2022, 7 pm – via Zoom Conference
Next FDC Meeting Date: December 18th -> moved to 11th, 2022
Planned as Zoom/In person Hybrid Meeting / Holiday Party
Location TBD – ( later determined to be Edwards Hall, Saxonville)
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, Larry Falk, Diane Markowitz
7:00 – 7:10 Welcome, & initial announcements – Mike Hugo
7:10 – 7:55 Crisis Care Centers – Truth, Disclosure and Choice: Pro-Choice is not always Anti-Abortion: A discussion moderated by Nicole Doak
7:55 – 7:58 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
7:58 – 8:00 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence
8:00 – 8:20 Reports from City Council, School Committee and Mayor
8:20 – 8:35 Report from our Legislative Delegation (Plus discussion with our newest Reps)
8:35 – 8:45 November elections – Lessons learned, how to help in GA, and next steps
8:45 – 8:55 Subcommittee discussions and upcoming actions for the year:
- Bylaws – Mel Warshaw
- Communications – Jim Hansen
- Civic Education – Beverly Hugo
- Environmental – Larry Stoodt
- Legislative Subcommittee – Barbara LeDuc
- Outreach – Parwez Wahid
- Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales
8:55 – 9:00 New Business, member announcements, general announcements for the good of the order
- Nominate and Vote on Democratic Registrar of Elections
Meeting called to order at 7:03PM by M. Hugo
Crisis Care Centers – Truth, Disclosure and Choice: Pro-Choice is not always Anti-Abortion: A discussion moderated by Nicole Doak.
Nicole was unfortunately not feeling well enough to attend, so Mike Hugo led a discussion focused on crisis pregnancy centers, drawing on expertise among Democrats in the Zoom. These CPCs around the country offer practical support, etc. for women who believe they may be pregnant, but mix that with deceptive practices designed to close off options for women. They offer non-medical services such as pregnancy tests, then ultrasound tests are offered. This starts a process of working to lead the woman to have powerful feelings toward the fetus, doctor appointments are scheduled, but not followed thru until it is too late to take another course. State od Mass has recommended that women “avoid CPC…these are not health clinics”. Not under health laws, not under HIPPA, don’t offer health care referrals. Look like medical professionals, but never tell you they are not. Give out small plastic fetus dolls to mothers, push adoption heavily.
A CPC in Worcester is subject to a lawsuit for deceptive practices. They are across the street from Planned Parenthood, have same colors. There are 3 times more CPCs in MA than abortion clinics. “Shaming and scaring” is part of the business plan. – M. Healey. To counter this, a Reproductive Equity Now pledge is available to support, has been signed by Adam Steiner. Sen Warren: CPCs are torturing pregnant people.
Our council is entertaining an ordinance that has been drafted by Councilor Stefanini. We have only 1 CPC in Framingham. MK Feeney spoke about what needs to be addressed in local legislation. We need to act to preserve choice for women. Cindy spoke about this as a religious issue, should be separated from politics completely.
John Stefanini spoke about proposed ordinance that he drafted. 33M women in the USA may be without reproductive health and may travel state to state in the future. We used Somerville ordinance as a model, and the ordinance lays out a process to fine these entities for deceptive practices. Also looked at Northhampton. Clearly , we should do something.
Audrey Hall spoke in favor of ordinance: preventing disinformation to cause fear-based decisions. Norma: This is basically consumer protection, nothing to do with religious perspectives. Not fine if people are tricked, deceived by these businesses within Framingham. No business should be allowed to deceive. Linda Fields: There is danger involved in women relying on non-medical ultrasounds to assess prenatal health. Early failed pregnancies and D&Cs could be seen as murder in some jurisdiction. William LaBarge spoke in support of the pregnant individual being the sole decisionmaker.
Tracey Bryant is a bit frustrated about what disinformation is going around. There is a draft ordinance, supported by the majority. But there were others who thought it should be tighter, and legal advice that changes be made. It has been sent to her subcommittee, Public Health & Safety for improvement. Focus on deception, not moral aspects of abortion. Changes will be made during the next subcommittee meeting and it will move forward.
Priscila Souza has been called by people from outside of Framingham and asked to push city council on a probirth agenda. National probirth organizations are focusing on Framingham. With inaction or insufficient action more resources will be sent here as these organizations are emboldened by the chance of success or at least making news in Framingham.
MK Feeney spoke again, to agree that inaction will draw Framingham further into the national debate and not in a good way. We would like a letter of support from FDC for action on this issue to the Council. Will make a motion at the end of the discussion.
Patrick: Don’t target our Birthright Center here in Framingham, which provides valuable services for women and has been here over 40 years. We are in a disequilibrium, got rid of Roe, and we need to fight at a national level, without damaging local well-meaning organizations that are not today using deceptive practices.
Motion (Feeney): For FDC to write a letter of support for Council legislation focused on preventing deceptive practices in pregnancy services.
Kathie McCarthy: I had friends die from back alley abortions. But I cannot vote to support a motion that is not written yet, we cannot see the language. I too have supported BirthRight. We have to be clear what we are voting for.
Further discussion was triggered which helped focus the vote on deceptive practices, and while there was no specific language presented for the letter of support, the sense of the majority was that our intent was clear enough to vote.
Vote: 20 in favor, 1 opposed, 5 city councilors abstained
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt
Opening Bank Balance 4152.22
+ $10 in dues paid
+ $0.18 in interest
4142.04 before November activity
-$250 for the Rauch Campaign as voted in October
$ 3892.04 is current bank balance , have a check for $250 contribution from Ottaviani, Thanks!
OPC Report has been filed. The majority of members have paid their dues.
- 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: Moved to accept Treasurers Report, vote to accept was unanimous.
Acceptance of Prior Meeting Minutes – Doug Lawrence
Doug noted no corrections had been received to the October minutes. Kathie McCarthy moved to accept the minutes, Larry Stoodt seconded, assent was unanimous.
Report from our City Council representatives
Phil Ottaviani. Tree lighting will be Dec 2nd at 6pm. Many downtown issues are before the council. Jesse Edwards from FSU will be taking CPC role, we are thrilled. Appointments are not being made expeditiously, working with Mayor to fill many gaps. CPC recommendations pushed out Feb 1 to April 1, lots of opioid settlement funds. We may buy 188 Concord to expand city hall and put a regional dispatch center there. List of appointments will be sent out to FDC to encourage applicants for empty city roles.
Tracey Bryant – Downtown stakeholder meeting Mon 11/21, 9-11am. Proclamation honoring 50th year of Framingham Community Church at Martin Luther King Day breakfast. Upcoming Health & Safety meeting will be focused on antideception ordinance.
John Stefanini – Phil covered everything very well, everyone have a great Thanksgiving.
Adam Steiner – Freeman Rail trail, CSZ has agreed on $5M price. Also progressing negotiations on Bethany School property. Welcoming Ordinance Stewart-Morales, Mallack, Souza are progressing the ordinance. Property tax rate to be set at Council on Tuesday night.
Cesar Stewart-Morales: – Grateful for work of city clerk in recent election, and support of FDC up and down the ballot. Happy to have 4 state reps from Framingham, and Healey-Driscoll team in place.
Report from School Committee
Priscila Souza, Chair: Just back from MASC conference. Framingham is well ahead of the game, usually already enacting progressive schools programs that other districts are only considering. Especially DEI work on race, age, sex, neuro diversity. Had the senate president visit to discuss access to higher education for first generation immigrants via early college. Now in middle of experimental more open budget process, soliciting input from constituents. Being Progressive with our budget for equitable access to education. GSA student organization gave a phenomenal presentation and advocated for themselves: equitable access to multigender restrooms.
Adam Freudberg spoke briefly and wished all a great Thanksgiving.
Beverly Hugo – Our chair did an incredible job. She was elected to statewide Board of Directors for MASC. Different start times for the high school are under discussion. FHs Drama Company will field trip to London. Was nice joining the Superintendent at this meeting on the Cape and talking about improving the schools.
William LaBarge – Happy thanksgiving and God bless all of you.
Danielle Gregoire is unavailable this evening.
Jack Patrick Lewis also unavailable. We wish Jack a Happy Birthday and support his fundraiser.
Priscila Souza Hitting the ground running. I have spent ¾ of my life in the district. It is deeply personal to me to represent this district well. Spoke with Speaker about Framingham needs, equity. Spoke about womens rights, abortion rights. The dispatch center proposed for 188 Concord has been a path forward for multilingual citizens, so exciting to see it expand and be rehoused.
Kate Donoghue – Advantage to Framingham to have 4 legislators. Healthcare, Education, climate change. Exciting to see M. Healy in Governors office, as she drove the successful opioid lawsuit against the Sacklers. Civil commitment for drug offenses needs to be revisited. Also Kate plans to work on trails advocacy.
Elections – Mike Hugo
Work left to do in Georgia. Rozzy put in Chat a couple of links to text and phone banking.
https://togetherweelect.org/calendar/georgia-runoff-phonebanking/2022-11-21/. Textbanking to GA
https://togetherweelect.org/calendar/send-texts-to-voters-of-color-with-georgia-coalition-for-the-peoples-agenda/2022-11-21/. General actions in GA, homepage: https://togetherweelect.org/
From Kate Donoghue:
The DNC using Scale To Win, made 10 million calls this cycle and has a great contact rate and the dialer is easy to navigate.
The DNC dialer is available to make calls anytime from 12-8pm ET
1) Link to DNC dialer – https://txt.democrats.org/startcalls
2) Link to DNC training video https://watch.screencastify.com/v/FISsMLgYrFx5PkY37pNG
3) Written instructions of using the dialer can be found here, too
4) Warnock Talking Points Document – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TsJrjU-t5oxA-iBSVP2E4cgNDa9z3ihPCYX1tYJyPr4/edit.
State Committee: Norma Shulman
These links are from the DSC Campaign services Committee: Ways to help in GA: https://linktr.ee/laurenmattison?fbclid=IwAR3C_iCNfI9RH9pAAa0qQHNNN7U3SF1G_xLK-J-wjQJHq1D44cyVNWQKjB8.
Can be a friendly source of information: Eg: the confusion around the question: “If I did not vote in Nov, can I vote in Dec?” (YES!) is part of the voter suppression action. We can counter this!
Maria Robinson’s State Comm seat was a woman affirmative action seat. 1 other female seat is open.
State Committee: Parwez Wahid: Likely to have a new party chair. Convention next year will be in September.
Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions, and votes:
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 FPL will hold an event on getting heating bills down.
Legislative – Barbara LeDuc is serving as convener, looking for a Chair. Will be developing new list of legislation to consider.
Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales Will be sending a survey on programming, please respond.
Updates from the Chair – M. Hugo
Lt Governor has already met with Mike on public health issues. We have elected real do-ers. Wish other states would be where we are.
Voting Registrar: Mike Hugo nominated Linda Fields as our representative to Voting Registrar. Passed unanimously. Lisa Ferguson is the other Democrat representative.
Linda described a single challenge attempting to disqualify over 1,700 names who voted in the recent election that she had to help handle.
Adjourned at 9:12pm – moved by K. McCarthy , seconded by M. Warshaw , 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: December 18th, 2022
Planned as Hybrid Meeting
Note: Was changed to in person meeting on 11th December.