Q&A: Group 2 Framingham Democratic Town Committee Slate, Mary Kate Feeney

‘Framingham’s leadership is stuck in the status quo. It is time for new leaders who will empower new voices.’
Government & Politics

Mary Kate Feeney


February 19, 2024

The following is a Q&A with Mary Kate Feeney, who heads the Group 2 slate running for the Democratic Town Committee on the March 2024 Democratic Presidential Primary ballot.

Why do you believe Democrats (and independents selecting a Democratic ballot) should vote for your slate?

2024 is an important year for Democrats. Not only is Trump and his dangerous words and policies still looming, but here at home we need a new generation of bold leadership to step up and lead this city into a community for everyone.

The current Framingham Democratic Town Committee leadership let our community down by not empowering new voices, tarnishing its reputation with scandal, and ignoring critical issues in our community. While it may be uncomfortable to face this reality, we need to change in order to succeed as Democrats and a city.

Framingham’s leadership is stuck in the status quo. It is time for new leaders who will empower new voices.

Group 2 is 24 individuals. 18 are not current members of the FDTC. We’re serious about empowering new voices: we intentionally left 11 slots open to welcome new people.

We are the do-ers. Group 2 includes the current and former School Committee Chairs, a current State Representative, and current and former City Councilors. We serve on various local boards and commissions working on building schools, fighting climate change, advocating for better mental health services, ensuring hard working people get good paying jobs, and working for a better Framingham.

We believe Framingham deserves a Democratic Committee who represents Framingham. A Democratic Committee who is engaged with the issues, activities and the residents of our city. A Democratic Committee open and welcoming to all. One with members ready to take action for a more equitable, progressive Framingham.

Equality and social and economic justice are the foundations of our platform for positive progressive action.

We celebrate the excellent field and diversity of voices of the Democratic Party in Framingham, Massachusetts and across the nation. We believe in amplifying the voices of those who rendered silent for far too long. We believe in a Framingham that is welcoming to all. Our youth. Our seniors. And every age in between.

We are dedicated to defeating Donald Trump and his corrupt cronies to ensure that his unconstitutional, corrupt, divisive and cruel policies do not return. These morally bankrupt policies have marginalized and hurt our BIPOC, immigrant, LGBTQIA+ neighbors. We are firm in our anti-racism beliefs. We are dedicated to action to overturn the reactionary and undemocratic decisions of the Supreme Court.

We believe in a woman’s right to choose and her bodily autonomy. Decisions made about health care belong in the doctor’s office, not in the halls of government.

We believe that every American has the right to quality affordable health care. As a mental health crisis continues, we believe in mental health parity and all health must remain a priority.

We believe that families and children have the right to high quality and free public education, including early education and afterschool programs. We believe Framingham must push for early education for all of our students. We are opposed to book bans and censorship.

We believe in gender equality in all aspects of our basic human rights, including civil rights, employment, pay, housing, education and health care. All people deserve good paying jobs. We support unions.

We stand for LGBTQIA+ rights.

We believe that every person has the right to clean air and water. We must institute practices that reduce carbon emissions, preserve and protect our natural resources and work to reverse global warming. That in Framingham the efforts to clean our environmental justice neighborhoods are urgent and cannot go ignored.

We believe that every person, regardless of background, has the right to feel safe and protected at home, at school and in our neighborhoods and public ways. We believe in advancing public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence, especially our kids in their schools and community.

We believe in expanding affordable housing opportunities in a state with a housing crisis. Variety in housing stock and affordability in every community allows that community to thrive.

This is not simply a wish list. This is our statement of values and our blueprint for action and positive change here in Framingham and around the country.

Framingham Democrats, you deserve a local Democratic committee committed to this progressive agenda. Voting for Group 2 on or before Tuesday, March 5 is the first step in bringing much needed attitude adjustment and change to Framingham. You have our commitment we will work tirelessly on your behalf.

Why are John Stefanini and Jerry Desilets on the ballot if they are already lifetime members and their terms don’t appear to be expiring? Are people voting for them “wasting” two of their votes or is there something else involved that isn’t apparent?

When Adam Freudberg and I discussed putting together our slate it was for several reasons: 1.) The current committee is not welcoming to new members, and in fact has a hard time retaining members; 2.) the bullying behavior and win-at-all-cost tactics are tearing our community apart; 3.) the last year the current Framingham Democratic Town Committee let our community down with scandal and didn’t take the appropriate action until forced.

Framingham deserves much better from its Democratic Committee.

As we discussed it with colleagues, 24 people signed on to join us - some are seasoned members of our community, others are newly involved. All see the critical importance of bringing change to Framingham.

John Stefanini and Jerry Desilets both see the FDTC needs change. They placed their name on Group 2 to lend their support for new leaders who will empower new voices, build community and focus on the issues important to our residents on local, state and national issues.

If two longtime Democratic activists are saying it’s time for change, then maybe we all should pay attention.

Again, we intentionally left 11 slots open on our slate for new people. It is our absolute focus to expand the group, bring in new people and encourage them to run for office.

What would you say to the concern that northeast Framingham in general and District 2 in particular are underrepresented in your slate?

Our top focus is recruiting and retaining new members to the Framingham Democratic Town Committee. Hundreds of new people have circled through the FDTC over the last twenty years, and never came back. Why is that?

State Representative Priscila Sousa shares an important story in the recent MetroWest Daily News article about this election regarding representation. Even as a member of the School Committee, it took her several voting rounds within the FDTC for her to gain full membership proving even if you are an elected official, it can be hard to get a seat at the table.

Leaving 11 slots open on the slate to allow new voices, along with making it clear we are a welcoming group will help us ensure every corner of Framingham is represented in the committee. We are a team. And at the end of the day, we are bonded together by our values, mission and focus on electing Democrats.

What do you say to the concern that in several instances there are multiple people in the same household/family on the slate?

Framingham is lucky to have many families active in many, many ways in our community and civic lives. Families serve on our Library Trustees, sisters were elected to different elected boards, and couples serve on different elected and appointed boards. Just think of how many families and married couples were Town Meeting Members! My family is no different with my position as Chair of the Strategic Initiatives and Financial Oversight Committee and my father is a Cemetery Trustee.

Everyone in our group is no exception. Group 1 also has people who come from the same family/household. Contrary to rumors on the Internet, everyone on our slate is an active member of our community, wants to serve on the FDTC and knows Framingham needs a change in leadership and attitude.

Where should people go to find out more information about your slate?

You can find us online at https://www.framinghamdemsforchange.org or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/framinghamdemsforchange. You can also email us at framinghamdemsforchange@gmail.com

On a personal note, people can reach out to me directly with any questions at mkfeeney@gmail.com or 508-733-3153.

Sign up for the District 2 email-list.