BDTC Meeting Notes (1/27/2022)
Attendance: Linda L. (Chair), Jeff L., Michael (Secretary), Richard Waring, Stephen
Shestakofsky, Jeanne Mooney, Carolyn Schwartz (New Vice-Chair), Anne Quirk,
Teresa, Dan Barry, Cambell Ames (Pol Director 350 Mass), Vera Isk (Treasure), Kai,
Jean Dickinson, Marty Bitner, Julie Wu (Diversity/Affirmative Action Director), Frank
Frasier, Dean Hickman, Peter Grey, Emi Graf, Mary J., Greg P. Ted Dukkas, Dylan
Griffith, Helen Bakeman, Steve Klionsky, Karen Friedberg, Marc Sacks, Molly
Aalyson, Ellie Lesser, Kathyrn Bonfiglio, Nan Donald, Debbie Deutsch, Angus
Abercrombie, Marian Ryan (Middlesex District Attorney), Quentin Palfrey
(Running for Attorney General), Lois Pines, Russ Donald, Rich Madden, Melvin
Poindexter, Eric Lesser (Running for Lieutenant Governor) Will Brownsberger
(MA State Senator), Bob McGaw, Sue Post, Kay Dirscoll (Mayor of Salem who is
running for Lieutenant Governor), Adam Hinds, Alex Bausch, Susan Staves, Lilia
Halpern-Smith, Bob Singlar
1) Quentin Palfrey (Running for Attorney General)
2) Work when the Obamacare law/Romneycare law was in effect. He fought for
consumer rights and to make sure equity and fair access for all including
vulnerable populations, and POC and the disabled. Also fought companies that
3) Worked under Pres. Obama as an senior aide on Jobs and Competitiveness
4) He worked on Build Back Better with Biden
5) Notes that he was aghast at Trump. Putting immigrant kids in cages was horrible.
Also the collusion between the White House then and criminal activity of his
aides and allies and the riot on Jan 6 th
6) Linda L. Notes that Massachusetts is just one state, how can we influence
climate change, and influence people if we are just one state? Florida is likely not
going to listen to us. How can we influence and make a difference in such a
polarized and divided environment?
7) Q.P. He notes that there are multi-state collations and compacts to make a
difference. Governors can do it on climate. Even more so with AG as many
states AG work together to fight for consumers and fight to hold companies
accountable for fraud and abuse.
8) Mel P. He notes books have been banned in other states. There has been a real
attack on schools and how can we lead the charge against censorship and show
other states how to stand for education and truth?
9) Q.P. Notes we need to lead, we need to pick a few issues and work to make
them central to the MA attorney General role in the state
a) Racial justice
b) Climate Justice
c) Defending our democracy
i) He also notes that we need to listen to others, and while standing
strong on our values, disagree without being disagreeable.
10) Eames C. Notes that Maura Healy (who is running for MA Gov) has done a lot
fight immigration bans, ICE abusing their authority, fighting abuses of the federal
government under Trump. (also notes will get a lot of immigration cases from
Maura Healy term)
11) Q.P. notes that he worked with Maura Healy, and he notes his three key focuses
in short term
a) Racial justice
b) Climate Justice
c) Defending our Democracy
12) Jean M. asks about cyberspace, Digital privacy, cybercrime, and how we can
deal with these key issues (and what the AG can do to protect consumers, our
privacy and our work).
13) Q.P. Notes that he worked with AG under Maura Healy to fight Google and
Facebook on abuses that they have done to our privacy and targeting folks. Also
working to fight for our privacy rights and target abuse and fraud targeting our
14) Lois P. Notes that we need to preserve our civil servants and work to make sure
we keep a diverse group of folks.
15) Q.P. Notes that we need to be respectful of and work to improve quality of life for
civil servants. He wants to increase diversity and holding on to the work force we
16) Julie W. Asking about Fair Housing violations, and fight for housing as a racial
justice issue. (She is a relators and notes even in Belmont we have violations)
17) Q.P. Core set of tools the AG has, and we need to use them Need to fight big
banks abuses connected to racial bias and work to fight for POC and the working
class who often face discrimination.
18) Eric Lesser (running for Lieutenant Governor): He worked as an assistant to
David Axelrod, worked with Sen. Warren on the Consumer protections Bureau,
worked on Obamacare, and the repeal of Don’t ask Don’t tell. Ran for the MA
state senate. Worked with Will Brownsberger, also worked with AG to get
thousands of doses of Narcan to school nurses, firefighters, Paramedics. Also
got the cost of the drug down significant. He helped write the COVID bill in MA
(like Biden’s bill but in MA) made sure money had to go to hardest hit
communities. Saved thousands of business, barber shops, and small business.
Worked to get money there to help folks keep food on the table. Worked to get
MA bill passed to dramatically increase funding for light rail, the T and public
bussing and more money for housing. This was signed into law at the Federal
Level under Biden’s infrastructure law. Worked to push the Governor council to
appoint/approve judges who represent the diversity of MA. More POC, Women
and also from different parts of the state. Not just prosecutors, but public
defenders, environmental lawyers, and defense attorneys.
19) Dick M. Wanted to ask about High speed rail. If we have high speed rail, where it
is will increase development. Maybe we can work to get affordable house nearby
to help make working class people's lives easier.
20) E.L. Helped passed Zoning Reforms to make it possible to get more density
housing, which increases housing availability (use to require 2/3 in a town, now
just needs majority). Also passed bill that make it so if you have a T stop or
certain other public transit, you need to have multifamily housing nearby that is
affordable. Lieutenant Governor can work to bring the local officials, and state
officials to get the stakeholders all in one room to get something done.
21) Mel P. Notes that Governor’s council could be a really great way to get more
diverse set of judges and different law experiences, asking how you would
want/be able to do that? Also can you be the conscious of the Governor and let
her know when to change or alter course as needed?
22) E.L. Notes that the L.G. presides over Governor council and he will work to make
sure diversity and gender are considered when nominating slates of judges to
reflect our state. Also making sure not *All* prosecutor (some, but not all,
diversify the law positions). A lot of the money in the infrastructure bill will be
allocaded under the NEW MA governor. So there is a real role for the L.G. to
help the Gov to spend it right.
23) Angus A. Asks about Civic education for students in the commonwealth. He took
a great class that pushed civics and taught about these local state and local
offices and officials, but most students don’t get even a civic education for the
24) E.L Notes that he worked with a state senator who worked to pass that civic
education bill, which was side tracked due to COVID but want to work to pass
that and work with local and community stakeholders to get that done and in
25) Michael M. Notes that the Washington Post and the Boston Globe have said a lot
of the federal monies for the local governments and school have not spent that
money. How can you, as the L.G. work to make sure that money is spent the
26) E.L. Notes that the ESSER Money has been not spend right away. There is a
capacity issue where all this money needs to be accounted for, and they only
have X staff but now have Y times 3 amount of money to allocate. Need to
streamlines the process for small businesses. A new website that has a 40-page
form is limiting for a lot of small business owners.
27) Adam Hinds (Running for Lieutenant Governor): Representative from the western
part of the state, fighting for changing the status quo, before was not working, we
can’t just get back to normal and call that enough. We need to address the social
inequality, and racial inequality when we spend the federal funds to help us
recover from COVID. Worked at the U.N., worked in the Middle East, and
negotiated a border dispute with Kurdistan, worked in Jerusalem. He also came
back and ran two nonprofits. He worked to create an office of racial diversity for
MA, and worked to reimagine MA after the pandemic.
28) Linda L. worries about the “lost generation” of students who couldn’t do zoom
learning and might have dropped out or left school because of mental health or
physical health issues. What can we do to help these students and invest in our
29) A.H. Notes that there is a huge technology gap or digital divide between those
who have internet and high-quality fast internet and those who don’t. Also worked
to create public banks to help fund local communities that are being left behind
by the pandemic and not being served by the current banking system. He is
working on a commission that will seek to address these key issues, and
prioritizing mental health.
30) Mel P. How can we work to promote affordable housing and work to get
developers to work with town and communities to get that affordable housing?
Also how can we work to build a big enough coalition to pass the housing plan
we need to get the housing we deserve?
31) A.H. Notes that we have a larger pool of money from the federal government to
use to get and build more housing. Got a hero’s coalitions to push for reforms to
promote more affordable housing. Zoning too. Considers Rent control if towns
32) Michael M. Asks about how to help make the towns and schools spend the
federal aid quickly to help people, and to aid schools with mental health, while
making sure parents know where the money is going so that they feel
comfortable where the money is going.
33) A.H. Notes that he worked with Susan Bump, the MA auditor, to make sure the
money is spend right and accountable to parents and communities.
34) Lilia H.S. Asked about Hazard Pay for workers, and making sure that the civil
servants could get the proper safety equipment and protocols. How can we get
this money out the door, especially that money for students who are relying on
school lunches for their main food source? How can we support the public
servants who fight for those vulnerable populations, and themselves struggle with
delays in good and monies.
35) A.H. says that it is very important that the L.G. works to act as a resource for
local communities and state employees. Works to make sure money gets out the
door fast enough to help people and help those who help others.
36) Kim Driscoll (Mayor of Salem, running for Lieutenant Governor): Notes that racial
justice, housing and education are big issues for her. She says communities are
the biggest part of most people's lives. So how can the state work with those
communities to improve the lives of people in those communities. She supports
the Welcoming town and communities act (that Belmont also passed) to make
sure that immigrants and racial minorities feel safe and welcome in Salem. We
need to include input from students who often are suffering the most and want a
say in how the money is spend to help them. Work to include the gateway cities
and get pilot programs to increase collaboration and try different ideas to improve
the quality of education in all communities. ESSER dollars to help promote PreK
programs. Notes that we need to increase affordable housing, huge rent
increases in MA has crippled a lot of folks and that lack of security in housing
affects education challenges too!
37) Mel P. Asked about Rent and housing for folks, especially affordable housing
38) K.D. Notes that there a very few units available in Salem. Note that we have to
build collations with folks, highlight to folks with safe housing who are secure that
their child’s teacher is/are housing insecure and push them to support affordable
housing. Helped create a Salem plan that has inclusionary zoning, that makes
that AMI (average middle income) 60% of that could get affordable housing, also
worked to put some rent limits so that those who are 60% of AMI could get
protections to keep them in their homes and make sure workers can stay in the
community. They have had to work to repurpose abandoned location into new
affordable housing. She is working to get new housing to have public transit
nearby to reduce traffic congestion (which is a big deal in Salem).
39) Robert McGaw says we need two things, housing that is reasonable, and
housing that is subsided by that towns/states/federal govt to make sure less well-
off residents can successfully stay in their communities. He likes how K.D. talks
about Pollution, housing and traffic are all interconnected. He wanted to ask how
we can build coalitions and reach out to those who disagree?
40) K.D. notes that we need to change so that we can increase inclusionary housing,
while working to reach out to those who want to keep some of the neighborhood
look (not super high-rises in a suburban area), but still get more density in
41) Angus A. : Notes that a lot of younger voters need more support to be able to
vote and get registered (can we get same day voter registration?) and also notes
that housing often favors homeowners over renters. How can we get more
42) K.D. notes that she supports Same-day voter registration. Says that that would
help student and young voters get more involved and feel included.
43) Mel P. Asked Linda L and Julie W. about Affirmative Action director about getting
the word out to diverse communities about the Caucus.
44) Linda L. and Julie W. talk about getting the word out. Trying to get an ad in the
Belmont Citizens Herald.
45) Michael M. notes putting ads in different community papers (in the native
language of the folks we are trying to reach).
46) Debbie D. Notes that a door hanger could give a simple message and shows that
someone took the time to reach them and go to their door. (list our website)
47) Julie W. notes that it would be good to reach out to the Asian community on
issues they care about
48) Lilia H.S. notes that this could work in areas that have a large group of housing
(near the Chenery middle school for example)
49) Robert McGaw notes that the Ads in the Belmont Citizen Herald might have
limited reach as the paper is not read as much as it once was. Also quite
50) Jeff L. notes that you can find a list of the all candidates running for MA state
offices at https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts
51) Eames C. notes that she can whip up a format for door hangers and leaflets in a
computer program (Canva)
52) Debbie D. notes we should aim to use Union Printers when we print it out.
53) Debbie D. also notes we need to know WHERE to leaflet too!
54) Linda L. notes that we need to use V.A.N. or some service to pin point where we