Skip to content Skip to navigation

State House Watch: February 4, 2022

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm

Greetings State House Watchers as we usher in Black History Month!

Please take a look at our events listing below, as there are several opportunities to learn about the contributions and/or challenges faced by our Black family, friends and neighbors. Take note of the Tea Talk series hosted by the Black Heritage Trail of NH starting this Sunday.

At the State House, another winter storm cancelled today’s committee hearings, but it was a full week all the same, with multiple hearings related to the well-being of immigrants in the state (see NHPR’s coverage), as well as redistricting and election audits, and a voting day in the Senate.  Read on for some highs and lows.

Both the House and Senate will meet for voting days on February 16, with the House planning a two-day session extending to the 17th. Governor Sununu will address the joint body for the State of the State on February 17 at the NH Expo Center in Manchester.

 

Housing and Discrimination: The Long View

Kudos to a joint project of the Granite State News Collaborative, NH Business Review, Business NH Magazine and NHPR describing how exclusionary zoning laws have reinforced areas of persistent poverty, impacting many aspects of community life, including crime, public health, affordable housing and access to economic opportunity in Manchester. The story features our former colleague Anthony Harris, who describes the challenges he and his partner faced to find an affordable place to live in Manchester. The reporting team shined a spotlight on Anthony and the city of Manchester as a case study, but the same exclusionary zoning practices present in Manchester are common across the state and likely have had similarly broad effects. Read the Invisible Walls series here.

 

Threat to Affordable Housing Ownership

Manufactured home parks that are purchased by tenants’ cooperatives are a rare success story when it comes to bringing affordable home ownership to more people in the Granite State. That avenue is now at risk in SB 210, relative to the sale of manufactured housing parks, which will be given a public hearing on Tuesday at 9:15 AM in the Senate Commerce Committee. Please let your lawmakers know you oppose this bill.

According to the NH Community Loan Fund, which has been instrumental in helping tenants’ cooperatives buy their manufactured home parks, “Senate Bill 210 would require a majority vote of all households in a park—not just of those who have joined the resident cooperative—for the co-op to move forward with a purchase. That's an absurd and unreachable standard. If applied to elections in NH, government would shut down. And that's the point. By shutting out resident ownership, passage of SB 210 will gift wrap manufactured-home parks for the out-of-state private equity firms out to make huge profits by buying parks, raising rents, and eliminating affordable housing options for New Hampshire residents.

The Community Loan Fund has more information and talking points here.

 

Raise the Minimum Wage

We encourage you to support SB 203, relative to the state minimum hourly rate. AFSC believes strongly that the embarrassingly paltry, and immoral, $7.25/hour minimum wage and $3.27/hour wage for (most) tipped workers need to be raised substantially. SB 203 takes a positive step toward correcting this travesty, and for this reason we urge all worker allies to express support for the bill. Frankly, we would go higher, and faster, but SB 203 is a start. The lead sponsor has tried every session for the past decade to reinstate and raise the NH minimum wage and deserves our support.

 

Defend Public Health

We’ve received action alerts from New Futures and the NH Public Health Association regarding bills to be considered next week. NH lawmakers will consider HB 1035 and SB 374, two bills of the 30+ pieces of legislation threatening to undermine our public health infrastructure like never before. While New Futures does not recommend that advocates attend these hearings in-person during the current surge of COVID, you can sign in to register your opinion and you can also upload your testimony or email it to the committee.

SB 374 would prohibit a person from requiring that an individual who had COVID-19 receive a vaccination against the virus as a condition for employment, education, or access to businesses or entities open to the public. The bill also establishes an exemption as a matter of conscience against a vaccination mandate.

HB 1035 would make it easier for families to send their children to school unvaccinated against preventable diseases such as hepatitis, measles, mumps, polio and many others. From the NH Public Health Association: “This legislation would allow families to opt out of school vaccine requirements for philosophical reasons. Early childhood immunizations have been shown to be safe and cost-effective tools for protecting infants and children from potentially life-threatening, preventable diseases. Current NH law allows for medical and religious exemptions for students, but a philosophical exemption, as proposed in this bill, could open the door for many more families to send their children to school unvaccinated and at risk for spreading diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, chicken pox, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and polio ... NHPHA is concerned that this bill opens the door for many more families to send their children to school unvaccinated against preventable diseases. COVID-19 has shown us firsthand what a terrible burden infectious disease outbreaks put on families, schools, and communities. It is unconscionable that anyone supports increasing the risk that the events of the last two years would play out again by limiting one of the most effective prevention measures available—mandatory school vaccinations.”

Sign the petition to show lawmakers how many Granite Staters support a healthy NH. Watch the recording of New Futures vaccine panel discussion to learn more.

 

Valentine's Day of Action to #FreeThemAll

Join us for “Love from the Walls,” a community art action to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the people we love by sharing messages of love, solidarity and resilience as part of our #FreeThemAll campaign, calling for a future without incarceration, a future supported by systems that promote healing, not punitive, justice. We invite you to write messages of love, faith and resilience to your family, friends and loved ones who are or have been incarcerated at Valley Street jail or elsewhere. Tell us who you are and who the message is for by filling out this form by Wednesday, February 9. We will share these messages during the community action.

 

In This Issue

  • Last Week in the House and Senate
  • Coming up in House and Senate Committees
  • State House Watch on the Radio
  • Upcoming Events

 

Last Week in the House and Senate

Good news from the full Senate session on Thursday includes an expansion of Medicaid coverage for a longer post-partum period, a requirement that health insurance providers offer a financial incentive for vaccination, and an extended notification period for evictions related to certain conditions. Senators also approved a study of the teacher shortage and the affordable housing shortage.

Senators also approved a bill that, while originally intended to repeal the 24-week abortion ban which was signed into law in 2021, was amended to replace the original bill with only a modest change to the ultrasound requirement.  Senators rejected other bills that attempted to remove criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions, as well as bills that would allow exceptions to the ban.

Paula Tracy has a summary of the session day for InDepthNH.

Annmarie Timmins reports on the Senate committee’s approval of SB 422 which would expand Medicaid benefits to include dental care.

In what NHPR’s Todd Bookman referred to as “the latest example of how the Legislature is becoming a venue for conspiracy theories and tense confrontations—over vaccines, the voting process and more—thanks to some Republican lawmakers who are pushing bills based off misinformation and a small, but vocal, group of activists who show up to amplify those causes,” HB 1484 drew a vocal crowd for its public hearing this week in the House Election Law Committee. The bill would require a statewide audit of the 2020 general election. Read the story here.

The Senate Education Committee heard testimony in support of SB 298, which would repeal the ‘banned concepts act’ enacted in 2021. No one spoke against the bill, which is now awaiting committee action. Garry Rayno has the story for InDepthNH.

In other news related to the assault on public education, Ethan Dewitt reports on the efforts by some to dismantle cooperative school districts.

Here is some of what the Senate did during their full session this week:

On the Consent Calendar

COMMERCE
SB 216, establishing a commission to study the landlord and tenant mediation program in circuit courts. Passed.

ENERGY AND NATIONAL RESOURCES
HB 549, relative to the systems benefits charge and the energy efficiency and sustainable energy board. Passed as amended. This bill has the support of 350NH.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 279, establishing a committee on harm reduction and overdose prevention programs. Passed as amended.
SB 403, re-establishing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Passed and referred to Finance.

On the Regular Calendar

COMMERCE
SB 217, relative to eviction notices. Passed as amended. This bill is supported by Housing Action NH.

EDUCATION
SB 236, establishing a committee to study NH teacher shortages and recruitment incentives. Passed.

FINANCE
SB 273, relative to broadband infrastructure funding. Passed as amended.
SB 275, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Passed as amended. New Future supports, arguing it strengthens substance use prevention by allowing opioid abatement funds, received through legal settlements from manufacturers, to be used on evidence-based prevention programs.
SB 371, making an appropriation to the lead paint hazard remediation fund. Passed as amended.
SB 412, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for nursing home reimbursement rates. Passed as amended.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 319, relative to vaccination status and wellness incentives. Passed as amended by a vote of 13-11.
SB 329, establishing a commission to study barriers to housing development in New Hampshire including workforce and middle-income housing. Passed as amended.
SB 404, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance program. Passed as amended. NHFPI has this issue brief of the value of the program.
SB 407, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services and making an appropriation therefor. Passed as amended and referred to Finance.

JUDICIARY
SB 393, relative to the use of restraints on pregnant women in the custody of a state of county correctional facility. Passed as amended.
SB 399, repealing the fetal health act. Passed as amended 14-10, with the amendment overwriting the original bill so that it only repeals the ultrasound requirement.
SB 436, relative to access to abortion care. Seeks to limit the state’s ability to restrict access to abortion as state policy. Tabled after a vote of Inexpedient to Legislate failed 12-12.

 

Coming Up in House and Senate Committees

Coming Up in House Committees

The House Health and Human Services Committee is expected to vote on several key bills on Tuesday in Executive Session, including HB 1224, prohibiting mandates in response to COVID and prohibiting discrimination based on vaccine status. Also on the list is HB 1578, which would expand Medicaid to cover certain immigrants and their children. Please let committee members know before they meet Tuesday morning that you oppose HB 1224 and support HB 1578.

The House Transportation Committee will be meeting Tuesday afternoon in Executive Session to vote on several bills that would make it easier for immigrants to drive in New Hampshire. Please join us to support HB 1463, relative to driver licenses issued in accordance with the Rea ID Act; HB 1666, relative to the application process for driver licenses; and HB 1093, which would enable asylum applicants to apply for a driver license.

We recommend that readers use the House and Senate digital calendars, which tell you everything you need to know about what is coming up on any given day and provide the online links for each committee. The House digital calendar can be found here. The Senate digital calendar is here. You can sign in to indicate your position on a bill or sign up to testify here for the Senate and here for the House. You can also submit written testimony or check on what testimony has been submitted to any House committee by using the link Online Testimony Submissions. You have until midnight (11:59 PM) to submit written testimony online on the day of the hearing and if you miss that deadline, you can still submit your testimony by email directly to the committee.

Monday, February 7

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 302-304, LOB
10:15 AM HB 1321, relative to the governor’s power to declare a state of emergency.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 210-211, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1369, relative to COVID-19 health and safety policies at New Hampshire performing arts venues.
10:15 AM HB 1045, requiring legislative oversight over the emergency powers of the department of health and human services.
1:00 PM HB 1633-FN, relative to requiring COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance.
2:15 PM HB 1035, relative to exemptions from school vaccine mandates. New Futures opposes.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301-303, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1177, relative to permissible residential units in a residential zone. This would require local legislative bodies to permit by right up to four residential units on certain single-family lots in residential districts.
9:30 AM HB 1194, relative to the procedure for overriding a local tax cap.
10:30 AM HB 1238, relative to zoning powers and the supply of workforce housing.
11:00 AM HB 1259, relative to the election and resignation of members of school boards and elected budget committees.
11:30 AM HB 1307, modifying the authority and duties of the housing appeals board. Housing Action opposes.

Tuesday, February 8

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1638, relative to grievances under the right to freedom from discrimination in public workplaces and education.
10:00 AM HB 1090, relative to teaching on discrimination in the public schools.
11:00 AM HB 1576-FN, repealing the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education. New Futures supports.
1:00 PM HB 1152, relative to verification of eligible students under the education freedom account program.
1:45 PM HB 1241, prohibiting a school district from mandating a COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 302-304, LOB
2:30 PM HB 1173, proclaiming August 9 as Indigenous People’s Day
3:00 PM HB 1566, relative to the New Hampshire prescription drug affordability board. Hearing on proposed amendment. New Futures supports.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 210-211, LOB
9:30 AM Executive Session on HB 1224-FN, prohibiting state and local governments from adopting certain mandates in response to COVID-19, and prohibiting employers and places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of vaccination status; HB 1526-FN, relative to income eligibility for in and out medical assistance (New Futures supports); HB 1536-FN, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services (New Futures supports); HB 1578-FN, relative to including certain children and pregnant people in Medicaid and the children’s health insurance program; HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations; HB 1608-FN, requiring the department of health and human services to contact certain individuals whose information was included in the state immunization registry; HB 1642-FN, relative to lead testing in children; and other bills.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY, Room 306-308, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1596-FN, relative to net energy metering limits for individual and business customers.
10:00 AM HB 1599-FN, relative to customer generators who sell renewable energy certificates. 1:00 AM HB 1629-FN, relative to default service for net metering.
2:00 PM HB 1248, relative to replacement power for net metering customer-generators.

TRANSPORTATION, Room 201-203, LOB
2:30 PM Executive Session on HB 1463, relative to driver licenses issued in accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005; HB 1666-FN, relative to the application process for driver licenses and the privacy of motor vehicle records; and HB 1093, relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire; and other bills.

Wednesday, February 9

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 202-204, LOB
9:00 AM Full Committee Work Session on HB 1540-FN, relative to recording custodial interrogations. ACLU supports.
9:45 AM Public hearing on non-germane amendment #2021-0264h to HB 1296, relative to money, coin, or currency which may be forfeited in connection with a drug offense. The amendment establishes a procedure for the forfeiture of items used in connection with a drug offense. Copies of the amendment are available in the Sergeant-at-Arms office, Room 318, State House. ACLU supports.
11:00 AM HB 1476-FN, relative to persons arrested while out on bail. ACLU opposes, arguing that current law already allows a judge to detain individuals pretrial if they are a flight risk or danger to the community. This one-size-fits-all legislation will deprive potentially thousands of Granite Staters of their freedom without any evidence that any of the individuals pose a threat to our communities.
1:30 PM HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners.
2:15 PM HB 1105, relative to earned time credits.
3:00 PM HB 1512-FN, relative to the parole of certain prisoners.

JUDICIARY, Representatives’ Hall, SH
9:00 AM HB 1181-FN, allowing the biological father of an unborn child to petition the court for an injunction prohibiting the biological mother from having an abortion.
10:00 AM HB 1477-FN, prohibiting abortions after detection of fetal heartbeat.
1:00 PM HB 1625, repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301-303, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1087, relative to zoning for single family housing lots.
12:00 PM HB 1617, relative to housing projects of the community development finance authority and establishing a committee to prevent state subsidies for housing development that is not income-sensitive.

RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT, Room 305-307, LOB
10:00 AM Executive Session on HB 1167, establishing a maximum contaminant level for perfluorinated chemicals in surface water; HB 1185, relative to treatment of water contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals; HB 1440, relative to surface water quality standards for perfluorinated chemicals; HB 1602-FN, relative to perfluorinated chemicals in drinking water; and other bills.

Thursday, February 10

ELECTION LAW, Room 306-308, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1153, relative to absentee ballot requests.
10:00 AM HB 1324, establishing a formula to allocate presidential electors to presidential nominees.
10:30 AM HB 1359, relative to the election-day duties of incumbent election officials who also appear on the ballot.
11:00 AM HB 1543-FN, relative to the voter registration process.
11:30 AM HB 1203-FN, relative to domicile residency, voter registration, and investigation of voter verification letters, and relative to the terms “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence,” and “residency.”
1:00 PM Executive Session on CACR 17, relating to ballot measures. Providing that upon petition by voters, a question may be placed on the ballot of a statewide election; HB 1008, establishing a commission to study the structure and election calendar of New Hampshire municipal government; HB 1082, prohibiting certain state officers from forming political action committees; HB 1149, relative to the number of names required for nomination by nomination papers; HB 1174, relative to election challengers; HB 1197, relative to the definition of “party” for election purposes; HB 1252, relative to political contributions made by certain business entities; HB 1383, relative to electronic copies of absentee ballot lists; HB 1567-FN, relative to the removal of election officials from office.

JUDICIARY, Representatives’ Hall, SH
9:00 AM CACR 18, relating to reproductive medical decisions. Providing that the state shall not infringe or unduly inconvenience the right of reproductive medical decisions.
10:00 AM HB 1674, relative to reproductive rights. New Futures supports.
1:00 PM HB 1673-FN, relative to women’s health privacy and repealing the fetal health protection act. New Futures supports.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 305-307, LOB
10:00 AM HB 1143, relative to medical mandates adopted by employers.
11:00 AM HB 1529-FN, requiring prospective employees and volunteers of public libraries to obtain a background check prior to commencing employment or volunteer service.

PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, Room 201-203, LOB
9:30 AM Continued public hearing on HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan.
1:15 PM Executive Session on HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan.

Friday, February 11

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 202-204, LOB
10:00 AM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1266, relative to restrictions on enforcement of federal immigration laws.

FINANCE - DIVISION III, Room 210-211, LOB
10:00 AM Work Session joint with Division I on HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program and one other bill.

Coming Up in Senate Committees

Tuesday, February 8

COMMERCE, Room 100, SH

9:00 AM SB 203, relative to the state minimum hourly rate.
9:15 AM SB 210, relative to the sale of manufactured housing parks.

EDUCATION, Room 101, LOB
9:15 AM SB 453-FN-A-L, relative to statewide pre-kindergarten funding. New Futures supports.
9:30 AM SB 410, relative to school district transparency.

Wednesday, February 9

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 100, SH
9:45 AM SB 390, relative to telemedicine and telehealth.
10:30 AM SB 374-FN, relative to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. New Futures opposes.

Thursday, February 10

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Room 103, SH
9:00 AM SB 448-FN, requiring the reduction of fossil fuel use across state facilities and establishing a state government energy committee.
9:45 AM SB 455, requiring the commissioner of the department of environmental services to adopt ambient groundwater quality standards for certain per and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

 

State House Watch on the Radio

State House Watch radio airs next on Monday, February 7; Maggie and Grace interview Eva Castillo of the NH Alliance for Immigrants & Refugees as well as Imani Cruz from AFSC’s Office of Public Policy Advocacy. Our show airs on Mondays at 5 PM and is rebroadcast on Tuesdays at 8 AM. You can listen at 94.7 FM, WNHN in Concord, and online, and find podcasts of our past shows here, including last week’s when we interview Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath of the NH Council of Churches about the importance of local advocacy for public education, and issues of religious liberty and religious belief being debated in the legislature this year.

Recordings From Last Week’s Events

Information session: Emerging Leaders for Liberation – Hosted by AFSC. AFSC is launching a new hands-on learning program, Emerging Leaders for Liberation! Applicants must be 18-25 years old as of April 1, 2022 and have a relationship to an AFSC program, a Quaker college/organization, or a Quaker meeting. The first cohort will begin meeting in May 2022. The program is eight months long and includes in-person gatherings and online sessions. Two in-person gatherings are planned on weekends in spring and fall 2022. Online sessions will be monthly for three hours. Watch our information session to learn more about the program and how you or a young adult you refer can apply. Applications are now open! Fill one out here.

 

Upcoming Events

Workplace Racial Equity Learning Challenge – January 28 to February 11. Hosted by NH Businesses for Social Responsibility & NAACP. The Workplace Racial Equity Learning Challenge will provide participants with daily emails, each with a theme and links to resources. Weekly dialogues will allow participants to share challenges, ideas, and inspirations each Friday.

Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival – February 12 to April 9. Hosted by The Black Quaker Project. Join us for this first-of-its-kind film festival that endeavors to educate all about the importance of Quakers of Color who for too long have remained within the margins of the Society of Friends and the wider world. From 12 February 2022, during Black History Month, until Paul Robeson’s birthday on 9 April 2022 we will screen a film centered on a Quaker of Color with an introduction from a guest expert and a follow up discussion facilitated by BQP Director Dr. Harold D. (Hal) Weaver. Screenings will take place every other Saturday on Zoom at 1 PM ET.  

Sunday, February 6

Race Class Academy - What You Need to Know (Condensed Version) – 10 AM to 11:30 AM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Race-Class Academy is a 12-video introduction to how we can beat dog whistle politics by building cross-racial and cross-class solidarity. The series was created by a team including Professor Ian Haney López, who currently serves as Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the originator of the race-class approach and has written two pioneering books on the subject: Dog Whistle Politics and Merge Left. Our upcoming session will be a condensed workshop based on this series. It is open to anyone who wants to better understand the importance of using race-class messaging as a strategy to overcome efforts to divide us, change the narrative and win the changes that benefit us all. With so much at stake for our communities, and Town Meeting Day around the corner, we also particularly encourage candidates for municipal office to attend! Sign up to join us Sunday for this session, guided by Rights & Democracy Movement Politics Directors Kiah Morris and Asma Elhuni, and Education Justice Organizer Mia Schultz.

“Divisive Concepts:” A Chilling Effect on Teaching History – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH at the Portsmouth Middle School, 155 Parrott Avenue. States across the country have seen new laws prohibiting the teaching of so-called “divisive concepts” that present critical perspectives on histories, laws, social practices, and literature that have excluded the opposing voices and histories of the struggle for justice and freedom from exploitation by African American, Native American, Asian Americans, and People of Color. This panel will deal with the history of the clashing versions of our American stories—stories that have been written to privilege one group and exclude the stories of people of color, and stories that reveal the resistance to oppression and present a more inclusive vision of America. This is even more difficult with the drastic reduction in teaching history and social studies in New Hampshire schools.

Monday, February 7

Powerbuilders: One to Ones – 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Our mission is to organize within our communities to build the power necessary to challenge and dismantle structural oppression—racism, sexism, classism, environmental destruction. To do this we must build a base of people who share our values and who are clear about their stake in taking action and building the collective power necessary to re-shape the policies that affect our lives, communities, and ecosystems. This happens through education, organized and intentional relationship building, and strategic campaigns, both legislative and electoral. After this training, participants will understand the importance of 1-1s as a primary means of relationship building & trust-building, feel less intimidated about doing 1-1s, feel empowered & more confident that they can build power, and commit to building their network through doing 1-1s.

Ecosystems of Compassion Part II – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Ecosystems of Compassion Part II will be a continuation of the conversation that Becky Field began on November 15. We will explore the role of compassion in the pursuit of social justice, not only for those with whom we’re politically or spiritually sympatico, but for those with whom we vehemently disagree. With democracy fraying and our social fabric disintegrating, is it possible to embrace the humanity of our most zealous opponents without compromising our own values? Is there any point in trying? After sharing several of his own experiences with the power of compassionate listening to bridge ideological divides, our guest speaker Joel Berman will invite attendees to reflect on whether and how compassion has—or could—inform their own relationships with social justice. 

Manchester Housing Alliance Meeting – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Meet to discuss the state of affordable housing in Manchester after the municipal elections.

Tuesday, February 8

#NoWayToTreatAChild webinar: Explaining Home Demolitions – 12 PM. Hosted by Defense for Children International Palestine and AFSC. Please join us for a webinar on February 8 at 12 PM Eastern / 9 AM. Pacific time. We will discuss the Israeli planning regime and how Palestinian families in areas like East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley regularly face threats of home and school demolitions at the hands of Israeli authorities. We will also practice debunking opposition talking points specific to the issue of home demolitions and forced expulsions. H.R. 2590 prohibits U.S. tax dollars from being used by Israeli authorities to demolish Palestinian homes.

Climate Change, Health Equity & Structural Racism – 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted NH Climate Action and NH Public Health Association. An interactive webinar to describe climate change’s intersections with health equity and structural racism; discuss examples of climate change’s impacts on patient’s health; and define possible roles health care professionals can take to be change makers. Featuring speaker Dr. Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH and moderated by Dr. Semra Aytur. Continuing education credits available.

Wednesday, February 9

GSOP Tenant Clinic (for NH Residents) – 2 PM to 4 PM. 1045 Elm Street, Suite 201 in Manchester. Hosted by Granite State Organizing Project, for tenants with questions including eviction diversion. We meet weekly on Wednesdays. The Eviction Clinic has gone through a name change to reflect that we are here for all tenant needs. From answering questions about renters’ rights to emergency rental assistance and living conditions. We want the tenant to feel comfortable knowing they could reach out for all of their tenancy concerns and questions.

Climate Deep Canvassing in New Hampshire! – 5 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Come learn how to deep canvass and change hearts and minds on immigration rights and climate justice, right here in New Hampshire! Deep canvassing is a highly skilled form of communication through which canvassers form personal connections with people by straying away from conversations about facts and opinions. Instead, we work on having meaningful conversations by sharing personal stories.

H.E.A.L. Together NH Monthly Gathering – 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by RAD. Through H.E.A.L. Together New Hampshire (Honest Education Action & Leadership), we are working to help local communities organize toward a vision of honest, accurate and fully-funded public education, and a just, multi-racial democracy. Amid targeted attacks on public education by an elite that seeks to divide us, we are fighting to change the narrative and deepen commitments to truth and equity in our schools, so that our students can have the education they deserve. These monthly calls are an opportunity to come together to build concrete skills that will support this organizing, share and learn from each others’ experiences on the ground organizing for change in our local schools, and to discuss our broader collective goals and strategies on statewide campaigns related to education justice.

A Fireside Chat - NH Legislation & It's Impact on DEIJ Efforts in the Granite State – 6:30 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Racial Unity Team and Oyster River Equity & Justice. Are you confused by some of the recent state legislation that aims to control what is taught in NH’s public schools? This event will feature the perspectives of local teachers, administrators, parents and that of Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of ACLU-NH. Participants will walk away with an increased awareness of what the pertinent legislation is, how it affects what children and youth experience both in and outside of our schools, and how we might push back on legislative efforts that threaten or delegitimize the accurate, comprehensive teaching of our nation’s history. Join us to learn what the legislation is, what it means for our communities, and how we might actively oppose it.

Thursday, February 10

Community Safety Beyond Policing: Global Policing – 1 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Drawing on AFSC's international programs and partners, we will be talking about the impact of policing on local communities in several places outside the United States.

Saturday, February 12

Love From The Walls: #FreeThemAll V-Day Action – 2:30 PM. Love transcends walls, bars and cages. Join us for a community art action to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the people we love by sharing messages of love, solidarity and resilience as part of our Free Them All campaign, calling for a future without incarceration, a future supported by systems that promote healing, not punitive, justice. We invite you to write messages of love, faith and resilience to your family, friends and loved ones who are or have been incarcerated at Valley Street jail or elsewhere. Tell us who you are and who the message is for by filling out this form by Wednesday, February 9. We will share these messages during the community action.

Sunday, February 13

Absented Presence: “They All Died Off” and Other Myths About Native Americans – 2 to 3:30 PM. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail of NH at the Portsmouth Public Library, Levenson Room, 175 Parrott Avenue. Many organizations across the state have been using “Land Acknowledgments,” raising awareness of the first nation status and original presence of Native Americans in our state. However, New Hampshire is one of only 15 states that have no federally recognized tribes. For this panel, presenters will explore various issues in New Hampshire’s Native American community including, inadequate representation, invisibility, access to education, and tribal non-recognition.

Monday, February 14

Peace & Justice Conversations: China and the Nuclear Arms Race – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. We are in a classical Thucydides trap, the inevitable tensions between rising and declining powers, that too often across history have resulted in catastrophic wars. Today, dynamics that mirror the Cold War and many of those that triggered World War I could lead to war via accidents or miscalculations; they block cooperation that is essential to stanching the climate emergency; and they fuel anti-Asian racism in the U.S. Our guest speaker Joseph Gerson will review the rise and enforcement of the U.S. Asia-Pacific empire; the self-defeating drive to manage or contain China’s rise, background to the Taiwanese and South China Sea flashpoints, and alternative common security policies that should be adopted by the United States and China.

Tuesday, February 15

The Civilian Climate Corps - How we Bring Good Green Jobs to NH – 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy, 350NH and NH Youth Movement. Join NHYM, RAD, 350, and others to learn more about how a New Hampshire Civilian Climate Corps could bring good paying jobs to New Hampshire, and what you can do right now to support legislation to make it happen.

Digging into Native History in New Hampshire – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Cook Memorial Library and Chocorua Lake Conservancy. The people now known as Abenaki or Wabanaki have lived in this region for more than 12,000 years. Join us for “Digging into Native History in New Hampshire,” a New Hampshire Humanities program with Robert Goodby, professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce College. Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go "underground," concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth's surface. His presentation will include a special focus on this region. Please register in advance.

Thursday, February 17

Climate Action Community Conversation Series Kick-Off – 6 PM. Hosted by Climate Action NH. Happening monthly, this series aims to strengthen our connections to each other and to nature by facilitating learning and discussion in a safe and inclusive space. Join us as we explore topics that will provide insight into the impacts activism can have on our health and wellness and how we can provide support to ourselves and others in uncertain times. This part in the series will feature speakers: Meghan Hoskins, Field Organizer with Climate Action New Hampshire; Marla Baldassare, Owner of We Fill Good in Kittery, ME; Alexis Clarke and Nicole Rocha, Owners of The Terracotta Room in Manchester.

Sunday, February 20

The Myth of The Model Minority – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH, 155 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth Middle School. The mass shooting in Atlanta last year and the rise in anti-Asian attacks during the Co-Vid 19 pandemic have brought to the forefront the long history of discrimination and injustice toward Asian Americans. Since the end of World War II, the perceived success of Asian Americans—who have been wrongly portrayed as a monolithic group—has led white apologists to cast this group as the “model minority.” This panel will address how this idea has been used to drive a racial wedge between Asian Americans and African Americans, and to allow some white Americans to continue to ignore the ravages of racism and racist policies.

Sunday, February 27

The Lingual Divide: ¿Y Tu Abuela Donde Esta? – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH. Portsmouth Public Library, Levenson Room, 175 Parrott Avenue. Traditionally, Black and Brown American populations have seen themselves in a natural alliance in a country historically dominated by whites—an alliance of mostly poorer, darker-skinned minorities whose struggles are similar. However, in recent times the Black/Brown coalition has grown more and more strained with the influx of immigrants into neighborhoods that were, in many cases, previously dominated by Blacks. Many Blacks resent what is seen as Hispanics leapfrogging them up the socioeconomic ladder and point to the strong skin-color prejudices and colorism that divides the two communities. “¿Y Tu Abuela Donde Esta?” (Where is Your Grandmother?) by the Puerto Rican poet Fortunato Vizcarrondo explores this tension within the Black/Brown community. This panel will explore the issues of colorism, for people within this vast group of ethnicities that although joined together by a common language and culture, experience racism within their own group.

Monday, February 28

Peace & Justice Conversations – This Current Moment: US Nuclear Weapon Policy and Back from the Brink – 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Please join NH Peace Action for a discussion about the danger this current moment presents with regard to nuclear weapons, and the ways in which Back from the Brink serves as a vehicle for effective grassroots organizing to eliminate the threat that they pose, with Michael Klare and Denise Duffield.

Saturday, March 5

Punishment is not Accountability: Quakers Exploring Police, Prison Abolition, and Futures of Justice – 3 PM to 5 PM. Hosted by Beacon Hill Friends House. Join us on Saturday March 5, March 19 and April 2 for a three-part workshop series. In this series, participants will explore the spiritual dimensions of police and prison abolition, the carceral system, and healing-focused visions of justice. Through three workshops, an online community, and opportunities to interact in between sessions, participants will be given space to connect to abolitionist frameworks and movements, with a goal of collectively generating movement and next steps together in this work.

With best wishes,

Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke and Anne Saunders

AFSC’s New Hampshire "State House Watch" newsletter is published to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord including housing, the death penalty, immigration, education, civil liberties and labor rights. We also follow the state budget and tax system, voting rights, corrections policy, and more.

The AFSC is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about peace, social justice, humanitarian service, and nonviolent change. Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke staff the New Hampshire Program which publishes this newsletter.  Anne Saunders is AFSC’s State House Watch researcher and co-writer.

“State House Watch" is made possible in part by a grant from the Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust. Your donations make our work possible. Click the DONATE NOW button on our web page to send a secure donation to support the work of the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program. Thank you!

Our largest match of the year!

Join the Compassion in Action Matching Gift Challenge: Donate by 11/21 to help secure a $500k match for peace and justice.

Give Now →

CLOSE   X