Minutes Sept 18, 2022

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 FontesAdam FreudbergKurt 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, William LaBarge 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 SpicerAdam 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, Andrew Machkasov, Isabella Petroni, Joan Rastani, Pamela Roberts, Brandon Ward, Joel Winett 


Guests: James Thrasher, Margaret Hughes, Terry Adams, La Nita Ann Dykes




7:00 – 7:10 Welcome, Announcements; Framingham Democratic Unity Statement – Mike Hugo

7:10 – 7:45 Discussion of the Ballot Questions


 Question 1: Fair Share Amendment – Margaret Hughes, Yes on Question 1

 Question 2: Fair Dental Insurance – LaNita Ann Dykes, Yes on Question 2

 Question 4: Family Mobility Act (Immigrant Driver Licenses) – Dalida Rocha


7:45 – 7:48 Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt

7:48 – 7:50 Acceptance of Minutes – Doug Lawrence

7:50 – 8:05 Reports from City Council, School Committee and Mayor

8:05 – 8:15 Report from our Legislative Delegation

8:15 – 8:30 Discussion of Coordinated Campaign Office, Framingham’s role in November elections

8:30 – 8:50 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


8:50 – 9:00 New Business, member announcements, general announcements for the good of the order

9:00 Adjourn


Meeting called to order at 7:03PM


Welcome, Announcements and Updates – Chair Mike Hugo (5 min)

Mike kicked off the meeting at 7:04.  He spoke at length about ballot Q4, and the hazard that the incendiary drivers license issue will bring out Republican and further right votes who will then cast votes for Republicans for Governor, AG, etc.   We need to rise to this occasion, defeat Q4 and make sure that we turn out for Democrats who otherwise might not face strong opponents, and may therefore have low turnout, low financial support and may surprise us by being vulnerable. 


Discussion of Ballot Questions

Question 1: Fair Share Amendment – Margaret Hughes, Yes on Question 1

Primary opposition is 5 rich families, which just dropped the first No on One ad.   They are seeking to scare people with ordinary incomes (over 99% of us) who will not be affected by the Q1.   Seeking to identify 3000 Framingham supporters.    Fact sheet at www.fairsharema.com.    What about home sales?    Only tax on GAIN above $1M will be taxed, not gross sales.   Less than 0.6% of home sales are expected to be taxed.      Mass Teachers Assoc will be endorsing and will help drive the canvassing.


Question 2: Fair Dental Insurance – LaNita Ann Dykes, Yes on Question 2


Mandate insurance must put 83% of premiums back into insurance.   In 2019, insurance payroll was more than the amount spent on insurance claims, endorsed by dentists.   Insurance companies claim will raise premiums 38%.   That is mandated not to happen by the law.   Our initiatives bring regs now applicable to medical insurers to dental insurance.  Major opponent is Delta Dental.   


Question 3: Massachusetts Question 3, the Changes to Alcohol Retail Licensing Initiative


We currently have no party consensus on this issue, and are open to informed members reading, understanding and proposing a party position.   Mel expressed the opinion that this type of complex issue does not belong on a ballot initiative and should be dealt with by the legislature.   A quick read of the Red Book indicates that this initiative pits the interests of current liquor store owners/channels against new channels (eg. Grocery).


Question 4: Family Mobility Act (Immigrant Driver Licenses) – Dalida Rocha , field director Yes on 4


June 2022, the Legislature passed the bill, Baker vetoed, it was overridden by Legislature and became law.  Conservative interests saw an opportunity to create a ballot initiative that would rally the conservative base.   It was certified by Sept 9 to make the ballot, but is not in the Red Book.   So voters don’t know it will be on the ballot.   A ”Yes”  will uphold the law,  we have only 7 weeks to spread the word. Because the initial legislative efforts were successful, the resources behind the bill stood down.   We reformed a team as of Monday.  Key issue is road safety, insurance, so law enforcement and labor unions are behind the bill.   Norma is coordinating leaflets for this issue (and candidates) at the Farmers Market on Thursdays, see her to get involved.   There is no consistent path to green card/citizenship, so lets get the people trained, licensed, insured.  Getting a drivers license does not require insurance but owning and operating a car does require insurance.   Used car dealers charge higher interest rates to undocumented, so it is not just licenses that are hostile to undocumented drivers.  


Coordinated Campaign Office


Mike and Beverly have been looking at office spaces, seeing nice property, too pricey ($2000/mo or more).   Threw in the towel.    20 min later texted by Nigel at the state party, offering space in Framingham.   Space is on South St, in first floor of the new apartments on the East side of the street, $500 per month.    68 South Street, P. Sousa’s old space, secured, bathroom, cameras, across from Portuguese club,will seek permission to use their parking lot.    Tiny office 300-400 sq ft.    All utilities, internet exist and are covered by $500.  Full ADA access.   Walkable to commuter rail.    Ideal location to become a more relevant part of the South side neighborhoods.


Motion:  Affirm that we support $500 commitment tomorrow to Zamuto real estate.   Vote in support was by voice, unanimous

Treasurer’s Report – Larry Stoodt

Bank Balance   4574.22 in September

+$0.39 in interest

+ $ 923.39 in dues paid

$5497.61 beginning balance

  • 0.83 paid to Act Blue
  • 890.95   Expenses

$ 4661.21 is current bank balance

$   54.55 outstanding checque.

$4606.66 Net funds as of 18 September 2022

  •  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:   Rosamund Hooper-Hamersley moved to accept Treasurers Report, seconded by K. McCarthy, vote to accept was unanimous.


Acceptance of Prior Meeting Minutes – Doug Lawrence   Doug read 3 corrections to the attendance and 2 spelling issues that had been pointed out and corrected.    On remaining spelling issue was raised.   Mike H. Moved to accept the minutes, assent was unanimous.


Report from our City Council representatives


Adam Steiner – City Council is working to define its role within the city in the presence of the new administration and is going through a bit of an identity crises as shift from generally opposing all Administration initiatives is absorbed.      There is ongong discussion of increasing % affordable housing required in new housing projects, increase would be good.   There is a proposal from a developer to rezone part of Nobscot for more high density residential. CPA act proposals are being accepted.  Diversity Director role is still vacant.   Aggressive solicitation /panhandling bill is being rewritten to avoid legal issues which had been pointed out.    Will be up for second reading so may be the next meeting is the last chance to provide input.   Welcoming Ordinance Task Force, Priscila is on the Task Force, steady progress is being made.  Police and School are working with us, and now Econ Dev dept.  Targeting Jan 1 to get to finish.   Conservation Comm is not enforcing mandates provisions because it is not staffed and operating.   We have a disease of housing development, lots of people, some in positions of power in the City,  make money off it, we need to be questioning self- interested legislation.   


Tracey Bryant – District 9.   Don’t agree with identity crisis within the council.   The council is less aggressive as liberals have lost seats.  The building issue in Framingham:  City wants the money, but North Side wants all new apartment on South Side.   We need a balance around the City.    3 more apartments coming to the South Side.   Would like the FDC to look at the environmental justice aspects of this situation.  The Conservation Commission is not staffed and running and unable to weigh in on this.   


Dr. Yvonne Spicer comments:  We have decide whether to go forward.    We are the City, not Town, and we are still stuck in Town thinking.


Report from School Committee


Beverly Hugo 

Congrats to P. Sousa as she was elected State Rep for South Framingham District.   We are moving forward toward new South Side Elementary school.   Personal Financial education is being advocated statewide, will become a state and national advocacy and lobbying cause we support.


Adam Freudberg:  So thankful we are together for first time in 2 years, and hybrid format is working well.   Local Committee is back to relatively normal after a difficult time.  COVID is not over, still need continued vax and booster clinics.    State left us off their list of supported communities, we are angry and seeking change.  Recent clinic at Harmony Grove went very well.   Every new roof project will have solar, every renovated parking lot should have solar canopies.


State Legislature


Jack Patrick Lewis – Legislature is not in formal session until January, nothing can progress if even 1 objection is made until then.   Many bills will be refilled in January.  As always, Spilka and Lewis cover constituent issues in Maria’s district until January.   Passed major environmental bill some parts vetoed.   10 municipalities have been allowed to require all new construction to be net zero.  


Question 1 was very hard work to get passed thru legislature.    If we can’t get Q1 across finish line will block other important issues.   If it fails, will not revisit for a decade or 2.    Q4 sponsored by extreme fringe, but may pass due to poorly informed electorate.   Passing these 2 is KEY to our future agenda.   Tax money coming back to citizens due to laws passed in 1980s.   13% rebate.  There has been no chance to consider other uses (eg. Infrastructure, Econ Dev) for these funds, seems the administration deliberately failed to keep legislature informed to run out the clock on alternate uses for the surplus.   


Subcommittee Reports, discussions, actions, and votes:


Committee Reports: Un-minuted committees were SKIPPED in interest of time


Bylaws – Mel Warshaw has chosen to resign as chair, stay on committee , we need a new chair.


Communications – Jim Hansen

Everything going reasonably smoothly, no need for lengthy update


Civics Education – Beverly Hugo

Thanks to Parwez for updating the website education materials, where to vote, etc.   Next meeting Friday before the FDC meeting Friday Oct 14, 4-5 on Zoom. 


Environmental/Climate Change – Larry Stoodt

Not meet in very long time, is having difficulty assembling a quorum.  On 28 Sept Framingham Sustainability Committee will present final draft report.  Please engage, provide input, sign off on what has been done.


Outreach – Parwez Wahid


As campaigns wound down, please try to engage campaigners who are not FDC members in the FDC


Legislative – Barbara LeDuc is serving as convener.    Will be developing new list of legislation to consider.


Programming – Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley & Cesar Stewart-Morales

Will meet in person with Cesar and Mike.    Need to reinstitute the fact that we want your input on other things to focus on.    Dr Menakshi Verma Agrawal will speak to us about Framingham Free in October.


Coordinated Campaign – Norma Shulman

If you can sign up for a coordinated campaign canvas, you can go out, knock turf for Healey campaign, and also talk about initiatives.   Buttons available if you will WEAR them.   Need help at Farmers Market on Thursday (2 more this season).  Setup 1:30-2:30, table from 3 to 5.   


Updates from the Chair – M. Hugo


Will not be able to return to Framingham Green in October until they resolve various security issues.   Will continue in hybrid format in October.


New Associate members – introduced at the last meeting


Potential associate members introduced at September meeting.  Motion by M Hugo to accept as associate members.  Unanimously passed.


Kalee Balde 

Rob Adamson


Adjourned at 9:14pm – moved by K. McCarthy , seconded by T. Bryant , passed by acclamation.