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Democracy Fails As Executive Councilors Vote To Confirm Edelblut, Against Constituents Overwhelming Objections

Today our elected representatives have failed us and took another step toward the destruction of our democracy.

With a party line vote of 3-2, the NH Executive Council voted to confirm, the completely unqualified Frank Edelblut, as Commissioner of Education against the wishes of their own constituents.

“Republicans on the Executive Council let down Granite State students and young families today by confirming Frank Edelblut, despite overwhelming grassroots opposition, a vote of no confidence by the State Board of Education, and a remarkably unqualified resume for this important position,” said Granite State teacher Matthew Gerding.

“As a school teacher and a young LGBT Granite Stater hoping to raise my family here, I find it incredibly disheartening to see Republican leaders chose to confirm someone who opposes full-day kindergarten, refuses to oppose the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, and calls education a ‘product’ not a public good.”

“Governor Sununu has taken every opportunity in his short time in office to turn young people away from our state. From nominating Mr. Edelblut, to raising tuitions at our state and community colleges in his budget, Governor Sununu is sending a clear message that he values politics over people,” concluded Gerding.

“Like DeVos, Edelblut has no experience or inter­action with the public education system of New Hampshire. Overseeing a state department of education requires an in-depth knowl­edge of how public schools are governed, how they are man­aged, and the challenges employees in public schools face. Mr. Edelblut possesses no such knowledge or experience. Other than overseeing the management functions of the employees under his direct supervision, the business skills Mr. Edelblut possess are not transferable to ensuring our children’s educational experi­ence is exceptional. Our chil­dren’s futures are too important to rely on someone who cannot hit the ground running on day one,” stated NEA-New Hampshire.

“Educators throughout New Hampshire strive to reach every child in their classroom, develop effective and engaging lesson plans, spend hours correcting papers and encouraging students to keep persevering. Every day for educators the theory and practice of pedagogy becomes real in the lives of the young people entrusted to their care. To have the highest ranking education official in the state bring only system level management and communication skills to the job threatens the future of every public school student in New Hampshire,” continued NEA-NH.

“The fundamental promise of a great public education for all students is under attack here, and across the country,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH Vice-president. “We’re not just arguing over budget questions any longer; we’re in a full-on ideolog­ical battle with people who do not believe that every child deserves the same opportunity to succeed.”

“We are disappointed that a majority of the Executive Council did not listen to voices of thousands of parents and educators across the state or to the concerns expressed by the NH Board of Education about the appointment of Frank Edelblut as our next Commissioner of Education,” stated Doug Ley, President of AFT-NH. “We remain gravely concerned about a Commissioner of Education who, when running for governor, supported further diverting much needed funding and resources from our public schools.   There still has been presented no evidence, after a lengthy public hearing, to suggest Mr. Edelblut either has the experience or qualifications in education to lead NH schools and serve more than 180,000 students, our State’s most precious resource.”

“Our teachers and school district employees pour their hearts into the education of NH’s students, are highly trained and have dedicated a lifetime to serving NH students. They deserve a Commissioner who cares deeply about public education.”

“AFT-NH will remain vigilant in protecting our public schools and our cherished public education system in NH. We will always extend a hand to anyone, including Mr. Edelblut, willing to strengthen and support public schools but we will speak up and act in fierce opposition to any extreme agenda or attack on our schools. We sincerely hope that Mr. Edelblut will retreat from his past positions and start anew by listening to NH parents, educators and stakeholders in our schools,” concluded Ley.

“During the confirmation process, Frank Edelblut demonstrated he lacks both experience with and support for our state’s public schools,” wrote Executive Councilor Chris Pappas just after the vote. “It is clear that Mr. Edelblut is unable to be the type of non-partisan, consensus-building commissioner that our education system deserves. He holds political views on a range of issues that place him outside the mainstream, from his opposition to full-day kindergarten to support for gay conversion therapy. We do not need a commissioner who will interject ideology into the role, and I didn’t receive assurances that he would abandon past positions or steer clear of political activities after he is confirmed.”

It is plainly clear that the confirmation vote for Edelblut was purely partisan politics as usual. Two of the Executive Councilors openly admitted that they would vote to confirm despite overwhelming opposition to Edelblut’s nomination.

“Executive Councilors Joseph Kenney and Russell Prescott told us all about the concerns they heard from parents and educators about Frank Edelblut. Instead of listening to their constituents, they decided to put in earplugs and vote to confirm him in a blindly political move,” said NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley. “It’s shameful that Governor Sununu didn’t consult the Board of Education before he made the pick. Instead, he followed the Trump model by appointing an unqualified businessman rather than looking out for the future of New Hampshire.”

“We are disappointed that Executive Councilors Russ Prescott, Joe Kenney, and David Wheeler decided to rubber stamp Governor Sununu’s blatantly unqualified nominee despite widespread opposition from the State Board of Education and their constituents,” stated Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “Councilors Kenney and Prescott specifically mentioned that their constituents were overwhelming in opposition to Frank Edelblut before going on to say that they would vote for him anyway.

“Community members should be on notice that Prescott and Kenney fully acknowledged that they were voting against their constituents on this nomination,” Rice-Hawkins added.

It is obscene that our elected representatives are completely ignoring the will of the people in a partisan political vote. It takes a lot to get people to engage in politics, especially when it comes to political appointments like this. Yet hundreds if not thousands of Granite Staters took the time to write letters, emails, and call their Executive Councilors asking them to oppose Edelblut’s nomination.

To Councilors Prescott and Kenney, those constituents do not matter.

This is where democracy dies. When our elected leaders only do what is good for their political careers and reject the will of the people we can no longer say we live in a democracy. The people spoke out and overwhelmingly opposed Frank Edelblut’s nomination, yet they confirmed him anyway.

This is a sad day for the future of our public schools and our democracy.


I would like to join Granite State Progress in saying:

“We thank Councilors Andru Volinsky and Chris Pappas for standing with the majority of constituents and experts who voiced concern over Governor Sununu’s unqualified nominee.”

(Featured image of Russ Prescott by Granite State Progress on Twitter)

DeVos And Edelblut Nearly Identical Ideologs’, Both Nominated To Head Education Departments

Photograph: Getty Images CC

The New Hampshire Executive Council could learn something from our US Senators when it comes to confirming a nominee to head the Department of Education.

Right now the Republicans in Washington D.C are scrambling to try to get their unfit, unqualified Secretary of Education confirmed. Betsy DeVos has no experience as an educator and has spent millions pushing religious charter schools to the Michigan Legislature.

Both of New Hampshire’s Senators have been outspoken in their opposition to Betsy DeVos.

“Throughout her confirmation process, Ms. DeVos has demonstrated a complete lack of experience in, knowledge of and support for public education. Instead, it is clear that she would pursue policies that would undermine public schools, in my home state of New Hampshire and across our nation,” wrote Senator Maggie Hassan in a New York Times Op-Ed.

Last week, after DeVos got roasted during a particularly grueling nomination hearing, Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced that she would oppose the nomination.

“As a parent, a former public school teacher, a governor and a senator, I’ve always cared deeply about providing equal opportunity for our children,” said Shaheen. “I was dismayed by many of Ms. DeVos’s answers during her confirmation hearing. At a very minimum, our next Secretary of Education should be able to commit to enforcing current law that protects and provides opportunities to students with disabilities. Her answer to Senator Hassan’s questioning on this subject was entirely unacceptable.

Throughout her confirmation hearing, she did not express a real commitment to our nation’s public schools which are the best opportunity for kids from all walks of life to get the education they deserve. I cannot in good conscience support her nomination and will also strongly urge my colleagues to oppose her nomination.”

Both of New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators are adamantly opposed to putting an unfit, unqualified person in charge of the Department of Education.   So why is the New Hampshire Executive Council willing to put a completely unfit, unqualified person in charge of the Department of Education in New Hampshire?

The parallels between Former State Rep Frank Edelblut and Betsy DeVos are uncanny.

Edelblut has no experience as an educator and choose to home-school his seven children. He has never served on a local school board or sat on a PTA board. Why would someone, who did not even entrust his own children to the public school system, be the “best qualified” person to run the state’s Department of Education?

Like DeVos, Edelblut has been an outspoken advocate for “school choice” that would allow taxpayer money to be taken from our public schools and given to for-profit religious schools. The school choice voucher law was ruled unconstitutional by the NH State Supreme Court and is currently being repealed by the NH House.

When asked by reporters from the Union Leader, Edelblut dodged the question over whether he would force schools to teach creationism alongside evolution.

“In science, we should study all theories of human origins, all legitimate or substantive theories of human origins … What I would advocate is for good science, and good science should support all theories of human origins, whatever they might be,” stated Edelblut.

During his confirmation hearing Edelblut once again refused to answer the question over teaching creationism claiming the Commissioner of Education does “not have jurisdiction over that.”

Councilors Pappas and Volinsky took the confirmation hearing of Frank Edelblut as an opportunity to show how unfit and unqualified Edelblut is for Commissioner of Education. The Union Leader decried Volinsky’s “performance” during the confirmation hearing calling it “a high school production of A Few Good Men.” Others applauded him for taking his responsibility as an Executive Councilor seriously and not rubber-stamping the Governor’s nominations.

Just as Betsy DeVos is unfit and unqualified for Secretary of Education, Former State Rep Frank Edelblut is also unfit and unqualified for Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire.

Councilors Pappas and Volinsky have already stated they will oppose Edelblut’s nomination leaving the three Republican Executive Councilors left. Will they do what is best for the 180,000+ children currently in the public school system or will they just ignore the facts and rubber-stamp the Governor’s unfit unqualified nominee.

Contact your Executive Councilor today and tell them to put the children of New Hampshire first and oppose the nomination of Frank Edelblut.

The Union Leader Blasts Andru Volinsky While We Applaud Him For Standing Strong Against Edelblut

This morning, the Union Leader took aim at Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky for his actions during the confirmation hearing of Frank Edelblut for NH Commissioner of Education.

Embarrassing: Andru Volinsky off to a bad start:

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky must have thought he was back in the courtroom, or a high school production of “A Few Good Men.”

The Concord Democrat, best known as the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the Claremont Education Lawsuit, treated the council chambers like his personal stage on Tuesday during the public hearing on Frank Edelblut’s nomination to head the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Volinsky tried to make the case that Edelblut was unqualified for the post because he has never worked inside the education bureaucracy. His grandstanding drew the ire of his fellow councilors, as Volinsky threatened to take more than an hour.

I am sorry, but at what point did being elected to the Executive Council, by the people of New Hampshire, mean that you must rubber stamp all of the Governor’s appointments?

Councilor Volinsky showed everyone that he is not going to roll over while the Governor tries to repay his fellow Republican Gubernatorial contender with a position he is completely unqualified to hold.

Utilizing the skills he acquired as a courtroom lawyer, Volinsky shredded Edelblut for having no experience as an educator and no experience as a school administrator.  Edelblut tried to say that his experience home schooling his seven children has provided him the experience needed to be Commissioner of Education.  The two have no connection at all.  It’s like saying, “I taught myself how to fly and have no license but I am now qualified to run the pilot training program for American Airlines.”

Volinsky showed his true commitment to strengthening New Hampshire’s public schools, something he cares deeply about and has fought for as a litigator for many years.  As the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the landmark Claremont Decision, Volinsky fought to ensure that all schools received adequate funding from the State.

Last year, Volinsky won another case against the state over school funding. The state ruled that the ‘Cap On Adequacy Grants To Public Schools was unconstitutional and awarded Seacoast area schools nearly $12 million dollars as a result of the state’s failure to provide mandated funding. 

We applaud, Councilor Andru Volinsky for doing exactly what the people elected him to do and ensuring that the unfit and unqualified Frank Edelblut does not become Commissioner of Education.

1-27-17 AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin: Right To Work, Minimum Wage, And Frank Edelblut

January 27, 2017

Yesterday was a warm, almost Spring-like day, always welcome in January. The gold of the State House dome shone brightly in the sunshine, and I even took the time to sit for a short while on a bench on the State House grounds. Inside, however, the legislative session is just beginning to warm up, with a short session of the House to deal with a few legislative items, following an intensive week of public hearings on proposed bills, as committees work hard to push legislation to the floor for debates and votes.

The most important news of the week was the scheduling of hearings on so-called ‘right to work’ legislation by the House Labor Committee. The hearings on both the Senate (SB 11) and House (HB 520) versions of ‘right to work’ (virtually identical and almost entirely plagiarized from sample legislation created by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC), will be held in Reps Hall on Wednesday, February 8, beginning at 10 am. The hearings are expected to draw hundreds to the Hall, and it is likely the testimony will last for hours. More information on attending and testifying will be forthcoming, but if you can, start planning to join the fun! Battle-lines are being drawn now on this issue, between those who advocate for the working people of New Hampshire and their workplace voice versus those who seek to eradicate any vestiges of worker rights. Our focus will turn to reaching out to the members of the NH House and asking them to oppose so-called Right to Work in any and all forms. Please be sure to visit the AFT-NH website at www.aft-nh.org and utilize the resources on the Defeat Right to Work page.

Interestingly, the House Labor Committee also conducted hearings this week on proposed legislation HB 115 to increase the minimum wage in NH, from its current $7.25/hour up to an eventual $12.00/hour. Any increase would be welcome and long overdue, but those who clamor for so-called ‘right to work’ are also those who oppose any increase in the minimum wage, preferring to redesign the New Hampshire Advantage as one built on low wages and severe limitations on working people’s voice and rights.

In the background, there is also the dangerous proposed bill (HB 438) to ban payroll deduction of union dues by public employers, a strategy employed in Wisconsin to eviscerate public sector unions by making it very difficult for them to collect any member dues. This is actually the most severe threat facing organized labor and all working people in NH. Once unions are gone, can we expect employers to suddenly shower us with generous raises, expanded benefits, and kindly treatment? Remember, when employers exercise unilateral control over the workplace, it is not a recipe for happiness and harmony. Power seeks more power is the old axiom, and absolute power seeks more power absolutely.

Amongst the hundreds of bills now before the various committees of the House and Senate, a few stand out. There are over a half-dozen bills aiming to further reduce pensions or even nearly destroy the NHRS system, breaking every promise made to state, county, municipal, educational, and public safety employees. In a bright note, a bill to require the State to pay 15% of the annual cost of the NHRS survived its first committee test, but faces rough waters in the House. The State used to pay 35% of the costs of the NHRS, but now contributes nothing, a classic example of “downshifting” costs onto local taxpayers, so this bill would at least begin to right that wrong. AFT-NH remains an active partner and participant in the NH Retirement Security Coalition. It will take the combined effort of employee groups, stakeholders and members to protect the NH Retirement System as we know it.

There are also a number of bills to increase funding for charter schools, free them from property taxes, and further siphon off monies for public schools. Once again, there is a bright spot—the proposal to fund full-day kindergarten. The bill has had its public hearing in front of the House Education Committee, which is expected to act on it on February 8. Governor Chris Sununu loudly proclaimed his support for full-day kindergarten during his gubernatorial campaign, so it will be interesting to see if his support translates into Republican votes for it in the House.

In closing, I have two requests of you. First, I hope some of you can attend the January 31 public hearing on the nomination of businessman Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of Education. AFT-NH has already posted a “lesson plan” on Mr. Edelblut, and your testimony, whether in person or in writing, may help sway the Executive Council, which must approve his nomination. You can email the Executive Council members directly at gcweb@nh.gov. Second, please “Wear Red for Public Ed” on January 31. Let’s show our pride in public education! Dress in red, have your colleagues dress in red, take photos and send them to us for posting on-line. Be proud and say it loud, to paraphrase James Brown, and let’s celebrate one of America’s greatest accomplishments and contributions to the world—the idea of free, broad-based public education.

Your outreach to the legislators does make a difference and we are hearing back that you are contacting them. It matters. Please keep contacting them! We know when we act in unity, we can make a real difference.

In Solidarity,

Douglas Ley

AFT-NH, President

National Federation Of Independent Business Endorses Chris Pappas For Executive Council

Manchester – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB-NH), the state’s largest small business advocacy organization, today endorsed Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for re-election. 

“The National Federation of Independent Business and its 1500+ members in New Hampshire are proud to endorse Councilor Chris Pappas for Executive Council in the fourth district,” said NFIB New Hampshire state director, Bruce Berke.

“As a public servant and a local business owner, employing hundreds of Granite State residents, Chris Pappas understands how to find practical solutions that spur economic innovation and job growth across our state. Chris is well-known for working across the aisle to deliver results for the people of New Hampshire — and his business experience, keen grasp of economic policy, and his commitment to hardworking families make him the best prepared candidate to tackle the challenges we face across New Hampshire.”

“I welcome the support of NFIB. As a business owner and an Executive Councilor, I’ve consistently fought for practical, bipartisan solutions that support New Hampshire’s business community and strengthen our economic future,” said Executive Councilor Chris Pappas.

“We’ve made great progress improving the state’s infrastructure, making government more user-friendly, and expanding access to life-saving health care. But there’s still more work to do, and I hope to continue fighting for working families, building a stronger economy, and delivering real results for the people of New Hampshire.”

Chris Pappas is running for re-election to the Executive Council in District 4 on November 8th. To find out more visit chrispappas.org.

Executive Council Candidate Dan Weeks Completes 50-Mile Bike Ride Across District 5 to Reach Young Voters


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Executive Council candidate Dan Weeks (D-Nashua) today rode his bike nearly 50 miles across District 5, stopping at high schools and colleges to raise awareness about clean energy and encourage young people to vote. The ride from Nashua to Rindge included visits to Nashua Community College, Franklin Pierce University, Souhegan HS, Milford MS, and ConVal MS, as well as a tour of the state’s largest solar array in Peterborough with town leaders. 

Weeks addressed hundreds of students and left nonpartisan voter information cards at schools. His opponent, incumbent Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler, was invited to address students alongside Weeks but declined.

“As a father and 12th-generation Granite Stater, I am deeply concerned about the effects of climate change on our agriculture, wildlife, and economy – not to mention the health of our planet for future generations,” Weeks said. “Today’s ride was another step in my journey to address the most important issues confronting our state on the Executive Councilr. Contrary to my opponent, who has voted to block NH towns from implementing cost-saving solar projects, I will ensure New Hampshire moves forward on clean renewable energy and the thousands of good green jobs it can bring.”

Weeks’ Ride for Clean Energy across District 5 was made more challenging by heavy rains – including freezing rain in Jaffrey – and wind gusts up to 40 MPH. During the first 20 miles of the ride when rains were at their heaviest, Weeks also got three flat tires, a chance to get his hands dirty changing tires. Weeks was joined on the ride by a leading NH educator, Bill Gillett, the former Business School Dean at Southern NH University, and by local supporters in towns along the way. 

“At a time when so many Americans are disgusted by the negativity of our national election, I believe it is incumbent on politicians to walk the talk in support of their core beliefs – or ‘ride’ the talk, as the case may be. I believe in growing our economy and diversifying our transportation infrastructure to include commuter rail, expanded bus service, and more bike-friendly roads and bike trails that will encourage more young people ‘get moving’ and improve their health. Traveling across my district by bike, in spite of the weather, was a chance to live that out and reach countless voters in the process.”

The Ride for Clean Energy was in keeping with Weeks’ focus throughout the campaign on high-energy grassroots campaigning as a way to reach disaffected voters, including a 250-mile “Handshake Day” tour of all thirty-three towns in District 5 in a single day, and numerous service projects and charitable running events. It was also in keeping with Weeks’ prior role as Executive Director of Open Democracy and the NH Rebellion, which won national and international attention for a series of below-freezing winter walks across New Hampshire to draw attention to the corrupting influence of big money in politics. 

If elected Executive Councilor, Weeks pledges to continue investing his full energy in reach citizens, through both conventional and unconventional means, to ensure that every voice is heard in the democratic process.

NEA-NH Recommends Beth Roth For Executive Council District 3

Concord, NH – Today, NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of Beth Roth in the race for Executive Council District 3.

“Beth Roth has a long history of supporting public education,” said NEA-NH President Scott McGilvray. “Beth serves as an adjunct professor with the University Systems of New Hampshire and is a UNH alumni. Her background gives her a unique perspective on the wide range of issues facing students and their families, and we know Beth will be a tireless advocate for educators in New Hampshire”

“I am incredibly honored to receive the recommendation of NEA-NH,” said Roth. “I understand how important accessible and quality public education is for working families and communities, and the integral role educators play. As an Executive Councilor, I will support NH teachers and students to make sure all Granite Staters have the opportunity to receive a good education.”

A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.

NEA-New Hampshire is the largest union of public employees in the state. Founded in 1854, the New Hampshire State Teachers Association became one of the “founding ten” state education associations that formed the National Education Association in 1857. Known today as NEA-NH, and comprised of more than 17,000 members, our mission to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public school employees, and to promote lifelong learning, remains true after more than 150 years. Our members are public school employees in all stages of their careers, including classroom teachers and other certified professionals, staff and instructors at public higher education institutions, students preparing for a teaching career, education support personnel and those retired from the profession

Dan Weeks Convenes Local Leaders to Press for Commuter Rail

Executive Council Candidate brings together policy experts and legislative leaders to promote NH Capitol Corridor Rail Project in 2017 

Nashua, NH —Democrat Dan Weeks today will lead a discussion with local political leaders and policy experts at Nashua City Hall at 12pm to outline next steps for bringing commuter rail to southern New Hampshire starting in 2017. The Weeks campaign also released a video highlighting the candidate’s support for commuter rail.

“After years of study, the evidence is in that commuter rail is New Hampshire’s biggest economic development opportunity in a generation. For a modest up-front investment, we can unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in outside investment for the good of our entire state and create thousands of middle-class jobs to grow our economy and keep our young people from leaving,” Weeks said. 

Weeks, the Democratic candidate for Executive Council in District 5, will lead a discussion with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, State Sen. Bette Lasky, former State Sen. Peggy Gilmour, rail engineering expert Michael Izbicki and developer Dan Kelly of the NH Rail Transit Authority, as well as nearly 20 state legislators and legislative candidates, at the Nashua City Hall Auditorium today from 12-2pm. 

“It is time for the state legislature and Executive Council to look to the future by beginning the financial planning, preliminary engineering, and environmental permitting that will allow New Hampshire to leverage federal funds and invest in commuter rail,” said Weeks. 

Weeks called on the New Hampshire state legislature and Executive Council to reinsert over $3 million in available federal funding for the Capitol Corridor rail project back into the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan, and develop public private partnerships to assist with financing the proposed extension of the Lowell line to Nashua, Manchester Airport, and downtown Manchester. The funding was removed by Republican leaders in 2016, against the recommendation of the NH Department of Transportation and contrary to public demand.

“My great-grandfather Sinclair Weeks helped build the Interstate Highway System half a century ago,” Weeks said. “He was a conservative businessman and Eisenhower’s Secretary of Commerce, yet he recognized that public investments in infrastructure and education breed private-sector growth. We need to bring together private enterprise and public investment once again, to strengthen our New Hampshire economy through commuter rail.”

“Studies show that while the Capital Corridor rail project would cost between $5 to $10 million per year, it would serve nearly 700,000 passengers per year, bring $174 million in federal tax dollars back to New Hampshire, create 5,600 permanent jobs, spur approximately $750 million worth of new real estate development and add nearly 2 million square feet in new commercial space by 2030,” said Weeks. “That’s why 74 percent of Granite Staters support commuter rail. That’s why our Chambers of Commerce and businesses large and small support commuter rail—to help spur economic growth and keep talented young workers in New Hampshire.” 

“The single biggest economic development opportunity in a generation is staring us in the face,” Weeks said in a video released by his campaign. “If I’m your Executive Councilor, I will take the right votes to move our state forward on commuter rail.”

Dan Weeks and his plan to fight for commuter rail was endorsed by Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and Hon. Peggy Gilmour, candidate for State Senate District 12.

  • Mayor Jim Donchess: “We need strong allies at the highest levels of state government to succeed – people with sound judgment and a stake in Nashua’s success. That’s why I’m proud to stand with my friend and fellow Nashuan, Dan Weeks, in his campaign for Executive Council against Dave Wheeler. Dan has already fought hard to support the Capitol Rail Corridor by lobbying the state legislature, educating the public, and recruiting fellow citizens to do the same.”
  • Hon. Peggy Gilmour: “Dan Weeks has the vision, integrity, and tenacity that New Hampshire needs on the Executive Council. Dan is entering public service for the right reasons. He cares about people and making our democratic system work for everyone. He listens, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I trust him to put the public’s interest above political party or special interests. Dan supports common sense solutions to bring new jobs to New Hampshire: investing in commuter rail and renewable energy.”

The Nashua Labor Coalition Releases List Of Endorsed Candidates In The 2016 Election

Nashua Labor Coalition LogosToday, the Nashua Labor Coalition, a group of union members and community activists who live or work in the Nashua area, announced their list of endorsed candidates for the 2016 elections.  

Deb Howes, a public school teacher and chair of the Nashua Labor Coalition released the following statement:

“The upcoming election is vitally important to the working people of New Hampshire and will have a significant impact on the City of Nashua. We are proud to announce our list of endorsed candidates that will keep Nashua moving in the right direction.”

“In the race for Governor, the choice could not be clearer.  When FairPoint Communications workers were on strike, Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern took a stand for workers by blocking a proposed state contract with FairPoint until the strike was resolved.  His efforts helped get FairPoint to reopen negotiations which resulted in a fair contract, ending the strike and getting striking workers back to work.”   

“As a teacher, I am particularly impressed by Van Ostern’s plan to expand full-day Kindergarten state-wide so that every child can get the same great start to their education, regardless of which city or town they live in.” 

“Throughout Nashua hard working people are struggling to make ends meet in low wage jobs.  Colin Van Ostern is committed to increasing the minimum wage and making the New Hampshire Health Partnership Program that provides healthcare to 50,000 Granite Staters, permanent.” 

“The Nashua Labor Coalition also endorsed Dan Weeks for Executive Council.  Weeks is a tireless advocate for working people and is committed to bringing rail service to Southern New Hampshire. Expanding rail service to Nashua would boost our local economy and lead to hundreds of new jobs.”   

“In order to move Nashua forward we need to elect State Senators who are putting the needs of working people first.  We recommend reelecting  Senator Bette Lasky and  returning Peggy Gilmour to her rightful seat in the Senate.  Both have a long history of fighting for working people by opposing attacks on collective bargaining, protecting our public employee pension system, and voting against so-called right to work legislation.”

“In the legislative assault against working people our State Representatives are our first line of defense.  We have compiled a list of State Rep candidates who will stand up for working people in the New Hampshire House.” 

“Your right to vote is a cherished gift, not to be taken lightly.  It is important that everyone exercises their right to vote and make your voice heard.”

The Nashua Labor Coalition is a chapter of NH AFL-CIO. It includes Nashua Area Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Unions, as well as community organizations.

Full list of endorsements available here. nashua-candidates-election-2016a

Three NH Labor Organizations Endorse Executive Council District 3 Candidate Beth Roth

 Salem, NH – New Hampshire Executive Council candidate Beth Roth announced today she has received endorsements from the American Federation of Teachers-NH, the State Employees Association/SEIU 1984, and the New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council.

“I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of these three prominent labor organizations,” said Roth. “Together, these organizations represent nearly 20,000 Granite State workers. As Executive Councilor I will always stand up for New Hampshire’s workers and their families.”

Douglas Ley, AFT-NH President said, “Beth Roth will bring valuable experience as a nurse and mental health counselor to the Executive Council, particularly as it deals with the ravages of the opioid crisis here in New Hampshire.  She will be a strong voice for New Hampshire women and working families and will put common sense ahead of partisan ideology.” 

“Few people would be as prepared as Beth Roth is to take on this role, with her background as a nurse, mental health counselor and attorney,” said Joan Hamblet, a member of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 who works for the Department of Health and Human Services as a child support officer. “Her deep involvement in her community shows her commitment to improving the lives of the people around her. We’re confident that on the Executive Council, she’ll work to do just that across District 3, and help promote an economy that works for everyone.”    

“The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is proud to endorse Beth Roth in her race for Executive Council,” said President Steve Burk. “Beth is a tireless advocate for working men and women, and NH’s working families will be better off with Beth on the Executive Council. Beth supports raising wages for New Hampshire workers, ensuring all workers have access to health insurance and pensions, and making sure NH taxpayer dollars stay in the local economy and in the pockets of local workers. As a former union member herself and as a member of a union family, Beth truly understands the struggle working men and women go through every day. As a former nurse, a mental health counselor, attorney and small business owner, Beth has the experience to move NH forward on the Executive Council. We look forward to working with Beth to ensure that NH’s purchasing power is a tool for growing our economy and raising wages.”

Beth Roth is an attorney from Salem and is a Democratic candidate for Executive Council in District 3. For more information about the campaign, visit www.bethroth4nh.net.

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