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State House Watch: January 22, 2022

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh, October 11, 1926 – January 22, 2022

Hello friends,

It was another busy week of hearings, hearings, hearings! State House Watchers found ourselves running from one priority hearing to another all week long, from Criminal Justice to Education to Election Law, Transportation and more. 

We noted, at times, a chaotic feel to the proceedings, as sponsors showed up with amendments to change the bills they were introducing, or promising amendments that weren’t yet available for review. This meant that folks who had prepared or already submitted testimony could not be sure their input was still relevant given that sponsors had rewritten, or declared their intention to rewrite, their proposals at the starting gate. For example, the so-called “teacher loyalty” bill, HB 1255, had a hearing this week. At the start of the hearing, Hudson Representative Alicia Lekas, prime sponsor of the bill, said she intended to submit an amendment at a later date but didn’t have it written yet, prompting NHPR reporter Josh Rogers to liken the situation to “a dog ate my homework” excuse.

Voting rights are clearly in the crosshairs. On Thursday, the Senate Election Law Committee heard testimony on SB 418, a bill that had only been unveiled a few days prior to the hearing.  SB 418 would require voters who register to vote on Election Day without sufficient documents to mail copies of those documents to the Secretary of State’s Office within 10 days of Election Day—or have their votes invalidated by the state. Read more in the Valley News. The renewed attacks by New Hampshire lawmakers on the right to vote are even more alarming given the terrible news this week that the U.S. Senate failed to pass essential voting rights legislation—a combination of key provisions of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We urge our readers to stay tuned to the NH Campaign for Voting Rights and to bring our best energy to the struggle for our democracy.

We’ll review some of the testimony on several key bills below, including HB 1266, which would prohibit municipalities from adopting rules to limit the cooperation of police and others with federal immigration authorities.

Before we jump in, we’re happy to lift up a celebratory story in the Conway Daily Sun about the World Fellowship Center’s new director, Octavia Driscoll, and the retirement of former co-directors Andy Davis and Andrea Walsh. If you don’t already know the World Fellowship Center, check it out and make plans to spend some time there this summer.

Also of note, the Granite State Organizing Project launched a new Clergy Caucus with a press conference at the State House on Tuesday. 30+ faith leaders gathered, as Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath of the NH Council of Churches explained, “to advocate for the lost, the last, the least and those who have been left behind by our policy.” The group will prioritize issues related to affordable housing and racial justice. More here from NHPR.

 

In This Issue:

  • Last Week at the State House 
  • Next Week in the House and Senate 
  • State House Watch on the Radio 
  • Upcoming Events 

 

Last Week at the State House

Good news for transparency! A new link on the General Court website now provides easy access to names of people who sign in to support or oppose a bill scheduled for public hearing.  You’ll also see links to any written testimony that was submitted online.

The Senate Election Law Committee held its hearing on SB 418. Senator Giuda is concerned about the affidavit that voters can sign (along with having their photo taken) when they enter the polling place without ID. Under this bill, these voters would have 10 days to provide proof of domicile and proof of American citizenship. But as opponents noted, anyone homeless, or who needed to request an official copy of their birth certificate or naturalization paperwork may be unable to meet the 10-day deadline. Their legitimate votes would end up being removed from the count. That process of removal raised procedural concerns from local election officials as well as others worried about the privacy of the ballot.

Despite these reasonable concerns, NH’s new Secretary of State David Scanlan spoke in support of the bill, even as he asserted that NH had “sound” elections and no serious problem with fraudulent voting, arguing it would address “the erosion of voter confidence” due to “national rhetoric.” We note the circular reasoning and suggest that acting as if there is a problem simply serves to confirm, not allay, people’s fears! The legislation, if passed, is certain to end up in court and could cost the state millions in legal fees—as did a similar effort with SB 3, as described in the NH Bulletin.

In the House Education Committee this week, members heard testimony on a problematic bill, HB 1015, that would create a right for parents to review anything that might be “objectionable” in a teacher’s lessons, which would have to be available to parents two weeks in advance. NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle’s testimony in opposition to the bill can be seen here.

Also in House Education, the so-called “teacher loyalty” bill, HB 1255, was discussed in public hearing. In addition to the NHPR story linked above, InDepthNH covered the hearing here.

AFT-NH President Deb Howes testified: “Our children have so many needs right now. Our elected leaders should be supporting public schools and teachers, providing classrooms with resources to help our kids recover and refocus on learning and helping to create safe and welcoming environments for all. Our students don’t need more tension and drama, or laws that pave the way for people to put a bounty on their teachers’ heads, simply for teaching honest and accurate history. At a time when our elected leaders should be supporting our educators, this flawed law will result in teachers’ voices being silenced, student discussions being stifled and a generation of students viewing American history through rose-colored glasses.”

We appreciate our friend and former co-worker Arnie Alpert’s testimony as well: “Is there agreement on what is meant by the ideologies…to be banned (or cancelled) under this proposal? What is socialism? Is the Veterans Administration, which provides free health care to military veterans, a socialist institution? How about your local public library? Tamworth’s public health nursing program? Would a lesson on how any of these programs were established be considered advocacy? And what is Marxism? Must teachers be banned from agreeing with anything contained in the thousands of pages of books and articles written by Karl Marx? ... And what is meant by a 'negative account' of our nation’s founding? If our teachers and texts tell the truth, shouldn’t it be up to the students to interpret the facts?”

Abortion rights was a major issue this week, with hearings in the House and Senate on three bills that would pare back or repeal the new abortion ban at 24 weeks. NH Bulletin summarizes these efforts here.

House Transportation Committee held a hearing on Tuesday for HB 1100, which would reduce the penalty—from a misdemeanor to a violation for a first offence—for driving without a license. This bill would benefit many groups of people including undocumented immigrants who do not currently have access to a driver license, as well as low-income residents who may find themselves unable to pay for their license renewal. From Grace’s testimony: “Reducing the penalties for driving without a license would ease an overburdened judicial system while still acting as a deterrent. It is nearly impossible to live, work, shop or go to school in NH without access to a vehicle. There are many reasons why an individual may be caught driving without a license, the least of which is because they are seeking to harm others or flagrantly disregard the law. The people of this state are doing what they can to support themselves, their families and meet their obligations. Reduced penalties would show that the state is able to hold individuals accountable while also communicating understanding for the various circumstances that lead people to operate a vehicle without proper licensure.”

If you haven’t already weighed in, please let the committee know that this bill should be approved.

The week ended with a hearing on an anti-immigrant bill, HB 1266, mentioned above. Immigrant leaders and allies including AFSC and the ACLU argued that the bill is unclear, restricts local controls and endangers immigrant communities.

From Grace’s testimony: “I urge you to see that this bill attempts to solve a problem that doesn’t exist in order punish municipalities that take steps to implement policies that ensure that every person in their community feels safe and able to trust the response systems that are available. Municipalities and law enforcement authorities already have obligations to comply with federal and state laws. This bill undermines community control and creates an environment of fear especially for immigrants who must live under shadow of immigration enforcement. NH police departments are members of the communities they serve, and many police departments have made considerable efforts to respond to the needs of their towns and cities.”

Maggie shared testimony on behalf of the NH Immigrant Rights Network: “This bill is anathema to New Hampshire principles of equity and justice. It is completely unnecessary, confusing and vague. If passed, it would cause widespread confusion and result in violations of New Hampshire residents’ constitutional and civil rights and expose local and state officials to liability. It also interferes with the independence of our judiciary and would impose significant burdens on local and state officials to effectively and justly serve their constituents.”

The House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee adjourned without voting on the bill, so there is still time to let them know that expanding immigration enforcement does not make our communities safer. Contact them here.

 

Next Week in the House and Senate

On Monday, January 24, the NH Women’s Foundation will provide a webinar for legislators on its recent publication, “The Status of Girls in New Hampshire.” The report includes 32 indicators in girls’ education, economic security, health, substance use and safety. To register for the webinar and link to a copy of the report, go here.

Note that some bills are starting to be scheduled for “Executive Session,” which (in this context) means the proposed legislation will be discussed among committee members and then a vote will be taken, providing a recommendation that will be voted on in the full House or Senate during the next voting day.

We want to highlight and urge your support for HB 1578, which would make it easier for pregnant people and children who are immigrants to access Medicaid. This bill, if enacted, will give lifesaving health care, support practitioners providing uncompensated care, and send an important message that NH welcomes immigrants. This bill gets a hearing before the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on Tuesday, January 25 at 1:45 PM. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Schapiro, explains the bill’s intended impact:

“Currently many immigrants must wait five years to qualify for various federal benefits, including Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). In 2009 the federal government created an option for states to eliminate the five-year wait for children and pregnant people who were 'legally residing' in the US, but not yet permanent residents. New Hampshire is the only state in the northeast that has not opted to do so. This bill, if passed, would require NH to amend its Medicaid State Plan to provide coverage for otherwise eligible children and pregnant people. While many categories are included under 'legally residing' the largest number of affected people would be those who have recently been granted a green card or are far along in the application process through 'family reunification,' asylum applicants and those on TPS. Access to prenatal care and regular healthcare for children is an important investment in public health and will save money through prevention and timely diagnosis. While there will be a cost, the federal government will pick up much of it. Eliminating the five-year wait for immigrant children and pregnant people will send a clear message that we welcome and value newcomers to our state who enrich our communities and add to our workforce as employees and entrepreneurs.”

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 check on what testimony has been submitted to any House committee by using the link mentioned above for “Online Testimony Submissions.”

Coming Up in House Committees

Monday, January 24

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 302-304, LOB
10:30 AM Executive Session on HB 1037, relative to the governor’s duties during a state of emergency.
2:15 PM HB 1294, requiring the commission on demographic trends to consider data on race and ethnicity for the purpose of increasing racial and ethnic diversity in New Hampshire. 

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 210-211, LOB
10:30 AM HB 1384, establishing a committee to study the need for childcare and ways to supplement and fund it in New Hampshire.
1:20 PM HB 1537-FN, establishing a pilot mental health drop-in center program.
2:15 PM HB 1405, allowing out-of-state mental health care providers to provide telehealth treatment during a mental health emergency.
3:15 PM HB 1659-FN, relative to criminal history background checks for certain health care workers.

Tuesday, January 25

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1660-FN, relative to school lunches and establishing the meals for students fund.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 210-211, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1391, establishing a secure psychiatric hospital advisory committee.
10:20 AM HB 1526-FN, relative to income eligibility for in and out medical assistance. New Futures supports this bill, saying it will increase access to care for certain people in need.
11:00 AM HB 1662-FN, related to privacy obligations of the department of health and human services.
1:45 PM HB 1578-FN, relative to including certain children and pregnant people in Medicaid and the children’s health insurance program. Important bill - see information above!
2:30 PM HB 1480-FN, relative to eligibility of individuals for developmental disability services. 3:30 PM HB 1455, relative to state enforcement of federal vaccination mandates.

TRANSPORTATION, Room 201-203, LOB
3:00 PM Executive Session on HB 1464, establishing a committee to study the feasibility and implementation of furthering electric vehicle adoption in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, January 26

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302-304, LOB
9:00 AM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1523-FN, establishing a New Hampshire child care fund.
9:45 AM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity.
11:00 AM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1591-FN, eliminating the enforcement division of the liquor commission. This bill is opposed by New Futures, which argues it jeopardizes safe operation of licensed vaping and alcohol establishments by eliminating the enforcement division of the NH Liquor Commission.
2:00 PM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1589-FN, prohibiting the sale of products containing intentionally-added PFAS.
2:30 PM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1469-FN, prohibiting banks or businesses from using social credit scores.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Reps Hall, SH
1:30 PM HB 1151-FN, prohibiting the display of a deadly weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, march, rally, vigil, or demonstration.
2:15 PM HB 1096-FN, prohibiting open carrying or display of a deadly weapon within 100 feet of a polling place.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
The committee will start at 9 AM, focusing on bills related to chartered public schools, including:
2:00 PM HB 1428-FN, relative to the provision of special education services by chartered public schools.
3:00 PM HB 1499, relative to chartered public school eligibility for state school building aid.

FINANCE - DIVISION III, Room 210-211, LOB 1:00 PM
Division III Work Session joint meeting with Division I on HB 1677-FN, relative to the administration and settlement of claims of abuse at the youth development center and making an appropriation therefor; HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1260, making immunization status a protected class.
10:30 AM HB 1490-FN, relative to equal access to places of public accommodation regardless of vaccination status.

RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT, Room 305-307, LOB
3:30 PM HB 1440, relative to surface water quality standards for perfluorinated chemicals.

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202-204, LOB
Starting at 9:30 AM the committee will be holding a work session on several bills that would change the administration of taxes and could, in some cases, reduce the funds the state has available to meet the needs of its people: HB 1204-FN-A-L, reducing the rate of the meals and rooms tax and increasing the revenue sharing of meals and rooms tax revenue with municipalities; HB 1221-FN, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax; HB 1338, establishing a committee to study imposing a tax on manufacturers based on the cost to dispose of single-use products and product packaging materials; HB 1407-FN, including the promotion of affordable housing under the land and community heritage investment program; HB 1430-FN-A, repealing the tax on rentals of motor vehicles under the meals and rooms tax; HB 1478-FN-A, relative to the business profits tax applicable to certain large, low-wage employers; HB 1500-FN-A, reducing the rate of the communications services tax and repealing the tax in 2025; HB 1541-FN, establishing a deferral from the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax for qualified limited liability startups; HB 1565-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund.

Thursday, January 27

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
10:00 AM HB 1295, requiring reports concerning school policies on classroom recordings and in-classroom observers.
10:30 AM HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools.
11:15 AM HB 1371, relative to school district policies on facial masks of students in schools.
1:30 PM HB 1672, relative to misuse of education freedom account funds.
2:15 PM HB 1381, relative to student school board members.
2:45 PM HB 1679-FN, relative to the dissolution and repeal of cooperative school districts.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
11:00 AM HB 1014, allowing public meetings to be conducted virtually.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Reps Hall, SH
9:30 AM Executive Session on CACR 14, relating to unions. Providing that all workers have the right to join a union; HB 1053, relative to the hourly rate paid to an employee for hours worked but not previously scheduled; HB 1156-FN, requiring certain public servants to receive a copy of a pre-employment background investigation; HB 1207-FN, requiring an employer to provide paid time off for an employee to vote; HB 1231-FN, relative to failure to make payment of compensation; HB 1351, prohibiting certain employers from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment; HB 1385, prohibiting the use of credit history in employment decisions; HB 1386, establishing a committee to study the effects of heat and high temperature on employee working conditions.
10:30 AM HB 1088, relative to employee protections from COVID-19 in the workplace.
11:15 AM HB 1210, relative to exemptions from vaccine mandates. New Futures opposes this bill.
11:45 AM HB 1351, prohibiting certain employers from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment.
1:00 PM HB 1352-FN, relative to eligibility for workers’ compensation for an adverse reaction to a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.
1:45 PM HB 1358, requiring public and private employers to establish procedures and exceptions for the use of mandatory intrusive testing as a condition of new or continued employment.
2:30 PM HB 1377, relative to unemployment benefits for employees terminated for refusing to comply with a vaccine mandate.
3:30 PM HB 1538-FN-L, requiring prevailing wages on state-funded public works projects.

PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, Room 201-203, LOB
10:30 AM Full Committee Work Session on HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 202-204, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1468-FN, relative to the legalization of cannabis.
9:45 AM HB 1175, relative to recording interactions with public officials.

HOUSE and SENATE WAYS & MEANS with HOUSE and SENATE FINANCE, Reps Hall, SH
9:00 AM Joint Economic Briefing. The Committees will hear from various agencies on conditions impacting the state and national economies.

Looking ahead to Thursday, February 3:

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, LOB 305-307
10:00 AM HB 1124 requiring businesses to use the federal E-Verify system of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Coming Up in Senate Committees

Monday, January 24

ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, Room 100, SH
2:20 PM SB 427-FN, modifying the absentee voter registration process, absentee ballot application, and absentee ballot voting process.

Tuesday, January 25

COMMERCE, Room 100, SH
9:00 AM SB 216, establishing a commission to study the landlord and tenant mediation program in circuit courts.
9:15 AM SB 217, relative to eviction notices.
9:30 AM SB 249, prohibiting planning and zoning ordinances that prohibit short-term rentals.

EDUCATION, Room 101, LOB
9:00 AM SB 381-FN-A, establishing an office of the advocate for special education.
9:15 AM SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools.
9:30 AM SB 394-FN, relative to the definition of a child with a disability under special education laws.
9:45 AM SB 426-FN, relative to the adequate education grants for fiscal year 2023.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Room 103, SH
9:15 AM SB 258-FN-L, relative to the graves of African Americans alive during the period of American enslavement.
9:30 AM SB 261-FN, relative to net metering participation.
9:45 AM SB 269-FN, relative to the New Hampshire weatherization program.
10:00 AM SB 396-FN, relative to solid waste management.

FINANCE, Room 103, SH
1:00 PM SB 387-FN-A, making an appropriation to the body-worn and dashboard camera fund. 1:10 PM SB 402-FN, granting disaster relief for two presidentially-declared disasters in response to July-August 2021 flood damage sustained by communities in Cheshire and Sullivan counties.
1:20 PM SB 415-FN-A, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for the purpose of increasing rates paid to homeless shelters.
1:30 PM SB 412-FN-A, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for nursing home reimbursement rates.

JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH
1:30 PM SB 322, relative to remote meetings under the right-to-know law.
2:00 PM SB 344, relative to the quorum requirements under the right to know law of meetings open to the public.

Wednesday, January 26

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 101, LOB
9:00 AM SB 401-FN, relative to Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospital birthing services. 9:15 AM SB 403-FN-A, re-establishing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
9:30 AM SB 404-FN, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance program.

Thursday, January 27

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 101, LOB
10:15 AM SB 446-FN-A, establishing a childcare workforce fund and grant program and making an appropriation therefor. New Futures supports this bill, arguing it will increase access to childcare by helping childcare centers recruit and retain workers.
10:30 AM SB 329, establishing a commission to study barriers to housing development in New Hampshire, including workforce and middle-income housing.

 

State House Watch on the Radio

State House Watch radio airs next on Monday, January 24. You can listen at 94.7 FM, WNHN in Concord, and online at wnhnfm.org. Our show airs on Mondays at 5 PM and is rebroadcast on Tuesdays at 8 AM. Podcasts of our past shows, including last week’s with NEA president Megan Tuttle, and AFT president Deb Howes can be found here. Monday’s show is hosted by Change for Concord. Tune in!

 

Upcoming Events

Friday, January 21

Workplace Racial Equity Learning Challenge – January 21 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.

Sunday, January 23

Granny D Birthday Celebration – 2 PM to 3 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy. Please join us via Zoom for the Annual Granny D Birthday Celebration. The planning committee is working on bringing you an exciting program to honor Doris "Granny D" Haddock, legendary campaign finance reformer!

Monday, January 24

New Futures Legislative Preview – 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Hosted by New Futures. Join New Futures’ policy staff to learn about the priority health and wellness bills coming up in the 2022 legislative session. Specifically, in this webinar, we will provide a look into what's to come regarding public health and COVID-19 initiatives; behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery; children's behavioral health services; early childhood supports, and health equity, among other areas.

Wednesday, January 26

COVID-19 Vaccine Panel Discussion – 4 PM to 5:30 PM. Hosted by New Futures. Join us for a virtual panel discussion moderated by Dr. Gary Sobelson, a family medicine specialist at Concord Hospital, featuring renowned experts on vaccination safety and effectiveness.

Climate Deep Canvassing in New Hampshire – 5 PM to 7:15 PM. Hosted by RAD. Come learn how to deep canvass and change hearts and minds on 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 and focusing instead on meaningful conversations that involve sharing personal stories. No prior experience is needed - we offer a training at the beginning of the phone banking session. Join us! If you are interested, ahead of the event we can send you some research about how effective this tactic of communication is for persuading people!

Justice & Journalism with Ayesha Rascoe – 5:30 PM. Hosted by New Hampshire Public Radio and the Warren B. Rudman Center. Join NPR White House Correspondent Ayesha Rascoe as the next speaker in our Justice & Journalism series. She will reflect on the first year of the Biden administration and look ahead at the political implications of the 2022 midterm elections. A conversation with Laura Knoy, former host of The Exchange on NHPR, will follow. Audience questions and answers will close out the program.

Online Talk: Fat Liberation – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Portsmouth Public Library. What is anti-fatness and how does it show up in different spheres of life? How can we combat it, and be a good ally to fat folks? Where is diet culture hiding, and how do we recognize it? Learn about the history of fat acceptance and how to support the fat liberation movement in this conversation with Emma Simpson-Tucker. We will focus on fat liberation as opposed to body positivity, and fat accessibility as opposed to individual body image. Feel free to bring questions and experiences to this program, as there will be space for some discussion!

Thursday, January 27

The #RaceClass – 12:30 PM on WNHN 94.7 FM. Co-hosted by Arnie Arneson and Jonathan Feingold, associate professor at Boston University School of Law. Feingold often asks his students why civil rights laws are better at reproducing racial inequality than remedying it. This class will run monthly for one year, with the goal of creating a space where listeners can hear what it is like to approach race/racism from a place of curiosity and history rather than fear/anxiety. Tune in Thursdays at 12:30 PM at 94.7 FM in Concord, or streaming at wnhnfm.org, or visit the website for a podcast of the show.

Friday, January 28

College and Career Planning with C4C – 5:45 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by Change for Concord. Are you unsure about what you want to do after high school? Do you want to learn about resources and opportunities that you may not be getting from your counselors? Do you want to continue your education after high school, but don't know where to start? If you answered yes to one (or more) of these questions, this event is meant for you! At this planning event you will:

  • Learn how to create a plan for success
  • Receive guidance from college graduates and a professional life and career coach
  • Take an assessment to find out your interests and passion
  • Connect your interests/passion to college majors
  • Learn about colleges that serve underserved communities


Monday, January 31

Peace & Justice Conversations: Priorities for Peace Discussion – 7 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join us for a discussion of the question: What are your peace priorities? Rather than a speaker, this will be a facilitated dialogue on the topic where all can share, reflect, and listen. This program will not be recorded so people can feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts. NH Peace Action recently solidified our 12 organizational Peace Pillars - the areas we see as critical to work on to bring about a peaceful and just world. They include the US military budget, Middle Eastern wars, racism, climate, poverty and others. In this discussion, we can tell you more about NHPA's Peace Pillars and we want to hear what issues you think need to be addressed so that we can build peace in the world. Maybe they will be the same ones we've identified, maybe you will have other ideas. Let's talk!

Sunday, February 6

Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks Series: Courageous Conversations, Leaning in for Change – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH. A virtual and in-person series on Sundays February 6 through March 13. Together we will create a safe space for meaningful interchanges, grounded in history and lived experience between different segments of the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community. We will also investigate the current issues that continue to create tension in the community. The Winter Tea Talks are a series of participatory panel presentations and discussions related to New Hampshire’s Black history and African American culture.

Monday, February 7

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.

Wednesday, February 9

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.

Saturday, February 12

#FreeThemAll V-Day Action – 2 PM. Hosted by AFSC. In front of the Valley Street jail, Manchester. Love transcends walls, bars, and cages. Hold the date to join us for a community art action to share messages of love, solidarity and resilience. www.AFSC.org/FreeThemAll

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.

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
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