With plans for long-time staffer Arnie Alpert to retire in June after nearly 39 years with the organization, the American Friends Service Committee’s New Hampshire Program is expecting big changes in 2020.
Since Alpert joined the staff in 1981, he has become one of New Hampshire’s best known activist leaders, with experience that ranges from training people to engage in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience to writing hundreds of articles and lobbying for policy change at the State House.
“Arnie has left his mark on many very important campaigns for peace and justice in New Hampshire, as an advocate, a teacher, a coalition-builder and a movement leader. He will be sincerely missed,” said Maggie Fogarty, who joined the AFSC staff in 2007 and has served as co-director with Alpert since 2014.
Alpert’s time with the organization will be remembered for his role:
- Coordinating the 20-year campaign to win passage of a state holiday named for Martin Luther King, Jr.;
- Helping to guide the equally long campaign to repeal the state’s death penalty;
- Training hundreds of activists to “bird dog” candidates for president on topics including nuclear weapons policy, the role of money in politics, immigrant justice, and global trade policy;
- Mentoring emerging leaders working for racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and foreign policies rooted in human rights.
Alpert and Fogarty are now beginning their tenth year putting out the weekly “State House Watch” newsletter, which keeps the progressive activist community informed on issues such as the minimum wage, tenants’ rights, state budget and tax policy, and matters affecting immigrants and refugees.
The AFSC has had a staffed office in the Granite State since 1975. Alpert’s two predecessors worked for 3 years each, and when he started, he thought holding the job for 3 years would be a long time, he recalls.
The organization is preparing for Alpert’s departure with a fundraising campaign. “Through contributions to the Arnie Alpert Action Fund, AFSC supporters can honor Arnie’s legacy with funds that will help the organization continue the education, advocacy, training, and bold action Arnie has modeled,” Fogarty said. For more information, visit afsc.org/aaafund.
A search for a new staff member to join Fogarty in the Concord office is about to be launched, as well.