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About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

The American Democracy Legal Fund Calls For Ethics Investigation Into Rep Guinta

The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics against twenty-three Members, including Rep. Frank Guinta for violating 31 U.S.C. § 1301 and House ethics rules prohibiting official resources from being used for campaign or political purposes.

Rep. Guinta violated these rules by entering into the “Patriot Program Contract 2015,” a contract with the National Republican Congressional Committee agreeing to provide details of the Members’ legislative strategy, including a ”detailed finance plan and budget,” in exchange for “special attention” and “campaign cash.” The intent of the contract is for Members to use the official resources available to them to coordinate and detail their legislative strategies and plans with the NRCC.

“It is no surprise that the American people have lost faith in the Republicans who recklessly run Congress,” said Mary Jennings, spokesperson for the American Democracy Legal Fund. “As if the disarray in Republican ranks isn’t bad enough, now vulnerable Republican House Members are literally selling their legislative agendas to a political committee for campaign cash. Members of Congress are supposed to craft a legislative agenda that benefits their constituents, not auction their vote off to the highest bidder. Frankly, the fact that Rep. Guinta doesn’t get that shows he is not fit to serve. We urge the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate this behavior and take swift and decisive actions against any member who treats the public trust like a commodity to be bought and sold.”

The complaint is available below.

American Democracy Legal Fund
455 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

October 7, 2015

The Honorable David Skaggs
Office of Congressional Ethics
U.S. House of Representatives
425 3rd Street, SW, Suite 1110
Washington, DC 20024

Re: Complaint against Representatives Stephen Knight, Barbara Comstock, Rodney Davis, Jeff Denham, Dan Benishek, Tim Walberg, Martha McSally, David Valadao, Mike Coffman, Carlos Curbelo, David Young, Bob Dold, Mike Bost, Bruce Poliquin, Frank Guinta, Cresent Hardy, Lee Zeldin, John Katko, Will Hurd, Ryan Costello, Elise Stefanik, Daniel Donovan and Mike Bishop

Dear Chairman Skaggs:

This letter constitutes a complaint against United States Representatives Stephen Knight, Barbara Comstock, Rodney Davis, Jeff Denham, Dan Benishek, Tim Walberg, Martha McSally, David Valadao, Mike Coffman, Carlos Curbelo, David Young, Bob Dold, Mike Bost, Bruce Poliquin, Frank Guinta, Cresent Hardy, Lee Zeldin, John Katko, Will Hurd, Ryan Costello, Elise Stefanik, Daniel Donovan and Mike Bishop, (the “Members”) pursuant to Rule 3(A) of the Office of Congressional Ethics Rules for the Conduct of Investigations. It has come to my attention that the Members have violated 31 U.S.C. § 1301 and House rules prohibiting official resources from being used for campaign or political purposes.

I. Factual Background

Publicly available reports indicate that the Members listed above have entered into a contract with the National Republican Congressional Committee (“NRCC”) and agreed to provide details of their legislative strategy with the NRCC in exchange for “special attention” and “campaign cash.” The three-page “Patriot Program Contract 2015” involves a commitment by the House Members to coordinate several campaign activities with the NRCC, including creating a “detailed finance plan and budget,” raising certain amounts of money for the NRCC, and setting certain spending goals. In addition, the contract requires participating House Members to disclose and discuss their official House actions with the NRCC. In particular, the contract requires House Members to “submit and present a written off-year campaign plan to the NRCC” that should encompasses the following:

Detailed, written legislative strategy that provides short-, intermediate-, and long-term legislative goals, including political justifications for those goals. Be sure to include local issues unique to the district or region. Complete a Patriot Policy Priorities worksheet to be used by NRCC staff to evaluate legislative priorities for the current Congress and to promote and advocate for those priorities where appropriate.

Note that the Patriot Program is designed only for current members of the House of Representatives; thus, the contract contemplates that the Members would have official resources available. In the contract, the candidates are referred to only as “MEMBER.” And to make it even clearer that official resources are at stake, the Members’ Chief of Staff is also listed as a contracting party and required to sign the contract separately. The Chief of Staff is referred to only using that title, and not using or referring to any separate relationship the Chief of Staff may have with a Member’s campaign.

II. Legal Analysis

Federal law requires that appropriations be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made. According to the House Ethics Manual, “official resources of the House must, as a general rule, be used for the performance of official business of the House, and hence those resources may not be used for campaign or political purposes.” The House Ethics Manual notes that “[a]mong the specific activities that clearly may not be undertaken in a congressional office or using House resources (including official staff time) are . . . the drafting of campaign speeches, statements, press releases or literature; . . . and the holding of a campaign meeting.” The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has further interpreted 31 U.S.C. § 1301(a) to prohibit the use of congressional office equipment—such as computers, telephones, and fax machines, office supplies—such as stationary and envelopes, and congressional staff time for campaign or political purposes.

The intent of the “Patriot Program Contract 2015” is for Members to use the official resources available to them to coordinate and detail their legislative strategies and plans with the NRCC. The contract’s reference to the “MEMBER” and the explicit reference to, and separate signature line for, the Members’ Chief of Staff, makes clear that the contract is intended to reflect the Members’ official role. In that context, the demand for a legislative strategy plainly contemplates the use of official resources to accomplish that task.

The House Ethics Manual provides that House employees may engage in campaign activities on their “own time, as volunteers or for pay, as long as they do not do so in congressional offices or facilities, or otherwise use official resources.” If the Members and their staff use legislative plans and strategies crafted during House working periods and using House resources as required by the contract, they will violate federal law and House Ethics rules. Additionally, if the Members draft speeches, produce literature, or hold meetings on official time that are intended to be used to satisfy their obligations to the NRCC that too would violate federal law and House Ethics rules. Thus, it appears likely that the intent of the contract, and of the Members and their Chefs of Staff who sign it, is to flagrantly abuse taxpayer resources for partisan gain.

III. Conclusion

This Office has jurisdiction to investigate any allegation that a Member of Congress has violated any “law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct” in the performance of his or her duties or the discharge of his or her responsibilities. I therefore respectfully request that you investigate this matter promptly.

I understand that 18 U.S.C. § 1001 applies to the information I am providing.

Asbestos Death Rate in New Hampshire Higher than National Average

  Asbestos-triggered diseases claim the lives of New Hampshire residents at a rate almost a third higher than the national average, according to a new state-by-state analysis by EWG Action Fund.

Washington, D.C. – Asbestos-triggered diseases claim the lives of New Hampshire residents at a rate almost a third higher than the national average, according to a new state-by-state analysis by EWG Action Fund.

Roughly 6.2 out of every 100,000 people in New Hampshire die each year from diseases caused by asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and certain lung cancers, compared to the national average of 4.7 deaths per 100,000. All of the Granite State’s 10 counties have asbestos death rates above the national average. Coos County has the highest rate – more than 10 people per 100,000.

 From analysis of federal records of deaths from mesothelioma and asbestosis and a formula developed by international cancer researchers for estimating lung cancer deaths from asbestos, EWG Action Fund estimates that 12,000 to 15,000 Americans die each year from exposure to the deadly fibers. From 1999 to 2013, EWG Action Fund estimates that more than 1,200 New Hampshire residents died from asbestos-related diseases.

Reasons for the high death rate in New Hampshire are uncertain. However, asbestos was once widely used in a number of the state’s leading industries, including shipbuilding and milling. Use has declined since 1980, when the dangers of asbestos became well known, but has not been eliminated.

“Many Americans mistakenly believe asbestos was banned decades ago,” said Alex Formuzis with EWG Action Fund. “It is still legal, still used in many consumer products, and still brings tragedy to thousands of victims and their families each year.”

That tragedy could be made by worse by legislation under consideration in Congress that would effectively delay and deny compensation to people from the various asbestos trusts.

 The legislation, the so-called FACT Act, with identical versions in the House (H.R. 526) and Senate (S. 357) would deplete the resources of the already-dwindling trust funds set aside to compensate asbestos victims. Adding insult to injury, the measure would also require public disclosure of victims’ personal information such as medical records and partial Social Security numbers, placing them at heightened risk of identity theft.

Officials of the asbestos trusts estimate that complying with the bill would require up to 20,000 additional hours per year at each trust – a burdensome and expensive mandate that would inevitably slow the processing of claims and distribution of payments.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporations with major asbestos liability, including Koch Industries, Honeywell, 3M, Allstate and Nationwide are some of the biggest backers of the bill. The House is poised to vote on its version of the so-called FACT Act in the coming weeks.

“Each member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation has a choice to make,” said Formuzis. “Will they stand with those in the state who are sick and dying from asbestos-caused disease, or with the very industries that poisoned them to begin with?”


  EWG Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that is a separate sister organization of the Environmental Working Group. The mission of EWG Action Fund is to protect health and the environment by educating the public and lobbying on a wide range of environmental issues. Donations to EWG Action Fund are not tax-deductible.

Berger-Marks Foundation Honors Young Women Leading The Fight For Social Justice

#BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors Wins $10,000 Edna Award 

Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Awards and Edna Awards of Distinction Will Also Be Presented at November 12 Reception 

Patrisse Cullors (image from Twitter)

Patrisse Cullors (image from Twitter)

WASHINGTON – Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, has been named winner of the Berger-Marks Foundation 2015 Edna Award for Social Justice. The Edna Award, which carries a $10,000 prize, honors women age 35 or younger who have distinguished themselves as social justice leaders. It is named after Edna Berger, the first woman organizer of The Newspaper Guild and the inspiration behind the Berger-Marks Foundation. 

Ms. Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter. As founder of Dignity and Power Now, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and the director of Truth and Reinvestment for The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, she has worked tirelessly to promote law enforcement accountability across the nation. She led a think tank on state and vigilante violence for the 2014 Without Borders Conference and produced and directed a theatrical piece titled POWER: From the Mouths of the Occupied. 

Ms. Cullors will receive the Edna Award at an awards reception on Thursday, November 12th at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Also to be honored with $1,000 Edna Awards of Distinction are: Neidi Dominguez, Director of Worker Centers and Assistant Director for Community Change at the AFL-CIO and Nelini Stamp, Co-Director of Rise Up Georgia.

“Patrisse, Neidi, and Nelini are inspirational examples of the young women leading today’s fights for justice all over this country,” said Linda Foley, President of the Berger-Marks Foundation Board of Trustees. 

Judging the Edna Award contest this year were: Valerie Ervin, Former Executive Director of the Center for Working Families; Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union; Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women; Sara Steffens, Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications Workers of America; and 2013 Edna Award winner Jennifer Epps-Addison, Executive Director of Wisconsin Jobs Now. 

At the November 12 event, the Foundation will also honor the three winners of the $1,000 Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award. The award is named for an inspiring young laundry worker who, more than 150 years ago, organized one of the first women’s unions in an industry that was harshly exploiting them. It honors young women age 35 or younger who have stood up for workers’ rights and organized their own workplaces. 

The three 2015 Kate Mullany Award winners are:

  • Stephanie Alejandro, a restaurant worker from Los Angeles, CA who organized her co-workers to fight wage theft and poor working conditions at their restaurant.
  • Anggie Godoy, a restaurant worker from Los Angeles, CA who organized her McDonald’s co-workers to Fight for 15.
  • Sarina Santos, a baggage handler at the Philadelphia International Airport who organized her fellow airport workers for a union and a living wage.

“We honor these young women for their steadfast commitment to workers’ rights,” says Foley, “Their strength in standing up in the workplace on behalf of all of their co-workers is a reminder that there is strength in numbers and young women can lead the way”.

The Berger-Marks Foundation was created by bequest of Tin Pan Alley composer Gerald Marks (“All of Me”) in honor of his wife, Edna Berger, who rose from being a receptionist to become the first woman organizer of The Newspaper Guild. The Foundation seeks to change the gender balance of the labor movement by providing support and recognition for women labor leaders.

The November 12th Award Reception is open to all who want to attend. To make reservations go to: https://2015ednakate.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Beth Becker at beth@beckerdigitalstrategies.com.


Governor Hassan’s Statement on New Hampshire Hospital Association Economic Impact Report on the New Hampshire Health Protection Program

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan today issued the following statement on the economic impact report from the New Hampshire Hospital Association on the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which shows that with more New Hampshire citizens now receiving health insurance since the bipartisan healthcare expansion plan was adopted, hospitals continue to see a reduction in inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits from uninsured Granite Staters and  uncompensated care will continue to decline: 

“Thanks to the New Hampshire Protection Program, more than 42,000 hard-working Granite Staters now have the health and financial security that comes with quality, affordable health coverage, and this report is another strong indication of the positive impact that our bipartisan health care expansion plan is having on our people and our economy. As demonstrated by this report, our hospitals have seen a significant decline in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits by uninsured Granite Staters since our bipartisan expansion was adopted. As a result, this has led to a decrease in uncompensated care provided by our hospitals, which is in turn reducing healthcare cost-shifting onto all of our people and businesses.

“It is clear that the New Hampshire Health Protection Program is strengthening the health of our workforce and boosting our economy. Not only do we continue to see reductions in uncompensated care and health care cost-shifting, our bipartisan health care expansion plan is playing a critical role in our efforts to combat the substance abuse crisis, providing substance abuse and behavioral health services to thousands of Granite Staters. Reauthorizing expansion is critical to our economy, to the health and well-being of thousands of Granite Staters and to increasing our substance abuse treatment capacity, and I will continue working with legislators from both parties to reauthorize this critical bipartisan program as soon as possible.”

The full report from the New Hampshire Hospital Association can be found here.



Senate Democratic Leader’s Statement on NH Hospital Association Report on Impact of NH Health Protection Program 

Concord – Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn issued the following statement after the release of a New Hampshire Hospital Association report on the economic impact of the NH Health Protection Program:  

“Today’s report from the NH Hospital Association is great news and confirms that the New Hampshire Health Protection Program is working to drive down the amount uncompensated care provided by our hospitals, which in turn is reducing healthcare cost-shifting onto our families and businesses.”

“But most importantly, more than 42,000 Granite Staters now have access to quality and affordable health care coverage and the financial stability that comes with it. Whatever the metric- reducing uncompensated care and cost-shifting, combating the substance abuse crisis, or strengthening our workforce and boosting our economy- reauthorizing this program makes sense. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature to reauthorize it as soon as possible.” 

EMILY’s List Endorses Maggie Hassan for Senate in New Hampshire

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Maggie Hassan for Senate in New Hampshire.

“Maggie Hassan is a tireless champion for New Hampshire women and families,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “Throughout her career of public service Maggie has fought to create jobs, expanded health insurance coverage to over forty thousand Granite Staters, defended women’s access to health care, and made college more affordable. Her extraordinary leadership as governor was critical in passing two bipartisan budgets that give working families a fair shot. Extreme Republicans depend on Kelly Ayotte to advance their failed agenda, but Maggie is running for Senate to fight for New Hampshire women and families in Washington. With control of the Senate in the balance, the stakes could not be higher for New Hampshire and for women across the country – and the EMILY’s List community of over three million members is thrilled to stand with Maggie Hassan.” 

Maggie Hassan is running to represent New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate, where she’ll fight for hardworking women and families in the state. When her son Ben was diagnosed with cerebral palsy 26 years ago, Maggie realized that the reason he would be able to go to school with the other children in their community was “because of the advocates and families who had come before us.”  Shortly after Ben’s diagnosis, Maggie became an advocate herself, balancing her job as an attorney with working with Concord politicians to make better policies for children. Growing up, her father taught her that “policies that don’t help people are bad policies,” and Maggie has spent her career in public service motivated by that same belief.

From her time in the New Hampshire state legislature to her years serving as the state’s governor, Maggie has shown she knows what to do to get things done—and she’s done it with pragmatism and compassion. Because of Ben’s diagnosis, issues like equal pay, access to public education, and access to affordable insurance are deeply personal for her. Maggie is pro-choice and strongly supports the right of women to make their own reproductive health care decisions. As governor, she worked to expand access to Medicaid coverage for some of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable citizens and, under her watch, New Hampshire was named one of the best states in the country for child well-being. When she is elected, Maggie will bring her New Hampshire values with her to the U.S. Senate, believing that “the equal devotion to individual freedom and community [that] we share in New Hampshire is what makes America unique in the world.” 


EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women’s issues, and turn out women voters. We’ve trained over 9,000 women to run and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color – including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic congresswoman currently serving.



AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Video Producer, Digital Strategies Department (Posted: 10/2/2015) District of Columbia
Data Systems & Technology Director, Political Department (Posted: 10/2/2015) District of Columbia
National Community Engagement Development Coordinator, Northeast Region  Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia

Press Assistant, Communications Department  District of Columbia

Deputy Director, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia

Director, Affiliate and Federation Outreach Relations, Campaigns Department  District of Columbia

Deputy Campaign Director, Campaigns Department  District of Columbia

Digital Campaigns and Strategy Manager, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
National Campaign Training Coordinator, Campaigns Department  District of Columbia
Junior Video Producer, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
Senior Field Representative (OH), Campaigns Department, Midwest Region Ohio
Lead Data Coordinator – Campaigns Department, Northeast Region – PA  Pennsylvania

Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont (National search)

Senior Field Representative, Campaigns Department  Arizona, Colorado
Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, Organizing Department  District of Columbia

ACCORD (The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh)
Training Coordinator, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh

AFA (Association of Flight Attendants–CWA)

Strategic Public Relations Coordinator  District of Columbia

Communications Specialist District of Columbia

AFM (Associated Musicians of Greater New York, AFM Local 802)

Communications and Political Director, New York City  New York

AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (Regional and International Positions))

Social Media and Online Mobilization Coordinator, Communications  District of Columbia

Field Data Coordinator, Los Angeles  California

Regional Field Manager, Political Action Department  District of Columbia

Library and Database Technician, Research and Collective Bargaining Department  District of Columbia

AFSCME (Council 93)

Communications Apprentice, Boston,  Massachusetts

AFT (American Federation of Teachers)

Labor Program Specialist, Alaska Nurses Association, Anchorage  Alaska

CIR/SEIU (Committee of Interns & Residents)

Data Management & Reporting Specialist, New York City  New York

Colorado AFL-CIO
Director of Public Affairs & Public Policy, Denver  Colorado

CWA (Communications Workers of America)
Research Economist, CWA Research Department  District of Columbia
Research Associate, CWA Research Department  District of Columbia

DALF (Denver Area Labor Federation)
Political Coordinator, based in Denver  Colorado

HTC (NY & NJ Hotel Workers’ Union)
Video Communications Supervisor New York

IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters)

Database Assistant District of Columbia

LAOC (Los Angeles Organizing Committee)
Field Organizer – Fast Food Workers Campaign, Phoenix  Arizona

Labor United for Universal Healthcare
Administrator & Projects Coordinator, Los Angeles  California

Metro Detroit AFL-CIO
Campaign Manager, Metro Detroit Area  Michigan

MNA (Minnesota Nurses Association)

Labor Relations Specialist, St. Paul  Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

NNU (National Nurses United)
Communications Specialist, Oakland  California
Educator – Immediate Opening, San Francisco Bay area  California

People’s World
Managing Editor, Chicago  Illinois

Public Citizen
Chamber Watch Director, Congress Watch District of Columbia
National Campaigns Director, Global Trade Watch  District of Columbia

SBPEA (San Bernardino Public Employees Association, Teamsters Local 1932)
Communications Coordinator (full-time), San Bernardino California

SEIU (Service Employees International Union (International Positions
Senior Digital Coordinator  District of Columbia

SEIU (1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East)

Contract Writer/Labor Contract Specialist, New York  New York
Communications Specialist (Contracted/Spanish required), Boston  Massachusetts

SEIU (Local 775)
Media Relations Specialist, based in Seattle, Washington

SEIU (Local 925)

New Media Communications Organizer Position (Full-time), Seattle  Washington

Part-Time Communications Organizer – Focus On Faculty Organizing, based in Seattle  Washington

SEIU (Local 1000)
Communications Specialist, Sacramento  California

SEIU (Local 2015)

Communications Specialist, Los Angeles  California

IT Support Technician, Los Angeles  California

Communications Director, Los Angeles  California

SEIU-HCIIMK, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri Kansas

Campaign Communications Specialist, Chicago  Illinois

Social Media Specialist, Chicago  Illinois



SEIU (SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania)
Communications Specialist (project based), Communications Department, based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

SEIU UHW West, United Healthcare Workers West

Communication Specialist, Oakland or Los Angeles California

TTD (Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO)

Communications Fellow  District of Columbia

UA (UA Local Union 393)

Coordinator, Labor/Community Campaign, based in Silicon Valley, California (National search)

UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists)

Western States Campaign Manager, Clean Vehicles and Climate and Energy Programs, Oakland  California

UEMSW (United EMS Workers, AFSCME Local 4911)
Administrative Chief, Livermore  California

UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers International Union)

Web Developer  District of Columbia

Digital Strategies Intern, Communications Department  District of Columbia

UFT (United Federation of Teachers)

Research/Administrative Assistant, New York  New York

Campaign Researcher, San Francisco  California

Campaign Researcher, Los Angeles California

Campaign Researcher, Seattle  Washington

Technical Curriculum Specialist, Las Vegas area Nevada

WGAW (Writers Guild of America, West)

Research & Policy Analyst, Los Angeles California

Working America (a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO)
Senior Data Administrator  District of Columbia

Working Partnerships USA
Communications and Grants Manager, Silicon Valley  California

St Anselm’s Multicultural Center Host “Teach In”

Wake up. Learn. Reflect. Teach. Act.

A Teach-In to Promote Dialogue and Inspire Change

image002There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.”  bell hooks  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rivier University – Dion Center

9:30am – 6:00pm (Registration begins at 8:30am)

*Cost: $20 Community Members/$10 Students

The framework for this event resulted from a meeting held in March of 2015 with concerned citizens who are interested in creating a movement for New Hampshire People of Color and their Allies to explore the impact of race on the quality of life for everyone (especially people of color) and transition into actions that will facilitate change.

To register and/or obtain more information visit http://www.123contactform.com/form-1602955/Wake-Up-Learn-Reflect-Teach-Act. Questions can also be directed to Yemi Mahoney (omahoney@anselm.edu or 603.656.6028) or Dottie Morris (dmorris@keene.edu).

* Limited scholarships are available to assist those if the fee serves as a financial hardship for them. Payments will not be processed in advance. Please bring a check, money order, or cash to the event. Credit cards will not be accepted.

We are looking for more groups to join the movement. At this time our confirmed partners include: Black Women’s Health Project, Emerging Leaders in Communities of Color, NH Health & Equity Partnership, Keene State College, Manchester NAACP, NH Multicultural Student Affairs Consortium, Rivier University, Saint Anselm College, Southern New Hampshire University, Southern New Hampshire Outreach for Black Unity, University of New Hampshire, Victory Women of Vision.

Van Ostern Announces Candidacy for Governor of NH


Colin_Van_OsternMANCHESTER, NH – In a historic Manchester school building that now houses a growing technology company, Colin Van Ostern will tell a roundtable of business & education leaders Thursday morning that he will run for Governor in 2016 to build an even brighter future for New Hampshire.

“I’m running for Governor to build an even stronger economy and a brighter future for the people of New Hampshire – one where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” wrote Van Ostern in remarks prepared for the roundtable discussion. “We must keep our state moving forward in 2016 so New Hampshire will continue to be a great place to raise a family and grow a business in the coming decade – one where our kids can attend great schools, graduate from college without being crushed by debt, and find jobs with good wages.”

Colin Van Ostern is a business leader who helped launch Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America, where he currently works, and he has been a champion against the rising problem of student debt.  The nonprofit school partners with employers across New Hampshire and the nation to provide thousands of students the chance to earn an accredited degree, which the vast majority do without taking on any debt at all.

Previously, Colin worked as a business manager at Stonyfield yogurt, where he was responsible for the profitable growth of a $100 million business.  He has managed a consulting business helping dozens of New Hampshire nonprofits and small businesses, has worked at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, where he led business trips to India and Brussels, and early in his career he served as a senior advisor to several New Hampshire state leaders.

“I see a future for our state that is accelerated by passenger rail from Boston to Manchester, brightened by solar panels, supported by growing small businesses, and strengthened by good access to quality health care – whether it’s birth control at Planned Parenthood or addiction treatment services at local health centers,” said Van Ostern. “We will keep taxes low and bring forward new plans and ideas to attract and keep more young people, young families, startups and growing businesses here in our state.”

“That’s been my own life over the past fifteen years – I moved here for a job in my twenties, found a strong community, worked at world-class employers, fell in love with a New Hampshire girl, and we’re now raising two New Hampshire boys whose future means everything to us. I love this state and I’ll work hard to keep it moving forward.”

In 2012, Colin was elected to the state’s unique Executive Council – a five-member board of directors of sorts for the state government – where he has represented a quarter-million New Hampshire citizens from Rochester to Keene. On the Executive Council, Colin has fought to protect access to birth control and cancer screenings at state Planned Parenthood health centers; to advance passenger rail from Boston to Manchester and numerous renewable energy projects; to expand access to healthcare including treatment for addition; and to stand up for NH consumers during the state’s Fairpoint strike in 2014. Colin lives in Concord, NH with his wife and two sons.


Colin will begin his campaign with a roundtable discussion with business leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs from across the state who are working on projects and opportunities that promise a bright future for New Hampshire. The discussion will be hosted at Silvertech, a Manchester technology firm housed in the historic Ash Street school – a public elementary school launched as a public-private partnership between the City of Manchester and Amoskeag industries at the height of New Hampshire’s industrial boom.

In the coming months, Colin will hold a series of roundtable discussion across the state with New Hampshire citizens and community leaders focusing on critical opportunities facing our state:

  • NASHUA: Boosting business growth through passenger rail & clean energy jobs
  • SEACOAST: Creating the opportunity for debt-free college
  • CONCORD: Closing the opportunity gap through early childhood education & support
  • WESTERN NH: Expanding health care access – including drug addiction treatment & prevention and access to women’s health services.
  • NORTH COUNTRY: Strengthening our rural economy

LEARN MORE: www.vanostern.com


Suddenly Sen Ayotte Supports Working Pregnant Women But What About All Working Moms?

It is official Governor Maggie Hassan announced she is challenging Senator Kelly Ayotte for her seat in the US Senate. Let the games begin!

Senator Ayotte is coming out swinging with her first online ad entitled “Workplace Fairness,” that focuses on her new legislative proposal, co-sponsored by Senator Shaheen, which would help to end workplace discrimination for pregnant women.

I don’t say this often but I actually agree with Sen. Ayotte that something needs to be done to protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination and provide pregnant women alternative work during their pregnancy, however I have been pushing for this type of legislation for years now.

Senators Shaheen and Ayotte introduced this legislative in June of this year after the Supreme Court ruled that UPS discriminated against Peggy Young by not offering her light duty work after her doctor instructed her not to lift heavy things due to her pregnancy.

Here is the kicker, this new legislation is actually old legislation submitted in a new legislative term. The bill, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, was actually submitted in September of 2012 and again in May of 2013.

In her new video, Sen Ayotte fails to mention that she refused to support the very same bill not once but twice when it was previously introduced since Ayotte has been in Washington.

Why the change of heart? What is different about this bill now?

It is not so much that the bill has changed it is that Sen. Ayotte is facing a strong progressive candidate in Maggie Hassan.

Suddenly as the campaign ramps up Sen. Ayotte supports the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, but what happens after that expectant mother delivers her baby?

Sen Ayotte has repeatedly said that paid sick leave is “an issue that should be addressed by employers rather than mandated by the government.”

What is the difference between supporting pregnant women in the workplace and supporting parents in the workplace? If you support Pregnancy Fairness why not paid sick leave.

Ayotte did introduce her own paid leave bill with Mitch McConnell earlier this year, but her bill was nothing but an election year stunt that would force workers to choose between overtime pay and leave time.

Let us not forget that Sen. Ayotte has a terrible record supporting women and women’s health.

  • Ayotte opposes the paycheck fairness act
  • Ayotte supports repealing the Affordable Care Act which made it law that new mothers have the right to pump breast milk at work in a safe place, and that employers cannot fire or discriminate against nursing moms.
  • Ayotte supports the misguided Hobby Lobby decision.
  • Ayotte has voted multiple times to allow employers to deny women access to contraception.
  • Ayotte introduced a sham birth control bill that would increase costs for women and is opposed by the American Congress of OB-GYNs.
  • Ayotte has voted repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers, which provide critical health services including breast exams.

I don’t have to tell you – but I am going to anyway – Senator Ayotte’s new challenger, Governor Hassan, has been a staunch supporter of working women and women’s health.

Hassan signed into law a Paycheck Fairness bill, expanded Medicaid to give more Granite Staters access to quality healthcare, and in her first term worked to restore the devastating cuts to Planned Parenthood.

Gov. Hassan continues to fight the Republican led Executive Council’s cuts to Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire.

“The council’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood will hurt the health and economic well-being of thousands of Granite Staters. Moving forward, I will continue to fight to ensure that women and families have access to the important health services that are essential to the economic security and vitality of our families,” said Hassan.

Despite what Sen. Ayotte is saying in her poll-tested advertising, she is not the champion for women she claims to be. She is the same old partisan hack who has fueled the continued gridlock in Washington.

Shaheen Seeks Waiver of Reimbursement Policy for Portsmouth Shipyard Workers on Long-Term Assignments

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 3
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter seeking a waiver for some Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers from a Department of Defense (DOD) policy change that has reduced reimbursement allowances for workers during long-term duty assignments. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees perform critical work at shipyards around the country and are essential to maintaining the U.S. naval fleet. This reimbursement adjustment could impact shipyard workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard who may have to pay expenses out-of-pocket while traveling and could discourage workers from volunteering for long-term assignments.

“Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers are in demand for submarine modernization projects around the country,” said Shaheen. “There shouldn’t be a disincentive for shipyard workers to lend their specialized skills on long-term assignments. With some reasonable flexibility from the Department of Defense, we can make sure that willing and able shipyard workers continue to volunteer for these assignments that are important to our national security.”

Last week, Shaheen successfully included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would direct the Comptroller General to study the impact of the policy change and gather data to determine if there is a negative impact on shipyard workers who travel on long-term temporary duty assignments.

The letter is also signed by the following Senators: Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Patty Murray (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Mark Warner (D-VA).  The full text of Shaheen’s letter is included below:

October 05, 2015 

The Honorable Ashton Carter
U.S. Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Carter, 

We write to express concern regarding the changes made by the Department of Defense (DOD) to per diem allowances for long-term temporary duty (TDY) and the unique impact of these changes on shipyard employees.  While we applaud DOD’s efforts to seek cost efficiencies and understand DOD’s rationale for the reduced long-term TDY rates, the reductions may impact mission in certain circumstances.  For this reason, the Senate included report language in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act urging DOD to monitor the travel policy change to ensure employees who volunteer for mission essential travel are fully supported and encouraged.  To further address this concern, we request that you consider granting greater waiver authority in circumstances when a traveler is unable to reasonably reduce costs for long-term TDY.  

As you know, DOD made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) effective November 1, 2014, that include a 25 percent cut to the per diem allowance and the lodging stipend for travel in excess of 30 days, and a 45 percent cut for travel longer than 180 days.  It is our understanding that if a traveler and the commercial travel office are unable to arrange for suitable lodging at the reduced per diem rate, the full lodging rate may be authorized, but the daily rate for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) remains at the reduced rate. 

Shipyard employees often volunteer for long-term TDY assignments to conduct critical maintenance on the naval fleet at other shipyards and bases, often in high-cost areas.  The efforts of highly skilled shipyard employees ensure our naval fleet is deployed in a safe, affordable and timely manner.  The long-term M&IE reductions could lead to shipyard employees paying for expenses out-of-pocket, which could serve as a disincentive for workers to volunteer for long-term TDY.  Shipyard employees work long shift hours, often precluding these travelers from purchasing groceries and preparing food.  In high-cost areas, lodging with adequately equipped kitchenettes may not be available – increasing M&IE costs. 

That is why it is important that in instances when a traveler is unable to reasonably reduce M&IE costs, the Department should consider providing the approving official with flexibility to waive the reduced M&IE daily per diem rate consistent with the exception already allowed for lodging. 

Thank you for your consideration and your continued distinguished service on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform.


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