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State House Watch: March 26, 2022


Photo: Cheryl Senter/AFSC

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
Langston Hughes (from the poem, “Let America be America Again”)

March 26, 2022

Dear State House Watchers,

Last week, the distinguished Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson demonstrated not only tremendous competence and a steadfast commitment to equal justice, but also strength, perseverance and patience in the face of malicious attacks by those who pursued sound bites for campaigns and culture wars. We celebrate that Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court will address what the Brennan Center describes as an “experiential chasm” with regard to the rights of defendants in the court system. (Read more here.)

Her nomination is important both for her experience as well as for her identity as a Black woman. From Sherrilyn Ifill’s op-ed in the NY Times: “The advancement of Black people into positions of power traditionally held by white people is a threat to white supremacy. When that Black person is one who has fought for racial justice or who unapologetically brings experiences and perspectives to the table that have the potential to interrupt prevailing approaches to how the law is understood and applied, it opens a portal to see aspects of our society that are all too often beyond the range of vision of those in power ... This is how change begins—by destabilizing comfortable narratives, with the inclusion of those who have not been seen ... Every chink in the armor of racial and gender exclusion produces outsize opposition precisely because of its potential to destabilize existing norms and systems ... There will be inspiring moments, and there will be ugly and unwarranted attacks during Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing. But she will be confirmed. And something on the court, and in our expectations of it, will change. (Who’s afraid of Ketanji Brown Jackson?)

 

An Urgent Appeal to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

As war and the resulting humanitarian catastrophe continue to rage in Ukraine, peace activists around the world are sounding the alarm about the increased threat of the use of nuclear weapons. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Nobel Laureates—including the American Friends Service Committee—have initiated a petition calling for an immediate ceasefire and the end to nuclear weapons. Please sign and share here. As the authors say, “the time to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons is now. It is the only way to guarantee that the inhabitants of the planet will be safe from this existential threat.” For thoughtful analysis, we commend to you this piece by our esteemed former AFSC colleague, Joseph Gerson who makes important connections between this current moment and the history of US imperialism and nuclear threats.

 

Humanitarian Assistance for Ukrainian People

The Biden Administration announced last week that it will provide more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance for Ukrainian refugees, more than 3.5 million of whom have fled to Poland and other European countries. Biden also stated that the U.S. will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian people to the United States, although there are no plans to increase the current annual cap of 125,000 total refugees for FY ‘22. Immigration advocates and other human rights leaders lauded the news while expressing concern that the current US system continues to be drastically under-resourced for welcoming immigrants and refugees. They also note the clear disparity in the response by the US government to the needs of Ukrainians and the needs—also urgent—of asylum seekers from Cameroon, Haiti, Mexico and Central America. Read more here. And here.

 

President Biden: Protect Asylum Rights

March 20 marked the two-year anniversary of Title 42, a policy that has expelled millions of migrants and asylum seekers under the guise of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Although ports of entry have been open to shoppers and tourists, they have remained closed to many seeking safety and protection despite the lack of proof that this measure has any public health justification. Sign AFSC’s petition calling on President Biden to restore asylum and uphold policies that protect the health, safety, and human rights of all who seek refuge in our country.  You can read more analysis of the harm caused by Title 42 here. And find some tools for action here.

 

A Good Step Forward

We’re happy to note that the Crown Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act) passed the U.S. House last week. The law would ban discrimination based on an individual's texture or style of hair, a measure that would protect Black adults and children. It is now headed to the U.S. Senate. From NPR: “’Hair discrimination is rooted in systemic racism, and its purpose is to preserve white spaces,’ the NAACP says. ‘Policies that prohibit natural hairstyles, like afros, braids, bantu knots, and locs, have been used to justify the removal of Black children from classrooms, and Black adults from their employment.’"

 

Last Week in New Hampshire

On Thursday, a jury found climate justice activists guilty of criminal trespassing for actions they took in December 2019 when they halted a train delivering coal to the Merrimack Station in Bow, the last coal-fired power plant in New England. Arnie Alpert covered the story for InDepthNH: Climate Activists Put Coal on Trial in Concord. Defense attorney Kira Kelley explained that the story of the coal train blockade is about “everyday people feeling informed and empowered to act from conscience.” Learn more about No Coal No Gas and how you can get involved.

 

Maps on the Move

There were several developments last week with regard to the redistricting process. Governor Sununu confirmed that he will veto HB 52, which would have redrawn the Congressional districts to give Republicans a clear advantage in CD 1. He offered a proposed alternative for consideration.

During their session on Thursday, senators approved SB 241, a new map for the Executive Council districts, which was amended on the Senate floor with a new proposal that had received no public hearing. Sadly, the amended Executive Council map now includes not just one gerrymandered district, but two. Read more here. The bill goes on to the House.

HB 50, which redraws the NH House districts, was signed into law by the governor on Wednesday. SB 240, which will redraw the NH Senate districts, was passed by the full Senate in mid-February and awaits a public hearing in the House. Keep track of all of this here: Redistricting Process  Tracking.

 

Other News from Last Week

The House Finance Committee took up several key bills last week, including HB 1609, agreeing to amend the state’s 24-week abortion ban to include an exception for fatal fetal anomalies. Read more here.

The Senate defeated two bills that would have delivered much-needed resources to the public school system—SB 426, relative to the adequate education grants for FY ‘23; and SB 453, relative to statewide pre-kindergarten funding. The latter bill was referred for interim study. In better news, Senators approved, by a vote of 21-1, SB 420, which would establish an extraordinary need grant for schools. Read more at InDepth NH: Education Funding Bills Mostly Take Hits in the NH Senate Thursday.

As we approach the midpoint of this legislative session, we’re grateful to Reaching Higher NH for this helpful summary of the status of the many education-related bills: As halfway point approaches, lawmakers shift focus to school budget caps, teacher workforce shortages, and youth risk surveys.

We also recommend this recent post at Curmudgucation: Lessons from Croydon's 50% School Budget Cut.

 

Action Alerts for This Week

HB 1476, the anti-bail reform measure which passed the House two weeks ago, has been scheduled for a hearing in Senate Judiciary this coming Tuesday, March 29 at 1:30 PM.  Please take a moment to contact the committee, and to register your opposition to this harmful proposal which will exacerbate racial disparities in the criminal legal system and force poor people to remain incarcerated while awaiting a trial. ACLU-NH developed talking points which can be found here.

The full Senate will vote next week on SB 418, relative to verification of voter affidavits. The NH Campaign for Voting Rights describes the bill as “a massive overhaul of the same day voter registration system in New Hampshire that threatens the ballot privacy rights of all voters and risks discounting ballots cast legally.” Please contact your senator to urge defeat of this bill. You can find lots of helpful information in this toolkit.

Both the House and the Senate will be in session on Thursday, March 31 which is Crossover Day—the final date by which all bills which originate in one body have to be acted upon. Scroll down to see what’s on their calendars.

 

In This Issue

 

Last Week in the Senate Session

The full Senate met on March 24; here are the outcomes of several bills we’ve been tracking. You can also watch the recorded session here. But first, a key:

OTP – “Ought to Pass,” the recommendation for approving a bill or an amendment.
OTP/A – Ought to Pass with Amendment.
ITL – “Inexpedient to Legislate,” the recommendation for defeating a bill or an amendment. “ITL” can also be used as a verb.
IS – Referred for interim study.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
VV – Voice vote. Individual legislators’ votes are not tallied.

On the Consent Calendar

ELECTION LAW & MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
SB 365, relative to absentee ballot outer envelopes. Voted OTP/A. This process will allow the ballot affidavits to be reviewed for errors prior to Election Day.
SB 427-FN, modifying the absentee voter registration process, absentee ballot application, and absentee ballot voting process. Voted OTP/A. This bill as amended adds “illness or other medical condition” to the reasons for which a voter can apply for an absentee ballot.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
SB 271, relative to the Burgess BioPower facility. Voted OTP/A.  

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 287, relative to balance billing for certain health care services. Voted OTP/A.
SB 416-FN, relative to behavioral health assessment and treatment for children in out-of-home placements. Voted OTP/A. The bill requires children’s behavioral health assessments to include evidenced-based functional behavioral analysis, or similar assessment, and a behavioral intervention plan prior to an out-of-home placement decision.

On the Regular Calendar

EDUCATION
SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools. Voted OTP/A.
SB 426-FN, relative to the adequate education grants for fiscal year 2023. Voted ITL 13-0.
SB 453-FN-A-L, relative to statewide pre-kindergarten funding. Voted for IS 13-9.

ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
SB 241, apportioning executive council districts. Floor amendment from Sen. Gray passed 12-10. Floor amendment from Sen. Soucy failed 9-13. Bill as amended by Gray passed on a VV.
SB 405-FN, relative to fines and penalties for election law violations. Voted OTP/A.
SB 418-FN, relative to verification of voter affidavits. Special ordered to March 31 session. Scroll up for an action alert.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy. Voted OTP/A.
SB 341-L, relative to treatment of PFAS contaminants in the drinking water of the Merrimack Village Water District. Tabled.

 

Crossover Day in the House  March 31

The House will meet on Thursday, March 31 starting at 9 AM. House members will be in Representatives Hall. You can watch from the gallery or watch remotely here. You will notice below that the House Regular Calendar is divided into three parts. Parts One and Two are the unfinished business from the March 17 session—the remainder of the Regular Calendar and the bills that were taken off of the Consent Calendar. Part Three is the list of bills that went through a second committee last week.

On the Consent Calendar

FINANCE
HB 1547-FN, setting maximum contaminant levels for perfluorochemicals in the soil. Recommended OTP by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1608-FN, (New Title) relative to withdrawal from the state immunization registry. Recommended OTP by a vote of 19-2.
HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity. Recommended OTP by a vote of 21-0.

On the Regular Calendar – Part One

STATE-FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
HR 17, opposing all federal and state efforts to establish a carbon tax on fuels for electricity and transportation. Recommended OTP by a vote of 11-10.
HR 18, urging Congress to remove the exception from the 13th Amendment: “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Recommended ITL by a vote of 12-9. Rep. Tony Labranche, representing the minority on the committee argues: “This is a resolution to close the loophole in the current 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows for state sponsored slavery. Since its passage, the United States has become number one in incarceration with big racial disparities. Many states passed the ‘black codes’ in order to incriminate many freed slaves. These slaves were used for slave labor sold back to the plantations they were originally freed from. Let us do what is right and ask the Congress to finally close this loophole.

TRANSPORTATION
HB 1093, relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1463, relative to drivers’ licenses issued in accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1666-FN, relative to the application process for driver’s licenses and the privacy of motor vehicle records. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.

WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1478-FN-A, relative to the business profits tax applicable to certain large, low-wage employers. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-1.

On the Regular Calendar – Part Two

EDUCATION
HB 1646, relative to representation on a cooperative school district board. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 19-0.

ELECTION  LAW
HB 1064-FN, requiring the use of hand-marked, durable paper ballots in elections. Recommended ITL by a vote of 20-0.
HB 1473-FN, authorizing a forensic audit of the November 3, 2020 election results in Merrimack county for president, governor, and United States senate races. Recommended for IS by a vote of 20-0.

LEGISLATIVE ADMINISTRATION
CACR 24, providing that the attorney general be elected by a majority vote of the members of the general court in a joint session. Recommended ITL by a vote of 15-0.
CACR 25, providing that no person shall serve more than 15 terms in either the house of representatives or the senate. Recommended ITL by a vote of 15-0.
CACR 26, relating to the house of representatives. Providing that 100 of the representatives are elected using party list proportional representation. Recommended ITL b a vote of 15-0.
CACR 27, elected and appointed officials. Providing that all state court judges shall be subject to recall and removal by petition and vote of registered voters pursuant to provisions established by the legislature. Recommended ITL by a vote of 15-0.

On the Regular Calendar – Part Three

FINANCE
HB 1235-FN, relative to compensation paid to a crime victim. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1417-FN-LOCAL, relative to payment by the state of a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1535-FN, relative to cost of living adjustments for retirees in the state retirement system. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 18-3. Read more here.
HB 1587-FN-A, relative to determination of average final compensation under the retirement system and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 20-1.
HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 13-8.
HB 1609-FN, relative to the scope of the fetal protection act. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 20-1. Amendment allows for an exception to the 24 week abortion ban so that in the case of fetal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion would be an option.
HB 1624-FN-A, relative to students with disabilities participating in co-curricular activities and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1627-FN-A, establishing an education freedom account program administrator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 17-3.
HB 1642-FN, relative to lead testing in children. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1647-FN, relative to the calculation of child support. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 12-9.
HB 1682-FN-A, establishing the law enforcement conduct review committee in the New Hampshire police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 21-0.

WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1598-FN, legalizing the possession and use of cannabis. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 12-10.

 

Crossover Day in the Senate - March 31

The full Senate will meet on Thursday, March 31, starting at 10 AM. You can watch remotely here.

On the Consent Calendar

EDUCATION
HB 1234, relative to criminal background checks for an applicant for a teaching credential. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION
HB 536-FN, relative to death benefits for public works employees killed in the line of duty, and relative to workers’ compensation offsets for certain retirement system benefits. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.

On the Regular Calendar

ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
SB 348, relative to political expenditures and contributions. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
SB 418-FN, relative to verification of voter affidavits. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-2. See above for action alert.

FINANCE

SB 376-FN, establishing a committee to study the creation of a board to study mental health incidents among law enforcement officers. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 6-0.
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. Recommended ITL by a vote of 4-3.
SB 431-FN, relative to child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting schedules. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.
SB 444-FN, relative to childhood adverse experiences treatment and prevention. Recommended ITL by a vote of 3-2.
SB 447-FN, establishing the electric vehicle and infrastructure fund. Recommended OTP by a vote of 3-2.
SB 448-FN, relative to energy reduction by state agencies. Recommended IS by a vote of 4-1.
SB 456-FN-A, establishing a law enforcement conduct review committee in the police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP by a vote of 3-2.
SB 459-FN, relative to a health care facility workplace violence prevention program. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.
HB 1218-FN, relative to the merger of Granite State college with the university of New Hampshire. Recommended OTP by a vote of 6-0.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 288, prohibiting the requiring of COVID-19 vaccinations for schools or child care agencies. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-1.
SB 446-FN-A, establishing a child care workforce fund and grant program and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
SB 450, relative to the prescription drug affordability board. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 4-0.

JUDICIARY
SB 344, relative to the quorum requirements under the right to know law of meetings open to the public. Pending Motion: Floor Amendment 2022-1135s.

 

Coming Up in Senate Committees

Here’s a reminder that if you want to register your support/opposition and submit testimony for bills with public hearings in the Senate, use this link.

Monday, March 28

ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS,
Room 100, SH
1:00 PM HB 1010-FN, requiring municipal voter history to be made accessible in the statewide centralized voter registration database.
1:15 PM HB 1009, requiring the date a person registers to vote to be included with other voter information.

Tuesday, March 29

EDUCATION, Room 101, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1298-FN, relative to eligibility for the education tax credit.
10:00 AM HB 1434-FN, relative to the availability of school curriculum materials.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Room 103, SH
9:00 AM HB 624-FN, relative to site evaluation committee monitoring and enforcement responsibilities.
9:15 AM Hearing on proposed Amendment #1221s, relative to the site evaluation committee monitoring and enforcement responsibilities, and relative to net metering by hydroelectric generators, to HB 624-FN, relative to site evaluation committee monitoring and enforcement responsibilities.
10:00 AM HB 1491-FN-L, relative to natural gas transmission pipeline safety.
10:15 AM HB 1546-FN, defining PFAS and enabling the commissioner of the department of environmental services to adopt rules relative to airborne PFAS in certain circumstances.

JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH
1:00 PM HB 1067-FN, relative to limitations on prosecution for first degree assault.
1:15 PM HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners.
1:30 PM HB 1476-FN, relative to persons arrested while out on bail.
1:45 PM HB 1360-FN, relative to penalties for controlled drug violations.

Wednesday, March 30

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 101, LOB
9:00 AM HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program.
10:00 AM HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools.

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 100, SH
10:00 AM HB 1097, relative to taxation of income of New Hampshire residents when working remotely for an out of state employer.
10:15 AM HB 1221-FN, relative to the rate of the business profits tax.

 

State House Watch on the Radio

Join us for State House Watch radio on Monday, March 28. Maggie and Grace interview Elissa Margolin of Housing Action NH about affordable housing needs and opportunities for funding and processes. 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. You can find podcasts of our past shows here, including last week’s show hosted by Rich Gulla from the State Employees Association talking with Senator Tom Sherman, District 24.

 

Upcoming Events & Programs

Quaker Action for a Just World: 2022 AFSC Corporation Program – April 3 to April 7. Hosted by AFSC. Join us for a virtual gathering of Friends to discuss what we can do to build a vision of a renewed world. How can we overcome oppression, turn back from further climate injustice, and build a world that is more sustainable, just, and peaceful? Join us for a panel of Quaker climate activists, workshops on key peace and justice issues, and a keynote speech from Winona LaDuke as a part of AFSC’s annual corporation meeting.

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 February 12, during Black History Month, until Paul Robeson’s birthday on April 9, 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. 

How to Move Our Money: Practicing Reparations in a Year of Release – Sundays, March 6 through April 10 at 5 PM – 6 PM ET. This nonsectarian course is designed for those who accept the basic ethical premise of reparations, and who seek practical guidance for connecting this ethical premise to their own financial privileges. To sign up, send an email to Regina (waysofpeace.org@gmail.com) and she will put you on the list. Group size limited to 24 people.

Sunday, March 27

PEACE Vigil for Ukraine – 4 PM. Market Square, Portsmouth. Hosted by Occupy New Hampshire Seacoast. Please join us for a peace vigil in Market Square in Portsmouth. People around the world have been protesting the unlawful invasion of Ukraine and thousands of protesters have been arrested and silenced in Russia. We cannot silently watch this humanitarian crisis happen.

Monday, March 28

The Role of Gender & Poverty in Incarceration – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Co-hosted by the Council for Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls. Join our dynamic panelists as they explore the role of gender and poverty in incarceration. Panelists: Catherine Sevcenko, Senior Legal Counsel, National Council for Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls; and Danielle Metz, Community Health Worker, FIT (Formerly Incarcerated Transition) Clinic, Tulane University School of Medicine.

Peace & Justice Conversations: Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Come learn more about the situation in Yemen and how you can join in the lobbying campaign. With critical support from the United States, the Saudi-led coalition’s war and blockade in Yemen have helped create the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, pushing over 16 million people to the brink of famine. On February 4, 2021, President Biden announced that the United States would end its support for the coalition’s offensive operations in Yemen, but important aspects of US complicity remain. Our speaker, Hassan El-Tayyab, is FCNL’s legislative director for Middle East policy. His passion for foreign affairs is rooted in his desire to make life better for people in the Middle East, including his extended family in Jordan, and for peace and stability worldwide.

Wednesday, March 30

Drawing for Diversity with Change for Concord – 5 PM to 7 PM. Kimball Jenkins School of Art, Concord. Hosted by Change for Concord. Two long years of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on youth and their families. Public space for youth/young adults to interact is limited or inaccessible during this time and we want to change that. Join us for a social event of creating art that represents the diversity in our community. We will have dialogue, music, and refreshments. We welcome young adults from all backgrounds to work towards our mission of making our community more welcoming for all.

Thursday, March 31

From the War in Ukraine to the U.S.-Mexico Border: Who Gets to Move? – 6 PM. Hosted by Witness at the Border. While millions of Ukrainians are welcomed across borders around the world—as it should be—Haitians, Central Americans, Mexicans, and refugees from Africa and the Middle East are turned back at the U.S. southern border and on Europe's borders. Join us for a webinar to learn and discuss: Who gets to move?

Friday, April 1

Paradox of Education for Black & Brown Children – 8 AM to 9:30 AM. Puritan Conference Center – 245 Hooksett Rd. Manchester. Hosted by ACLU NH & Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire. Join this breakfast panel with special guest Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., one of the nation’s most prominent scholars. Together, we’ll examine the “paradox of education,” what that paradox means to Black and Brown children, and how educators can become agents for societal change. This no-cost event will feature a panel of local leaders and scholars on race, equity, and education, and keynote speaker Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Breakfast food will also be provided. If you plan to attend, please register by March 28.

Monday, April 4

Community Land Trusts: What They Are and How We Can Start One – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Manchester Housing Alliance and Rights & Democracy. Join Kathy Staub and the Manchester Housing Alliance on a presentation on what a community land trust is, how they've been implemented, and how we are going to start one here in NH.

Saturday, April 9

Remembering Wentworth Cheswill – A Celebration of Local History – 7 PM. At Millspace: Center for Art, History & Culture, Newmarket. Celebrate New Hampshire historical figure and Newmarket Town Father Wentworth Cheswill the week of his 276th birthday! Learn about efforts to memorialize the 18th century teacher, judge, Revolutionary War soldier, and pioneering archaeologist. Offer input on a proposed monument for Cheswill, who is noted as the first person of color to hold elected office in the United States. This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, April 10

Race Class Academy: A Guided Discussion Series (4 Parts) – 1 PM to 3 PM. Sundays, April 10 through May 29. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. At Rights & Democracy, we’re fighting for racial justice and unity from the national to the local level. As part of this work, we're taking the lessons in Race-Class Academy and bringing them home, in this four-part discussion series. We are requesting that participants commit to all four workshop sessions. Race-Class Academy is a 12-video introduction to how we can beat dog whistle politics by building cross-racial and cross-class solidarity.

Monday, April 11

Peace & Justice Conversations: 350NH Climate Justice Activists Report – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Militarism and climate disruption are deeply linked. In January, Marcy Winograd helped us more clearly see those connections. NH Peace Action has supported 350NH since its inception and welcomes Jen and Wren, Climate Justice Organizers with 350 New Hampshire, for a conversation about their goals for a more just, sustainable world. They will speak about their coalition work to stop the burning of coal, the systems of power that suppress our agency, their vision of a better future, and the work that seeks to connect these things.

Thursday, April 14

Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry: “What Kind of Allies Will We Be?” – 5 PM to 6 PM. Hosted by Community Church of Durham, 17 Main Street, Durham. Join us for a panel discussion and lively community conversation about racism and violence in America, and the kinds of allies we might be in the dismantling of white privilege and systemic racism.

Open Democracy Book Club: How Democracies Die – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy. Since the days of ancient Athens, democracies have arisen and disappeared, often suffering violent deaths. In How Democracies Die, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblat teach us that democracy no longer ends in a shower of bullets but with the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions and the erosion of long-standing political norms. The culprits are not wild-eyed revolutionaries or foreign adversaries, they are us, or at least a sub-set of us. They give us clear examples of how some democracies have died in the last century and invite us to consider what lessons these fates offer for our own country.  This is the way democracy ends, not with bang but a whimper.

Friday, April 15

Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry: “Art, Conscience & Social Justice” – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Community Church of Durham, 17 Main Street, Durham. With the Rev. Mark Koyama, pastor of the United Church of Jaffrey (NH) and organizer of the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry. We’re honored that community member Mark will join us for the evening, sharing with us his vision and experience in this project, and screening for us Stitch—Breathe—Speak, the documentary film produced about the quilt project in NH.

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, immigration, education, civil liberties, and labor rights. We also follow the state budget and tax system, voting rights, the criminal legal system, 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!

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