BDTC Meeting Notes (5/18/2022)
1) Attendance: Linda L. (Chair), Debbie Deutch, Michael (Secretary) Will
Brownsberger (MA State Senator), Anne Paulson, Quentin Palfrey (candidate
for Lieutenant Governor) , Catheryn Bonfiglio, Stepen Shestakofsky, Anne
Paulson, Angus Abercrombie, Kathy Quirk, Richard Waring, Vera Iskandarian
(Treasurer), Richard Madden, Nancy, Mary, Russ Lieno, Stephen Shestakofsky
2) Quentin Palfrey: Proudly Democratic running for AG, inspired by our AG effort
against Trump actions/overreach. Strongly supports the AG taking action for
a) Fought for more investment to fight opioid crisis, worked with AG on
Health care reforms. Got three predatory companies to be kicked out of
the state for cheating consumers in Health care.
b) Senior advisor for jobs and competitiveness in Obama Adm.
c) Fighting for workers, and against Uber/Lyft working to mis-classify them to
pay them less then they are owed.
d) Strongly supports public education, and feels that the AG needs to stand
for equally and equitable education for all
e) Opposes Charter schools that often takes resources from schools in need
and doesn’t take all students.
f) Work to reform justice system, working to get bias and police abuse out of
the system, work to deal with corruption in the state police.
g) Fight for Roe and LGBTQ rights, and against the Supreme Courts
h) Strongly supports Voting rights; helped found a pro-voting rights group,
and supports overturning Citizen United (which allowed corporations to
buy access, using Super PAC. Especially if AG is being influenced by
donors from Health care companies or from Charter schools).
i) Kathryn B. Asked about Buffalo supermarket massacre by a white
nationalist. And what can we do/what the AG can to do fight hate
ii) QF: He says it will be a major part of the agenda, he will fight
against Anti-Semitism, racism and fight to protect communities of
color and work to promote hate crime legislation.
iii) Stephen S. Asked about how AG can work to deal with Healthcare
policies and fight abuse and price gouging
iv) QF: Notes that AG can help with Health policy, notes that AG can
work to improve health care disparities, work to fight abuse of
communities of color, work as AG to increase addition resources for
mental healthcare, housing (which affects health care outcomes) and
strongly supports single payer option
v) Jeff L.S. Asks about price caps (as opposed to price setting) and
how we can move towards to single payer, even as we can’t do it in one
go (need to work up to it step by step)
vi) QP: Notes that AG can trust bust, and the AG can work to make
that the Non-profits that provide healthcare though their financial
organization as non-profits, have to actually help provide more affordable
vii) Agnus A. Asked about the Bully Pulpit could be used to influence
key policies and priorities (noting Maura Healey’s Role)
viii) QP: Strongly wanted to push the legislature and other on climate
change, and with other on police reform and criminal justice reform.
Agrees the AG should seek to publicly push for policies to advocate for
LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and gun control.
ix) Rich (Dick) M. Asks about housing affordability, what can the AG
do to increase affordable housing and just generally cut down cost for
renters and others
x) QP: Notes that the AG needs to fight to protect Renters and buyers of
housing. Need to consider Rent control possibly, worked to fight for renter
against abuse of landlords.
xi) Andrea Cambell: AG working to representing these gateway
communities that often get a shorter end of the stick. Noting
working to fight for families who are suffering from COVID and lack
of help from Government. Many people are skeptical of
government, but she notes Massachusetts is a great state which
the AG can fight for these families. She had a really challenging
childhood, mom died in a car crash when she was 8, her brother
died in the custody of the state department of corrections. But she
was the first in her family to go to college. She talks about using the
AG to fight abuse in the system, whether abuses of vulnerable
communities by corrupt health care companies, or for a more fair
criminal justice system, or fighting for women’s right and LGBT
xii) Linda L.S. asked her about what issues or polices she would
address or be a key issue for the AG
xiii) AC: Talked about criminal justice issues, legal reform, and juvenile
cases. Said that need to work on help those with Drug abuse, and work
on getting those who need mental healthcare the care they need.
Working to divert vulnerable people into drug court or work to get them
help and avoid jail. Working to give juveniles a second chance and an
opportunity to give them a chance to be brought back into society.
xiv) V.I. Asking about school and Charter schools
xv) AC she notes that she represented a district that were
overwhelming people of color (Mattapan), and that the school system
there only had a 5% to get into a high-quality college, while other places
in Boston had an 80% or so rate to get into a high-quality education.
Notes that those families wanted an option, and she notes that she
supported those as options for families who didn’t have great odds or
xvi) Jeff L.S. Asks about Health care and what the AG role should be
especially related to costs and price increases
xvii) AC notes that the AG has a big role helping with the cost of
prescription drugs, fighting price gouging, health disparities in
communities of color and poorer communities.
xviii) Dick M asked about charter schools, noted that they were
supposed to be an innovation centers and share what they know with the
public schools. But my main question is about rent prices and high cost of
housing that is raising in an unsustainable way,
xix) AC notes that working to increase children literacy in some charter
schools in her communities, and the community saw some improvement
that helped other schools and teachers. She notes that the AG needs to
work to prevent a foreclosure housing crisis, under Maura Healey worked
to keep families in their homes. I would work to change zoning and fight
NIMBYism so that we can work with communities to improving housing
outcomes in communities.
xx) Peter Grey: Appreciate her grit and determination. Asked her
about what the MA AG would do if Congress made abortion illegal across
the country (if Republicans took control of the senate and house, or the
xxi) AC She says we need to take the lead with the Supreme Court
trying to strike down Roe and women’s healthcare rights. Fighting to
protect women’s right to choose, increase protections for clinic and
providers, add more funds to help deal with increase of other women
coming in from other states. (Doesn’t thing the Congress is likely to pass
a full abortion ban).
xxii) State Sen. Brownsberger notes that AC as AG would be leading
the direction of the department and she would be a real leader that
pushes the Attorneys in the AG office forward to help people who really
need the help and advocate for folks.
xxiii) Michael M. Noted he wanted to ask about disability rights. Noting
often these group are given less attention, and the ADA could be at risk
due to the Roe decision (Supreme Court overturning precedent). Wanted
to ask AC and QP about what they would do to help disabled folks with
housing and employment. Also wanted to ask AC about charter schools,
some advocates are in favor as that gives more one of one attention to
their kids and maybe lower-class sizes. But other advocates are against it
saying what happens is that the charter school takes kids who don’t have
special needs or specialized care or assistance or those who have
English as a Second Language (ESL) leaving the kids with the most
needs in the public schools, while siphoning off funds to the charter
xxiv) Linda L.S. notes that Michael M. should email AC and QP with the
xxv) Anne Paulson notes that she strongly believes in public education,
but she does note that she has a friend who was from a community that
was less well off, and the opportunity for families from communities who
really don’t have great options and just want the best for their kids. Notes
that she knows it can be tricky, as public schools should be fully funded,
but in Belmont we are so fortunate to have a really good system.
xxvi) Rich M Notes that a lot of communities who struggle with low test
score or struggling school have communities where students are dealing
with trauma. Either mental or physical. And that he says we need to fund
counselors and psychologists. We need not to talk or judge, but listen to
the kids. And maybe over a year or next term they could be willing to talk
and their efforts and studies will have improved.
xxvii) Linda L.S. notes that often these kids may be going hungry, or in
homes where they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or
who lack heat or internet or other key necessities
xxviii) Vera I. Notes that public schools need to be funded, and that we
should consider funding the public schools, and not focus on Charter
schools. But she does note a lot of communities' struggles with schools
that aren't funded, but charter schools in those communities also seem to
struggle (she cities Springfield MA).
xxix) Russ L asks about what is the import of our endorsement?
xxx) Linda L.S. said that we would let the candidate who we endorse
know, and that they could brag about that and say at the convention that
they got an endorsement from the Belmont Democratic Town Committee.
Most committees endorse after, but that means the voting and
endorsement by the state party has already happened.