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Framingham Democrats to Discuss Unlimited Campaign Funding Sunday Night

State Senator Jamie Eldridge, who represents Marlborough, will be leading a discussion on restorative justice Sunday night.

The Framingham Democratic Town Committee will be holding its regular monthly meeting on Sunday May 18, at the function room at the Framingham Green Apartments, 136 Maynard Rd. at 7 p.m.
The Framingham Democratic Town Committee will be holding its regular monthly meeting on Sunday May 18, at the function room at the Framingham Green Apartments, 136 Maynard Rd. at 7 p.m.
The following is a press release from the Framingham Democratic Town Committee:

The Framingham Democratic Town Committee will be holding its regular monthly meeting on Sunday May 18, at the function room at the Framingham Green Apartments, 136 Maynard Rd. at 7 p.m.

This month’s Framingham Democratic Town Committee meeting will feature two guest speakers and an internal governance issue.

State Senator Jamie Eldridge, who represents Marlborough, will be leading a discussion on restorative justice Sunday night.

Terra Friedrichs, a well known activist from Acton, will be discussing the issue of unlimited corporate political campaign expenditures in the wake of 
two landmark Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. 

In Citizens United the Court held that Corporations and unions are similar to people, in that they have First Amendment Rights to express their beliefs by supporting a given candidate and/or agenda.

In McCutcheon, the Court expanded this doctrine by allowing individuals to give virtually unlimited funds to candidates. This case held that overall limits of $48,600 by individuals every two years for contributions to all federal candidates violated the First Amendment, as did separate aggregate limits on contributions to political party committees, currently $74,600. This decision was deeply contested by the dissent, who warned that this case will lead to individual citizens losing much of their political voice to large corporate and mega-rich personal and special interests. There is a groundswell of legislation bubbling through many states as well as the U.S. Senate to counteract these destructive decisions.

Framingham’s Town Meeting was on the forefront, when it passed a resolution last year condemning the Citizens United decision, and in support of a Constitutional Amendment to overturn that case. 

Senator Eldrige has sponsored legislation to adopt principles of restorative justice. This is a system designed to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in an offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things right as possible.

State data show a staggering drop in drug- and violence-related suspensions in Boston schools since the district amended its discipline policies to allow “restorative justice” measures in lieu of suspensions, including written apologies, conferences between offenders and victims, and anger management courses. The Senator will discuss his bill and his aims for this approach to criminal justice reform.

In addition to the guest speakers, the Committee will discuss scheduling of meetings in a manner calculated to accommodate the all its members and friends.

All Democrats are welcome to attend and participate.

This month’s charity is The Advocates.  The Committee will be soliciting monetary donations for that worthy cause in memory of our recently departed long time State Representative Barbara Gray.

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