Hard Working Granite Staters Stand Firmly Behind Senator Dan Feltes

Dan FeltesConcord, N.H. – Following enthusiastic endorsements from numerous organizations who represent thousands of working families across New Hampshire and District 15 , State Senator Dan Feltes released the following statement:

“I’m honored to partner with the working men and women of the Granite State as we all work to build a stronger New Hampshire economy with opportunity for everyone, not just the wealthy or well-connected few. When it comes to quality of life and to growing a business, New Hampshire is second to none, and that’s a big credit to our Granite State workers and families.”

See below for excerpts from workers’ advocates supporting Senator Feltes’ re-election:

“Dan is a fighter, he gets things done, and he gets up each day to stand up for everyday people.” -Tony Manning, President of Concord Officers Local #3195, on the endorsement of the Professional Firefighters of NH.

“Dan understands what it takes for working families across this state to thrive, and has been a strong supporter of public safety for all Granite Staters” -Jim Duckworth, President of Concord Officers Local #1045.

“Dan Feltes has a proven track record of creating and maintaining an environment where all individuals and working families are able to thrive. He has demonstrated that through his work in the senate, he is someone who will always fight to make sure all workers earn a living wage, and will work to create educational opportunities that allow our businesses and communities to thrive,” said Richard Gulla President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984.

“AFT-NH is proud to endorse Dan Feltes for re-election to the NH Senate.  A staunch advocate for working people across New Hampshire, Dan has also promoted equal access to high quality public education and advocated for improved workplace protections and an increased minimum wage.  In sum, he embodies AFT’s commitment to fairness, democracy, and economic opportunity.”  – President Douglas Ley, AFT-NH.                                               

“The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is proud to endorse Dan Feltes in his race for State Senate. Dan is a tireless advocate for working men and women, and New Hampshire’s working families are better off with Dan in the Senate. Dan supports raising wages for New Hampshire workers, ensuring all workers have access to health insurance and pensions, and making sure New Hampshire taxpayer dollars stay in the local economy and in the pockets of local workers. Dan spent his career as a legal aid attorney standing up for people who were left behind by the system, and he has spent the last two years in the Senate as a passionate champion for workers and families.” -President Steve Burk,  New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades.

State Senate Candidate Joe Duarte Questioned Whether a Female Applicant for a Town Committee Could Fulfill Responsibilities Because She is a Mother

In 2007, Duarte participated in a discussion about whether a woman – who was the only candidate for a Zoning Board of Adjustments alternate position – could dedicate the necessary time because she is a mother

Joe Duarte

Joe Duarte

Concord, NH – During a Candia Selectman meeting on April 23, 2007, several selectmen – including Senate District 16 candidate Joe Duarte – debated whether an applicant for a vacant zoning board of adjustments alternate position could dedicate the necessary time to the position because she was the mother of a young child.

The applicant, Amanda Soares, was the only person to apply for the position. While some public officials in the room stated that the applicant’s personal family commitments weren’t up to the board to comment on – and that the question would likely not come up for a male applicant – Duarte persisted:

“Selectman Lazott stated he did not want to stretch her too thin. Selectman Duarte stated he was not on with the ZBA appointment because she was just appointed to the Planning Board as an alternate. Selectman Brennan stated he did not think the appointment was a big deal pointing out that he holds a full-time job and serves on many Boards and Committees. One Selectman noted that Selectman Brennan did not have a family and this requestor does.

Selectman Giffen reiterated that Mrs. Soares was extremely capable and that the ZBA meetings were typically short. Selectman Giffen advised he would not want to turn any volunteers down. Tax Collector Sanders mentioned she was aware that Mrs. Soares no longer had a daily commute to Massachusetts. Road Agent Lewis stated some months the ZBA does not meet. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Amanda Soares to the Zoning Board as an alternate member. Seconded by Selectman Brennan. Chairman Kelley stated he was still deciding because he was not sure about her time considering she has a small child. Selectman Brennan said the Board should let her make her own decisions regarding her time. Selectman Duarte stated attendance for two alternates for the Planning Board last year was poor and both had families. Ingrid Byrd of Depot Road wondered if the Board would be having the family discussion if the applicant was a man … Selectman Giffen mentioned that Mrs. Soares had perfect attendance when she was on the Solid Waste Committee and Conservation Commission. (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

The vote was postponed, but during the same meeting Duarte seconded a motion to approve two men for a town committee with no discussion of whether they have domestic responsibilities at home.

“Selectman Giffen to make recommendations on members for a Town of Candia Website Committee: Selectman Giffen advised public notice was placed in the paper for Public Meeting held on 4/19/07 for the purpose of establishing a website Committee. Selectman Giffen stated only two individuals showed up to volunteer. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Joe Miele and Larry Twitchell as members of the Town’s website committee with one-year terms, term to expire 4/23/08 effective today’s date. Seconded by Selectman Duarte. All in favor. Motion carried.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

In a follow-up meeting about the appointment, Duarte directly questioned the female applicant about her “full agenda” including other time commitments. Soares responded by saying her husband could be home to run the household in the evenings.

Selectman Duarte noted Mrs. Soares had a full agenda and asked her if she had enough time to devote to another Board. Mrs. Soares stated most of the meetings were held in the evenings when her husband is home and able to maintain the household … ZBA Chair Boyd Chivers pointed out that Mrs. Soares was the only person who expressed interest and did not know how the Board could turn her down. Secretary Chabot verified an advertisement was run for the position and Mrs. Soares was the only interested party. Selectman Giffen moved to accept the recommendation of the ZBA for the appointment of Amanda Soares as an alternate member with a term to expire on 10/28/08. Selectmen Lazott and Duarte indicated they were opposed. ZBA Chair Chivers noted the ZBA unanimously recommended her appointment.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, May 14, 2007)

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“It appears Joe Duarte judges women based on his own personal opinion of what her domestic roles and responsibilities should be, rather than letting a woman decide for herself. While other public officials pushed back, Duarte persisted in making this an issue of a woman’s assumed role in a household and at no time raised concerns about the sexist nature of the conversation. In fact, he asserted that it was relevant despite the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to other town committees and the fact that she was the only applicant for the position. Duarte, himself, was serving on multiple committees at the time.”

This is not the only time Duarte has stood in the way of women. In 2014 Duarte voted against the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, an act to ensure women receive equal pay for an equal day’s work; and in 2012 he voted to allow any employer to deny coverage for contraception based on the employer’s own personal beliefs. (SB207, Roll Call #235, 5/14/2014; HB1546, Roll Call #117, 3/7/2012) Duarte also endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Note: Soares later went on to successfully complete 5 years of service on the Candia Board of Selectmen. She resigned in early 2015 when her family moved out of the area. (Candia Selectman, Candia’s Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, 1.12.15)

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

NHGOP State Senate Candidates Double Down On Support For Donald Trump

Concord, N.H. — With an impending visit from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to New Hampshire this weekend, Granite State voters are reminded of their GOP State Senate candidates’ support for the man recently implicated bragging about sexually predatory behavior.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when candidates from the self-appointed party of family values fail to withdraw support from a confirmed sexual predator,” said NHDP spokesperson Zach McNamara.

By all accounts, Bob Giuda (District 2), Ruth Ward (District 8), Senator Kevin Avard (District 12), Joe Duarte (District 16), Bill Gannon (District 23), and Dan Innis (District 24) continue to support Trump after these comments, but also after over a year of offensive and dangerous rhetoric from the GOP hopeful. In fact, Ruth Ward doubled down on her support for Trump just Wednesday at a candidate forum and Senate President Chuck Morse confirmed he will still vote for Trump. Senator Andy Sanborn of District 9 attempted to claim he had never endorsed Trump. This was just a week after he spoke at a New Hampshire rally for Trump, urging voters to cast their ballots for him.

“The amazing thing here is that this is nothing new,” continued McNamara. “Donald Trump has repeatedly disqualified himself from holding office so many times, we’ve all lost count. That candidates for any office, even on the state level, continue to support him reveals a jack of good judgment.

“The bottom line is that we need office-holders who have good judgment and are solutions-oriented, from the presidency on down. This year, Democratic Party candidates offer that in spades, and Granite State voters will put them to work on November 8th.”

AFT-NH Releases 2016 State House And Senate Endorsements

The American Federation of Teachers-NH releases endorsements for candidates for NH State House and NH State Senate.

In announcing the endorsements, AFT-NH President Douglas Ley said that, “After careful review of the candidates’ positions on issues important to our members and working families in NH, we are pleased to endorse these candidates for the NH State Senate [and NH House]. AFT-NH supports those candidates who have put forth a positive agenda for our state and will work every day to advance legislation that matters to NH families. ”

View the full list of AFT-NH endorsed candidates for the NH State House here.

View the full list of AFT-NH endorsed candidates for the NH State Senate here or listed below. 

AFT-NH represents approximately 4,000 teachers, school support staff, city and town employees, police officers, library employees, and higher education faculty.  AFT-NH is a member of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and is the state affiliate for the American Federation of Teachers with more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide, 43 state affiliates, and more than 1.3 million members.

Senator Jeff Woodburn District 1 Senator Bette Lasky District 13
Charlie Chandler District 2 Tammy Siekmann District 14
John White District 3 Senator Dan Feltes District 15
Senator David Watters District 4 Scott McGilvary District 16
Marttha Hennessy District 5 Nancy Fraher District 17
Joe Casey District 6 Senator Donna Soucy District 18
Senator Andrew Hosmer District 7 Kristi St. Laurent District 19
John Garvey District 8 Senator Lou D’Allesandro District 20
Lee Nyquist District 9 Senator Martha Fuller Clark District 21
Jay Kahn District 10 Richard O’Shaugnessy District 22
Roger Tilton District 11 Alexis Simpson District 23
Peggy Gilmour District 12 Tom Sherman District 24

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

NH Building and Construction Trades Endorse Senator Watters

Image from 2014 of Senator David Watters (D-Dover)

Image from 2014 of Senator David Watters (D-Dover)

Today New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades President Steve Burk announced the labor federation’s endorsement of Senator David Watters. Senator Watters is currently the only card-carrying member of a union in the New Hampshire State Senate, and stands to be the senior member of the important Senate Transportation Committee, if reelected.

“The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is proud to endorse David Watters in his race for State Senate,” said President Burk. “David is a tireless advocate for working men and women, and New Hampshire’s working families are better off with David in the Senate. David supports raising wages for New Hampshire workers, ensuring all workers have access to health insurance and pensions, and making sure New Hampshire taxpayer dollars stay in the local economy and in the pockets of local workers. David has demonstrated his dedication to working men and women countless times in the Senate, and Granite State workers have no greater ally in the legislature. We look forward to working with David to pass a Prevailing Wage law – a bill David has sponsored in previous sessions – to protect New Hampshire construction workers and taxpayers, and to working together to grow our economy and create more good local jobs.”

The New Hampshire Building Trades is an organization of 16 New Hampshire labor unions, representing more than 2,000 New Hampshire workers in the construction industry.

“I am delighted for the support of my sisters and brothers in the Building and Construction Trades,” said Senator Watters. “Every worker deserves a safe worksite, a stable paycheck, and a secure retirement. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle next session to build bridges. Keeping our skilled workers busy will continue to be one of my top priorities next session.”

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire Back Long Time Labor Leader Joe Casey for State Senate

Joe Casey

Joe Casey

CONCORD, NH – The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) announce today their endorsement of Joe Casey (D – Rochester) in his bid to represent State Senate District 6 which includes the towns of Alton, Barnstead, Farmington, Gilmanton, New Durham and the city of Rochester.

“Joe has been tried and tested in challenging the status quo on behalf of New Hampshire’s working families,” said David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Joe is committed to establishing coordinated leadership in the fight against the opioid epidemic. We believe that Joe is the right choice in this election to fight for working families, and better the lives of all Granite Staters.”

“The Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire are some of the most important, selfless members of every community,” states Casey. “They put their lives on the line for all of us when duty calls, and should have representation in Concord that secures them the resources necessary to effectively and efficiently battle the opioid epidemic we continue to face in New Hampshire.”

Casey continued, “We owe these brave men and women an enormous debt of gratitude, and I could not be more honored to accept their endorsement in my race for State Senate District 6.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

In Party Line Vote, Senate Sustains Veto Of SB 336, The Repeal Of Licensing For Concealed Carry

Granite State Progress Applauds NH State Senate for Sustaining Governor’s Veto of SB 336, Which Would Have Allowed Dangerous People to Legally Carry Hidden, Loaded Guns

In party-line vote, Democrats stand with NH Association of Chiefs of Police, public safety advocates to keep 93 year old New Hampshire law in place

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire State Senate voted on party lines today to sustain Governor Maggie Hassan’s veto of SB 336, which sought to repeal a 93 year old concealed carry licensing law that requires an individual to be a suitable person to carry a hidden, loaded handgun in New Hampshire. Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“SB 336 was another attempt by the gun lobby to allow anyone in New Hampshire to legally carry a hidden, loaded handgun. Requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon has worked well for New Hampshire for more than 90 years. These licenses are very easy and quick to obtain and do not place an unreasonable burden on law abiding citizens. SB 336 was a radical piece of legislation that would have jeopardized public safety. New Hampshire does not require people to have a specific reason to conceal carry but it does require that the applicant be a suitable person. This common sense law allows local police departments to deny a license when there is reason to believe a person is a danger to themselves or others. For example, if an individual in a community is a known domestic abuser but has yet to be indicted, or has a hot temper and a habit of getting into bar fights, New Hampshire thankfully provides our local police departments with the ability to reject their concealed carry application. New Hampshire is one of more than 40 states that currently require a license to carry concealed weapons and we should not weaken our public safety laws now.”

After the vote, Governor Maggie Hassan released the following:

“New Hampshire’s current concealed carry law – which former Republican Governor Mel Thomson called a ‘sensible handgun law’ – has worked well for nearly a century, safeguarding the Second Amendment rights of our citizens while helping to keep the Granite State one of the safest states in the nation. I shared the same public safety concerns that law enforcement, public safety officials and citizens had about Senate Bill 336, which would have undermined our efforts to maintain public safety by removing the protections that the permitting process offers to help ensure that potentially dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry hidden weapons. As I always have, I continue to support the Second Amendment and the right of Americans to responsibly own guns for personal safety, hunting, and recreation, and I will continue working with law enforcement, public safety officials and citizens across New Hampshire to ensure that we continue balancing the rights of gun owners with the rights of all New Hampshire citizens to be safe in their communities.”

After the vote, Sen. David Watters (D-Dover) released the following comments: 

“New Hampshire is continually rated one of the safest states in the nation and there is no overriding reason to make changes to our concealed carry law that has served us well for close to a century. As a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights, I know that our current permitting process provides an important oversight role to our local law enforcement, an appeal process, and a common sense way to ensure that potentially dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry hidden weapons.” 

“I am proud that the Senate sustained the Governor’s veto and I am proud to stand with our law enforcement, public safety officials, and citizens across New Hampshire who are concerned with any adverse effects this legislation may have caused and maintained our common sense concealed carry law so that we can ensure that New Hampshire remains one of the safest states in the nation.”

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police testified against SB 336, and in 2004 Senate President Chuck Morse and several Republicans voted against a similar repeal bill. This is the third time the Governor has vetoed this legislation.  A copy of Granite State Progress testimony in opposition to SB 336 is available by request, along with more information about how concealed carry laws work.

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Scott McGilvray for State Senate



MANCHESTER, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Scott McGilvray to represent State Senate District 16 in Concord, representing the towns of Bow, Dunbarton, Hooksett, Candia and the City of Manchester’s Wards 1, 2 and 12.

“Scott will bring the type of leadership to Concord that New Hampshire needs,” said David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Scott is committed to working across party lines to address the problems of working families and supporting coordinated leadership in the opioid epidemic. We believe that Scott is the right choice in this election and will fight to better the lives of all Granite Staters.”

“Scott stands up for working families every day, as a former teacher in Manchester’s public schools to now representing teachers across the state. We are proud to put our weight behind a tried and tested voice for working families,” stated Jeff Duval, President of Manchester Local #856.

“Our state is at a turning point,” said McGilvray. “Firefighters and paramedics are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and I intend to listen to their expertise and bring action as we take this problem head-on in Concord. I am proud to receive the endorsement and support of the PFFNH, and look forward to building a stronger, safer New Hampshire by their side.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

Legislative Committee Once Again Fails To Act On ‘Gateway To Work’ Proposal

Sen. Lou D’Allesandro Statement on Fiscal Committee’s Failure to Strengthen NH’s Workforce

CONCORD- Today, the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee again failed to act on Governor Hassan’s Gateway to Work proposal, which would have strengthened workforce development in our state. For the second straight month, an attempt to remove the proposal from the table was defeated by the Republican majority on the Fiscal Committee. After the vote, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, member of the Fiscal Committee and strong proponent of the Gateway to Work proposal, released the following statement: 

“The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the leading voice for our state’s businesses community, has highly recommended moving forward with the Gateway to Work program so that they have the trained workers they need to fill open positions and grow their businesses.” 

“By refusing to act on the Gateway to Work program, the legislature is sticking their thumb in the eye of New Hampshire’s business community. I am frustrated and disappointed that the Republican majority on the Joint Fiscal Committee continues to play politics with our state’s economy.”

“Finding skilled workers who are able to take jobs when they are offered has been identified by our businesses as the most significant challenge they face. And with our improving economy and New Hampshire’s low unemployment rate, our businesses need more high-skilled workers now.” 

“Gateway to Work will go a long way toward strengthening our workforce and our entire economy, which is why I have supported this program since Governor Hassan announced it back in February. By delaying action on this program until the next legislative session, it means we have left our constituents behind and ignored our businesses for well over a year.” 

“We should be doing all we can to help move more Granite Staters off public assistance and into the workforce and to provide our businesses with skilled workers they need to thrive. Unfortunately, today’s failure to act by the Fiscal Committee moves us in the opposite direction.”

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