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FRAMINGHAM – Senator Ed Markey will speak at the Framingham Democratic Committee meeting on Sunday evening, June 28.

Sen. Markey is being challenged for his seat by Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. The democratic primary is September 1.

“Aside from enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded Democrats, we will get a chance to talk with Senator Ed Markey and hear him discuss the difficulty of being a progressive Senator with an incredibly vital agenda in a chamber where progress is measured by what Mitch can prevent, rather than by progressive legislation,” wrote Framingham Democratic Chair Michael Hugo to members on Friday.

Also speaking will be Framingham resident and business owner Brandale Randolph.

Randolph is the founder and majority owner of the 1854 Cycling Company, and was recently named Business Leader of the Year by the Worcester Business Journal.

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The 1854 Cycling Company is a bicycle & cycling apparel brand founded to create 21st century, living wage employment for the formerly incarcerated.

The company is named after an abolitionist movement in 1854 along the banks of Farm Pond in Framingham.

“On July 4th, 1854, the Anti-Slavery Society met to protest the hypocrisy of celebrating America’s independence while simultaneously participating in the practice of re-enslavement based on the newly enforced Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” states the website for the 1854 Cycling Company.

“Noted Ministers and politicians of the era joined abolitionists such as Sojourner Truth, Wendell Pierce, and Henry David Thoreau to raise their voices against the immorality of chattel slavery.,” states the website. “Then, as his speech was ending, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison took out a copy of the United States Constitution and burned it to ash. Many historians believed that this single act both galvanized the abolitionist movement and set the stage for the civil war.”

Randolph, who moderated a panel on race & safety in Sudbury last Thursday, has a very personal connection to the current Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Before there were cell phone videos on the Internet and Social Media of violence by police towards people of color, Randolph’s brother was killed by a Los Angeles police officer in 2005.

A decade later few things had changed in America, and he was still speaking out about racism in 2015. (see video below)

Last year, he tried to start a discussion in the City of Framingham about racism and to get to its causes and bring forth change, and he was met with attacks.

Now in 2020, with the death of George Floyd, racism and the Black Lives Matter movement has taken over the country and is the #1 issue surpassing the pandemic. Maybe now is the time for people willing to listen to what Randolph has to say.

While Randolph has a lot to say about racism, he is is not anti-police. His 1854 Cycling Company has been working to build bicycles for police departments.

“We are also going to have the first of several discussions regarding civility in our city, state and nation featuring one of our emerging, exciting and energizing voices, Brandale Randolph, who will discuss actions that we – as the voice of our party in Framingham – can take to contribute to the movement that has gripped our nation and is driven by our ideals. It is time to recognize and confront complacency, bigotry and hate that are all too prevalent in our society, and that many “button pushers” drive in Framingham. This is intended to be the first of many sessions we will spend ripping the Band-Aid off of the root causes of attitudes that threaten our city,” wrote Hugo to the Framingham Democratic Committee members.

Also on the agenda for Sunday night is an update from the City’s legislative delegation Rep. Maria Robinson & Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis.

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District 2 City Councilor Cesar Stewart-Morales will talk about the pride events in the city for LGBTQ+ month.

Brandale Randolph with Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis & Rep. Maria Robinson at a protest in Framingham in June 2020

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.