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State House Watch: May 14, 2022


Photo: Cheryl Senter/AFSC

"I’m on a 500-year clock right now. I’m right here knowing that we’ve got a hell of a long time before we’re going to see the end. Right now, all we’re doing is building the conditions that will allow the thing to happen." Mariame Kaba

May 14, 2022

Dear State House Watchers,

It has been an energizing week of rallies and marches to protect public education, access to reproductive healthcare, and asylum rights for migrants of all colors and nationalities.

 

Defend the Right to Asylum

More than 30 people gathered outside Congressman Pappas’ office in Dover on Thursday, May 12 to deliver letters signed by faith leaders, community organizations and individuals. Participants called on him and Senator Hassan to remove their support for legislation that extends Title 42 and the denial of asylum rights at the southern border; to meet directly with immigrant community members to hear their concerns and demands; and to extend the practices in place to welcome Ukrainian refugees so that Black and Brown migrants are treated with the same care. From NHPR: “Activist Linds Jakows, who works for the Granite State Interfaith Action Fund, said they're angry about Pappas' decision. They have rallied across the state multiple times, demanding an opportunity to meet in person. ‘He doesn't get it,’ Jakows said. ‘And it feels like he is trading away political points instead of caring about people who are struggling.’”

We recommend our readers listen to this episode of This American Life to learn more about the discrepancies between how Ukrainians and Mexican, Central and South American, and African asylum seekers are being treated at the southern border.  

And here’s some more recommended reading:
Don’t Let the Republicans Hijack the Border (The Progressive Magazine, May 12, 2022)
The Border Patrol Union Leads the Charge on Title 42 Misinformation (The Border Chronicle, April 12, 2022)

 

Protect Abortion Rights

New Hamsphire people are in the streets this weekend, building community and commitment to defend abortion rights through policy and mutual aid. At yesterday’s “Abortion is not a crime” rally at the State House, organized by the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH, 350 New Hampshire, NH Youth Movement, Rights & Democracy NH, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Grace Kindeke inspired the crowd of 200+, connecting issues of immigrant justice, racial and economic justice and abolition to the movement for reproductive rights: “Efforts to undermine our fundamental rights make a mockery of our values and responsibilities as a nation. We who are here embrace the strengths and values of our multicultural democracy and we stand together as a community to ensure passage of fair, just, and compassionate policies that meet the needs of all. Do not fall into despair my friends; take heart and take heed that we are in this fight together. Let this radicalize you, galvanize you and stretch your heart and your eyes wide open. We will not be gaslit. We will not be silent. We will win because we must. For each other. For our children. For all.”

Hundreds of others gathered in Portsmouth today as well, as part of the national “Bans off our bodies” day of action. These demonstrations are important for connecting us to each other in uncertain times, for reminding us that we are many, and for showing our lawmakersincluding Supreme Court justicesthe strength and breadth of our dissent. We were inspired by Eric Stoner’s commentary in Waging Nonviolence (Yes, protest can influence the Supreme Court, May 5, 2022): “While the [U.S. Supreme Court] is undemocratic, it is not immune to public opinion and mass protest. It is easy to forget that ordinary people, working together through social movements, have agency to impact the court. Time and again, history has shown that the Supreme Court does, in fact, respond to the court of public opinion. This was confirmed by none other than Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who wrote that ​‘real change, when it comes, stems principally from attitudinal shifts in the population at large. Rare indeed is the legal victory—in court or legislature—that is not a careful by-product of an emerging social consensus.’ What is left out of her astute observation is how that consensus is formed. Through sustained and often disruptive protest, social movements play an instrumental role in shaping public opinion and what is seen as politically possible.”

 

Show Up for Public Education

Faith leaders, union members and other community members gathered on Thursday morning, May 12 in Durham at the monthly meeting of the NH Board of Education for Voices of Faith Stand for Public Education, sponsored by the New Hampshire Council of Churches, Kent Street Coalition, NH Faith & Labor Table, and Granite State Progress. Read about it at InDepthNH and Foster’s Daily Democrat. Rev. Heidi Heath, executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches and lead organizer of the visibility action, explained why defending public education is a matter of concern for people of faith: “We believe that every student should feel safe in the classroom to speak about their family, to learn about other families, to learn about accurate history and to grow into the wholeness of who they are ... We believe our teachers need to be free to teach the whole truth of our history and of student experiences and to provide safe spaces for our students to learn. Every student in New Hampshire has the right to a safe, equitable and adequate education. That’s a moral issue and it’s a theological issue.”

We are grateful for this letter to the editor from Lori Lane, Superintendent of Schools for SAU 56 (Somersworth), who urges Governor Sununu to remove Commissioner Edelblut from office: “End the bullying and harassment that every public-school student and employee has endured at the hands of Commissioner Edelblut, and replace him immediately ... Mr. Edelblut is using the position of power you appointed him to, to promote his own ultra-conservative agenda as his editorial takes unnecessary swipes at public school teachers, especially those who support the Black Lives Matter movement or those who are LGBTQ+.”

 

Safeguard Democracy

After Governor Sununu signed SB 240 and SB 241 last week, establishing gerrymandered maps for NH Senate and Executive Council districts, a group of New Hampshire residents filed a lawsuit against the NH Secretary of State in the Hillsborough Superior Court. The plaintiffs argue that the maps create a Republican stronghold in four out of five Executive Council districts, and would give Republicans a veto-proof majority in the NH Senate.  Read more at NH Bulletin.

And the NH Supreme Court has ruled that if the state legislature fails to reach agreement on new Congressional district maps by the May 19 deadline, the Court itself will create the maps. From NH Bulletin: “The court determined it would use what’s called the ‘least change’ method to redraw congressional maps, in which the court makes minor adjustments to the current map to reflect how the state’s population has shifted over the past 10 years. That method has been used by other states in the redistricting process, such as Wisconsin, the opinion states. Olivia Zink of Open Democracy Action said the ‘least change’ approach is considered best practice. ‘I applaud the court’s opinion,’ she said.”

In related news, the New Hampshire Special Committee on Voter Confidence met last week and announced plans for public listening sessions in Derry, Portsmouth, and Laconia: May 24 at the Derry Town Hall at 1 PM; June 7 in Portsmouth (location to be determined); and July 12 at Laconia Public Library at 1 PM. Read more here. To stay informed of the committee’s work, bookmark this page at the NH Secretary of State website.

 

News from the State House

The full House and Senate met on May 12, first in joint session to welcome former President of Poland and Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa, and then to take action on bills that had passed both chambers but in different forms. They had three actions to choose fromto concur with the amended bill, in which case it moves on to the governor; to non-concur, in which case the bil dies; and to non-concur and request a Committee of Conference (CoC). By the end of the day, lawmakers had agreed to form almost 50 CoC, and approved the list of members for each CoC. House members concurred with the Senate versions of 75 bills which are now headed to the governor.

The Committees of Conference will be working over the next several days to try to reach agreement on a final version of the bill; they will need to file reports no later than May 19. There will be no session day next week, but on May 26, the last day of the 2022 session, both bodies will vote (up or down, no amendments) on each CoC report.

CoC meetings are open to the public, but without opportunity for input. You can see the full list of CoCs here, including information about meeting dates and times and the status of their work.

Some news of note from last week (and some action alerts):

HB 1661 has been on a wild ride lately. In its original form, the bill’s purpose was to require agreements between career and technical education programs and the schools which send their students to these programs. Now, it is a vehicle for preserving the language of other bills that have been defeated, including a parking garage for House members, an anti-bail reform bill, and a ‘community toolbox’ to promote the development of affordable housing. Read more at NHPR. The CoC for this bill met for the first time on Friday and will meet again on May 16 at 11:30 AM in LOB 301-303.

Those of us who wish to preserve the progress made in recent years to reduce the harmful impacts of pretrial detention now have two bills to trackHB 1661 which we just mentioned, and HB 1476. Please take action to urge your Representatives and Senator, as well as the CoC members, to defeat HB 1476 and to remove the anti-bail reform language from HB 1661. From the ACLU: “This legislation flips ‘innocent until proven guilty ‘ on its head, by presuming guilt and keeping people behind bars. The latest crime statistics in the state show that crime is significantly down, which makes it clear that not only is this bill based on fear and not fact, but it will not make our community safer. This is also a racial justice issue: with Black people in our state 3.29 times more likely to be arrested, this bill would disproportionately harm our communities of color. It is unconscionable to expand the already disproportionate incarceration of Black people in New Hampshire ... When a person is detained before their trial for even a short period of time, they face job loss, housing loss, or even losing custody of their children. This legislation would subject potentially thousands of Granite Staters to these devastating collateral harms.”

The so-called ‘parental bill of rights,’ HB 1431, has been referred to a CoC as well. The bill would increase the vulnerability of LGBTQ+ students by requiring that they be ‘outed’ to their parents by school staff. Read more at NH Bulletin, and please take action by signing and sharing this action alert from the campaign to Protect NH Families. All New Hampshire students deserve safe and affirming learning environments.

We’re sorry to report that the Senate accepted the House version of SB 418, the unconstitutional and unnecessary measure that will create provisional ballots in New Hampshire. Read more at NHPR. The bill heads to Governor Sununu who needs to hear from us that the bill must be vetoed. Please take action by calling (603-271-2121), emailing (governorsununu@nh.gov) and tweeting. Here’s a toolkit with resources for your own messages. 

After the vote, Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy issued the following statement:  “SB 418 is premised on the false assertion that New Hampshire elections are not safe and that we suffer from widespread voter fraud. However, our courts have repeatedly and resoundingly rejected claims that systemic voter fraud exists here in New Hampshire and have held that it does not create a compelling state interest. This legislation represents an infringement on voter privacy, something we should all hold sacred. No government official should be able to know exactly who a person voted for, and that is exactly what this bill will enable. Even more importantly, SB 418 disenfranchises our overseas military voters. Because of New Hampshire’s late primary, passage of SB 418 will delay the Secretary of State’s ability to comply with federal law, and we will effectively be disenfranchising the ability of our military personnel serving overseas to vote.  New Hampshire should be proud of the way we run our elections. SB 418 stands to undermine voter confidence, jeopardizes our stature as the First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary state, and undermines our credibility. This bill will only hurt elections in New Hampshire.”

For more details about what happened at the May 12 session, see the Union Leader.

 

In This Issue:

 

Last Week in the House and Senate

Here’s a list of bills we’ve been tracking that were acted upon in the May 12 session. But first, we want to share an explanation of the CoC process from the House calendar: The House and Senate Conferees on a bill shall meet jointly but vote separately while in conference. The Committee of Conference may not change the title of the bill. The Committee also may not add amendments that are not germane to the subject matter of the bill or contain subject matter that has been indefinitely postponed. A non-germane amendment is one in which the subject matter is not contained in either the House or Senate version of the bill. The sponsor of a bill that is in Committee of Conference shall, upon request, be provided an opportunity to be heard. A unanimous vote of both the House and Senate Conferees, voting separately, is necessary for an agreed upon report to be sent to the House and Senate. Reports of all Committees of Conference must be filed with the Office of Legislative Services by the May 19.”

Committees of Conference may meet more than once, so check the Committee of Conference page for meeting dates, times and locations and for status updates.

Status of House bills amended by the Senate
(Note that some of these actions were taken several weeks ago.)

HB 50, apportioning state representative districts. House concurred; already signed by the governor.
HB 55, (New Title) apportioning delegates to state party conventions, and relative to the form for declarations of candidacy for delegates to state party conventions. House concurred; already signed by the governor.
HB 84, (New Title) declaring May 21, 2022 as Ona Judge Staines Day. House concurred.HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. CoC meets on May 16 at 10 AM in LOB 205-207.
HB 144, relative to absentee ballot request forms. House non-concurred.
HB 233-FN, (New Title) establishing a committee to study the right of any infant born alive to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment. House non-concurred.
HB 254, relative to the placement of minors in secure settings. House non-concurred.
HB 292, relative to the absentee ballot application process. CoC meets on May 18 at 1:30 PM in LOB 306-308.
HB 307, relative to the state preemption of the regulation of firearms and ammunition. CoC meets on May 18 at 9 AM in LOB 201-203.
HB 440, (New Title) prohibiting the suspension of civil liberties during a state of emergency. House concurred; already signed by the governor.
HB 481-FN-A, establishing the office of the right-to-know ombudsman and making an appropriation therefor. House concurred.
HB 503, (Second New Title) codifying the council on housing stability and relative to telehealth and medically assisted treatment for substance use disorder. House concurred.
HB 543, establishing a commission to study nuclear power and nuclear reactor technology in New Hampshire. House concurred.
HB 549, (New Title) relative to the system benefits charge and the energy efficiency and sustainable energy board. House concurred; already signed by the governor.
HB 624-FN, (Second New Title) relative to site evaluation committee monitoring and enforcement responsibilities, and relative to net energy metering by hydroelectric generators. CoC meets on May 17 at 10 AM in LOB 306-308.
HB 1021, (New Title) prohibiting certain zoning regulation of land or structures used primarily for religious purposes. House concurred.
HB 1022, (New Title) permitting pharmacists to dispense the drug Ivermectin by means of a standing order and establishing a commission to study the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19. House concurred.
HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools. House concurred.
HB 1135, requiring a performance audit of the department of education, education freedom account program. House concurred.
HB 1148, relative to prohibiting government entities subordinate to the state from restricting the types of fuel sources that may be used for energy. House concurred.
HB 1174, relative to election challengers. House concurred.
HB 1178, prohibiting the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms. House concurred.
HB 1185, relative to treatment of water contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals. House concurred.
HB 1195, (Second New Title) relative to public comment periods at school district meetings and meetings of the state board of education. House non-concurred.
HB 1203-FN, (Second New Title) relative to voter registration and verification of voter identity. House non-concurred.
HB 1221-FN, (Third New Title) relative to the rate of the business profits tax, and relative to payment by the state to political subdivisions of an amount equal to a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers. CoC meets on May 18 at 11 AM in LOB 202-204.
HB 1258, (New Title) relative to the implementation of the department of energy and relative to the definition of “municipal host” for purposes of limited electrical energy producers. House concurred.
HB 1280, (New Title) prohibiting a parent’s refusal to vaccinate a child from being used as evidence in any proceeding to terminating parental rights and enacting the 2009 interstate compact for the placement of children. House concurred.
HB 1311, (New Title) prohibiting persons charged with or convicted of certain assault or controlled drug possession violations from employment in a public school or being granted teaching credentials. House concurred.
HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners. House concurred.
HB 1388-FN, relative to the unsolicited disclosure of an intimate imate. House concurred.
HB 1390, relative to access to language translation services in telemedicine. House concurred.
HB 1420-FN, prohibiting the issuance of new landfill permits until the state’s solid waste plan is updated. House concurred.
HB 1421-FN, relative to lead in school drinking water. CoC meets on May 17 at 9 AM in LOB 205-207.
HB 1431-FN-LOCAL, establishing the parental bill of rights. CoC meets on May 17 at 2 PM in LOB 202-204.
HB 1432, (New Title) prohibiting the use of state funds for a certain passenger rail project. House non-concurred and requested CoC; Senate refused to accede to House request to form a CoC. The bill is defeated.
HB 1454-FN, relative to permits for the siting of new landfills. House concurred.
HB 1455, relative to state enforcement of federal vaccination mandates. House concurred.
HB 1467-FN, (New Title) relative to recounts of state representative races during a general election. House concurred.
HB 1476-FN, (New Title) relative to release of a defendant pending trial. CoC meets on May 18 at 1:30 PM in LOB 201-203.
HB 1487, relative to the procedure for withdrawal from the vaccine registry. CoC meets on May 17 at 2:30 PM in LOB 206-208.
HB 1495-FN, (New Title) prohibiting the state from requiring businesses to require vaccine or documentation related to vaccination or immunity status. House concurred.
HB 1526-FN, relative to income eligibility for in and out medical assistance. House concurred.
HB 1535-FN, (New Title) relative to a one-time allowance for certain state retirees. House concurred.
HB 1546-FN, (Second New Title) enabling the commissioner of the department of environmental services to adopt rules relative to airborne PFAS in certain circumstances. House concurred.
HB 1547-FN, (New Title) relative to perfluorinated chemical remediation in soil and procedures for certain hazardous waste generators. CoC meets on May 16 at 9 AM in LOB 301-303.
HB 1586-FN-A, relative to a likeness of Wentworth Cheswill at the State House. CoC meets on May 18 at 11 AM in LOB 305-307.
HB 1594, relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote. House concurred.
HB 1599-FN, relative to customer generators who sell renewable energy certificates. House concurred.
HB 1604-FN, (New Title) including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations, and relative to licensure of case management service providers. House concurred.
HB 1606, (New Title) relative to administration of the state immunization registry. House concurred.
HB 1624-FN-A, relative to students with disabilities participating in co-curricular activities and making an appropriation therefor. House concurred.
HB 1626, relative to the unique pupil identification system. House concurred.
HB 1627-FN-A, (Second New Title) establishing an education freedom account program administrator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor. CoC meets on May 17 at 11 AM in LOB 205-207.
HB 1639, relative to the youth risk behavior survey in schools. CoC meets on May 17 at 10 AM in LOB 205-207.
HB 1661-FN-LOCAL, (Sixth New Title) relative to regional career technical education agreements, an appropriation for preliminary work for a new legislative parking garage, health and human services, establishing an extraordinary need grant for schools, the release of a defendant pending trial, training and procedures for zoning and planning boards, and financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. CoC met on May 13 and meets again on May 16 at 11:30 AM in LOB 301-303.
HB 1671-LOCAL, relative to the content of an adequate education. House concurred.
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. House concurred.
HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan. CoC meets on May 16 at 10 AM in LOB 201-203.

Status of Senate bills amended by the House

SB 200, (New Title) apportioning congressional districts. CoC meets on May 16 at 11 AM in SH 100.
SB 229, relative to pharmacist administration of vaccines. Senate concurred.
SB 234, requiring student identification cards to include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Senate concurred.
SB 236, (New Title) establishing a committee to study New Hampshire teacher shortages and recruitment incentives, and relative to defining secondary school grades for teacher loan forgiveness programs. Senate concurred.
SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools. CoC meets on May 16 at 1 PM in SH 100.
SB 242, relative to the disqualification of certain persons from performing the duties of an election official. Senate concurred.
SB 261, relative to net metering participation. Senate concurred.
SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy. Senate concurred.
SB 270, (New Title) establishing a low-moderate income community solar program. Senate concurred.
SB 271, relative to the Burgess BioPower facility. CoC meets on May 17 at 9 AM in SH 103.
SB 275, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Senate concurred.
SB 293, (New Title) establishing a committee to clarify the intent of RSA 644:9 relative to violation of privacy. Senate non-concurred.
SB 299, (New Title) relative to the penalty for escape and relative to home cultivation of cannabis plants and the possession of certain cannabis-infused products. Senate non-concurred by a vote of 15-9.
SB 301, (New Title) establishing the office of the right-to-know ombudsman and making an appropriation therefor. CoC meets on May 17 at 11 AM in SH 100.
SB 302, establishing the personal privacy protection act. CoC meets on May 17 at 11:30 AM in SH 100.
SB 321, relative to the purchase of output of limited electrical energy producers in intrastate commerce and including qualifying storage. Senate concurred.
SB 329, (New Title) establishing a commission to study barriers to specific housing development in New Hampshire and establishing a procedure for overriding a local tax cap. Senate non-concurred.
SB 333, (New Title) relative to licensure of case management service providers and relative to payment by the state of a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers. Senate non-concurred by a vote of 14-10.
SB 345, relative to youth employment. Senate concurred by a vote of 14-9.
SB 357, relative to mental health training for first responders. Senate concurred.
SB 366, requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election. CoC meets on May 16 at 11:30 AM in SH 100.
SB 376, (New Title) relative to creating a board to review police incidents involving citizens affected by mental health issues. Senate concurred.
SB 381, establishing an office of the advocate for special education. CoC meets on May 16 at 9 AM in SH 100.
SB 390, relative to telemedicine and telehealth. Senate concurred.
SB 393, relative to the use of restraints on pregnant women in the custody of a state or county correctional facility. Senate concurred.
SB 394, (New Title) relative to the definition of a child with a disability under special education laws and providing funding for special education costs for students over age 21 to age 22. Senate concurred.
SB 397, (New Title) relative to the mental health counseling compact and the interstate compact for the placement of children. Senate concurred.
SB 404, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance program. Senate concurred.
SB 405, (New Title) relative to fines and penalties for election law violations and relative to consequences resulting from election official misconduct. Senate concurred.
SB 407, (New Title) relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services and making an appropriation therefor and relative to exemptions from vaccine mandates. Senate non-concurred.
SB 412, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for nursing home reimbursement rates. Senate concurred.
SB 416, relative to behavioral health assessment and treatment for children in out-of-home placements. Senate concurred.
SB 418, relative to verification of voter affidavits. Senate concurred by a vote of 14-9.
SB 419, (New Title) establishing a commission to study the delivery of public health services in New Hampshire through regional public health networks. Senate concurred.
SB 420, (New Title) establishing an extraordinary need grant for schools and relative to eligibility for the education tax credit. CoC meets on May 16 at 9:30 AM in SH 100.
SB 421, relative to dual and concurrent enrollment for career and technical education center students. Senate concurred.
SB 422, establishing an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. Senate concurred.
SB 430, relative to health and human services. Senate non-concurred.
SB 431, relative to child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting schedules Senate non-concurred.
SB 445, (New Title) relative to the broadband matching grant initiative. CoC meets on May 17 at 1 PM in SH 100.
SB 458, relative to the Sununu youth services center and operation of a replacement secure facility. CoC meets on May 17 at 9:30 AM in SH 100.
SB 459, relative to a health care facility workplace violence prevention program. Senate concurred.

 

State House Watch on the Radio

Join us for State House Watch radio on Monday, May 16, hosted by Change for Concord. Lidia Yen and Steven Kidder will be talking with Olivia Zink of Open Democracy and Henry Klementowicz of ACLU-NH about the importance and power of voting. The program 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 with Viola Katusiime of the Granite State Organizing Project and David Holt from the State Employees Association, as well as Rev. Gail Kinney from the United Church of Christ and Kaya Çolakoğlu from the student worker collective at Dartmouth College.

 

Upcoming Events and Programs

Free Them All – May Days of Action – AFSC’s Free Them All campaign is celebrating May with a month full of activities across the country in solidarity with all who are incarcerated in jails, prisons and detention centers. AFSC-NH honored mothers impacted by incarceration with a card-writing event and community potluck on May 3. You can support this work by signing our petition to governors, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Bureau of Prisons: Protect incarcerated people from COVID-19 in prisons, jails, and detention centers!

Monday, May 16

Film Discussion: All of Us – 7 PM. NH Peace Action invites you to participate in a conversation about the new film All of Us. May 16 is the 5th International Day of Living Together in Peace (JIVEP). In honor of this day, celebrated worldwide, everyone will have the opportunity to watch the documentary All of Us for free from May 14 to 22 and to sign the Universal Declaration of Living Together in Peace, here. The link to the film will be available on May 14 and we will send it to you as soon as we receive it.  You will watch the film on your own and then, hopefully, join us on the 16th for the discussion. You will receive the link to the film whether or not you are able to join the discussion. This film traces the journey of different citizens from several continents who have made the choice to go towards the other and overcome the traumas of past conflicts and wars of religion. All of Us immerses the viewer in the new realities where people are reinventing education, social relations, culture and work with the sole aim of creating a united community, living in peace, in spite of their differences. NH Peace Action's conversation will be hosted by long-time NH peace activists David Blair, Andrea LeBlanc and Amy Antonucci. Free. RSVP here and we'll send you the link on May 14.

Tuesday, May 17

Short Film Premiere: Palestinian Children’s Rights in Gaza, One Year After the May 2021 Israeli Military Offensive – 12 PM Eastern Time. The film follows Mohammad, a field researcher in Gaza, as he documents human rights violations against Palestinian children. This is part of AFSC’s No Way to Treat a Child webinar series with Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).

Saturday, May 21

Lives Bound Together: The Washingtons & Ona Marie Judge in NH – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH. During the Spring of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Ona Judge, an enslaved woman owned by the First Family, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia with the aid of that city’s free Black community and made her way to Portsmouth. On this tour, you will hear the true story of Ona’s quest for freedom and the President’s relentless efforts to get her back. See the waterfront where she lands and visit the properties of some of America’s most famous families; the Langdons, Whipples, and Lears, whose stories were also bound to her.

Monday, May 23

Peace & Justice Conversations: Moving Towards an Internationalist Future – 7 PM. With the crisis continuing to unfold in Ukraine, and ongoing violence and suffering in Yemen and Iran, join speaker Kury Petersen-Smith, the Michael Ratner Fellow for Middle East Policy at the Institute for Policy Studies, for an update on the world's hot spots and how we might shape a U.S. foreign Policy for the safety and security of all. Khury Petersen-Smith is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at IPS. He researches U.S. empire, borders, and migration. Khury graduated from the Clark University Graduate School of Geography in Massachusetts, after completing a dissertation that focused on militarization and sovereignty. He is one of the co-authors and organizers of the 2015 Black Solidarity with Palestine statement, which was signed by over 1,100 Black activists, artists, and scholars. Free and open to the public.

Granite State Organizing Project Annual Meeting – 2 PM to 4 PM. Hosted by Granite State Organizing Project. Join us for our annual membership meeting hosted on Zoom.

Peace & Justice Conversations: Moving Toward an Internationalist Future – 7 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. With the crisis continuing to unfold in Ukraine, and ongoing violence and suffering in Yemen and Iran, join speaker Kury Petersen-Smith, the Michael Ratner Fellow for Middle East Policy at the Institute for Policy Studies, for an update on the world's hot spots and how we might shape a U.S. foreign Policy for the safety and security of all.

Saturday, May 28

Thirst for Freedom: From NH’s Slave Trade to its Civil Rights Movement – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH. Colonial Portsmouth newspapers testify to the local slave trade, runaways, abolitionists, and anti-abolitionist activities, followed by conflicting opinions of the Civil War. In the 20th century, the legacy of that early history was reflected in news about de facto segregation in housing and public places. This tour includes many of those historic landmarks from the early nineteenth through the twentieth centuries.

Thursday, June 9

Film Discussion: The Boys Who Said No! – 7 PM. 2022 marks the 40th Anniversary of NH Peace Action! We will be doing a series of events throughout the year to mark the occasion. This is the first of those events. Drawing on original interviews with more than thirty male and female nonviolent activists and historians, The Boys Who Said No! is the first documentary film to profile the young men and women who actively opposed the military draft in order to end the Vietnam War. The film shows how their personal and collective acts of nonviolent resistance, risking arrest and imprisonment for up to five years, were a critical part of the antiwar movement, intensifying opposition to the war and eventually forcing an end to both conscription and the war. Please use the link you will receive after registration to view the film ahead of time, then join us for a discussion with Dr. Michael Ferber, a draft resister, one of "the Boston Five" and a long time NHPA board member who is interviewed in the film, and Emma Shapiro-Weiss, Co-Executive Director of 350NH, who was arrested last year for her resistance to the Bow Coal plant, for a discussion of the centrality of nonviolent direct action in struggles then and now. You can watch the trailer here. The link to the film will be emailed to you around June 7. It will be live on June 8 and will stay active for 72 hours for you to watch the film at your convenience and then join us for the panel and discussion on June 9. There is a suggested donation of $10 to $50 to cover the costs of the film and to help fund NH Peace Action's nonviolence work for another 40 years! Full details and tickets here.

Save the dates! Juneteenth Celebration 2022 hosted by the Black Heritage Trail of 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, 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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