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Over 5,000 Attend NH Women’s Day of Action And Unity in Concord 

Thousands Rally in Concord to Show Their Support for Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights

An outpouring of support in the Granite State for Planned Parenthood health services.

CONCORD, NH—More than five thousand gathered in Concord today to show their support for women’s health at the New Hampshire Women’s Day of Action and Unity. The rally was a solidarity event with the Women’s March on Washington DC. Those in attendance stood together to listen to speakers and to support the progress made for human rights, workers’ rights, LGBTQ rights, economic justice, environmental justice, racial justice, and reproductive justice. Rally goers were eager to voice their support for women’s health, equity, and justice in an era of uncertainty for Planned Parenthood and abortion access.

After the rally, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund hosted an activist organizing session which had over 150 participants gaining resources and tools to bring back to their local communities.

Statement from Kayla Montgomery, Director of Advocacy and Organizing for Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:

“It’s inspiring to see so many New Hampshire women and Planned Parenthood Action Fund members out today to rally for our collective rights- like women’s health and access to safe and legal abortion. Today was a moment to come together to protect and advance the progress we’ve made. We are honored to be a part of today’s rally, because we know that New Hampshire has strong bipartisan tradition of supporting women’s health, and we refuse to let our rights be rolled back.”

Statement from Ilyssa Sherman, speaker at rally:

“If Planned Parenthood is defunded, millions of women like me will lose access to this critical provider. We can’t let this happen. We need to step up, speak out, and act now to save our health care. Because I have a preexisting condition, if the Affordable Care Act is repealed I may be blocked from health insurance policies in the future.”

Today’s rally marked one event to coincide with the #IStandWithPlannedParenthood national grassroots campaign, which includes 300 events in 47 states across the country. Speaker Ryan recently pledged to defund Planned Parenthood health services – a measure that would leave thousands of Granite Staters without care. The measure would prohibit the health care provider from receiving reimbursement for services, like cancer screenings and birth control, provided to patients insured by federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare. In effect, this blocks patients from accessing reproductive health care. Federal insurance programs do not cover abortion.

PPNHAF also plans to host three open mic “story slams” in coffee shops in Manchester, Portsmouth and Keene where women, men, and families can share the important role Planned Parenthood and reproductive health care access has played in their lives. The events will take place on January 26th and 27th at Book & Bar in Portsmouth on Thursday January 26th from 7-9pm, Brewbakers in Keene on Friday January 27th from 6-8pm and Studio 550 in Manchester on Friday January 27th from 7-9pm.


Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

Republicans In NH Senate Vote To Make NH Less Safe, Repeal 94 Year Old Conceal Carry Permit Law

The New Hampshire State Senate voted on party lines today to pass SB 12, which seeks to repeal a 94 year old concealed carry licensing law that helps prevent dangerous people from being able to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons. 

The bill was opposed by gun violence protection groups as well as many of New Hampshire’s law enforcement.  The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police testified against a similar piece of legislation last session, and in 2004 Senate President Chuck Morse and several Republicans voted against a similar repeal bill.

“SB 12 is 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 12 is a radical piece of legislation that will jeopardize public safety. The common sense law we have in place now 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. With this vote, New Hampshire is opening the door to allow dangerous individuals with a track record of violence to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. 

Sen. Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) released the following statement after passage of the bill: 

“For decades, New Hampshire’s concealed carry permitting law has effectively safeguarded our Second Amendment rights while helping to keep New Hampshire one of the safest states in the nation. Repeal of the common sense measures outlined in this law will make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs and needlessly put the people of New Hampshire at higher risk,” said Senator Lasky, Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Democrats offered two amendments to address flaws in SB 12. Senator David Watters (D-Dover) introduced an amendment that would clarify the language of the bill to allow Fish and Game to do their jobs to monitor poaching in the state. Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) introduced an amendment to require background checks for gun owners applying for concealed carry permits. Both amendments were defeated along party lines.

“Given the ramifications of this legislation, I’m concerned that Governor Sununu and Senate Republicans are rushing this legislation so quickly through the legislature and I’m disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote.”

Celebration of Doris Granny D Haddock’s Birth 107 Years Ago

Dublin, NH: Open Democracy/New Hampshire Rebellion and PACE: Promoting Active Civic Engagement announce that on January 24, 2017 they will hold a celebration of Doris Granny D Haddock’s birthday 107 years ago. Granny D gained fame and admiration by walking across the United States in her 90th year in support of  campaign finance reform. Subsequently she travelled the country to help countless citizens to register to vote. For her activism she received many awards in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

“In the present turbulent times it helps to take a deep breath and remind ourselves of an intrepid citizen like Doris Haddock, who was willing to use her ‘power of one’ in the fight for the health of our democracy”, said Regina Bringolf, co-chair of Open Democracy.

The celebration on January 24 will be held at 12 noon at the Dublin Community Center, 1123 Main Street in Dublin, NH.  The public is cordially invited. There will be a potluck luncheon (please bring a small dish to share) and remembrances of Granny D’s walks and others, organized by the NH Rebellion, that her friends and supporters have undertaken in her memory. RSVP requested to Doreen@opendemocracy.me, or call 603-715-8197.

Statewide Homelessness Is Down In New Hampshire, But For How Long?

A new report shows that progress has been made to reduce the homeless population in New Hampshire but systemic problems could lead to future increases.

The NH Coalition to End Homelessness just released their fifth annual report on the State of Homelessness in New Hampshire. The report show some good news in the fight to eliminate homelessness but the report also shows some alarming trends the could undue all of the gains made over the past few years.

“2016 saw significant reductions in our overall homeless numbers. Data among specific subpopulations of the homeless also indicates that important progress is being made,” wrote Cathy Kuhn Ph.D, Director of The NH Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH). “The number of individuals living unsheltered continued to drop over the past year and homelessness among veterans and among the chronically homeless also declined.”

The report shows that programs like the NH Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (NHICH) are making real progress in combating homelessness.

“Under the leadership of the NHICH, the state has made significant progress towards creating a Supportive Housing Services Benefit for Medicaid beneficiaries who are experiencing homelessness. Research consistently shows that combining affordable housing with tenancy support services and care coordination can help those with the greatest challenges to live with stability and wellness,” Kuhn added.

With a goal of completely eliminating homelessness in New Hampshire, NHCEH reported a significant drop in homelessness in 2016.  Overall homelessness in New Hampshire dropped by 19% from 2014 numbers with Merrimack County seeing the largest drop at 56%.

This is great news, especially when added with the fact that “Chronic Homelessness,” that is people who have been continually homeless for over a year, fell by 17%.

The state also saw a 45% decrease in “unsheltered homelessness.”  This is a 63% drop from 2014 numbers. “Providing appropriate interventions as quickly as possible for people who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly for those who are newly homeless, is critical to preventing the development of additional complications associated with long-term, chronic homelessness,” NHCEH stated.

NHCEH also found that nearly half (41%) of the overall homeless population in New Hampshire are “persons in families.”  The good news is that family homelessness is also down by 29% in 2016.  221 homeless persons in families were able to move off of the streets and into stable housing this year.

The last bit of good news is that veteran homelessness in New Hampshire fell by 19% in 2016 and is down over 32% since 2014.  This dramatic drop over the last few years comes from a combination of state and federal assistance to end “functional homelessness” for veterans.

“In New Hampshire, significant efforts have been made to reach functional zero among the state homeless veteran population. With substantial support from the Governor’s Office, numerous agencies serving veterans across the state are working together to identify and immediately house any veteran who is either unsheltered or residing in an emergency shelter or transitional living program. These efforts are reflected in the continual declines that the state has seen in its homeless veteran population,” reported NHCEMH.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN

Overall the report shows astounding results in lowering the homeless population in New Hampshire, the report also shows some serious issues that need to be address that if unchanged could lead in an increase in homelessness.

It is a fact that New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in that country, sitting at 2.7%.  Most counties in New Hampshire saw more than a 30% decrease in unemployment over the last two years.  This means that more people are working which should be good news in the fight to end homelessness but the NHCEH report highlighted some of New Hampshire’s unique problems.

“While low unemployment rates are being enjoyed across all New Hampshire counties, it’s important to note that even when working full time, many low income people are still unable to attain stable housing due to low wages and/or temporary and irregular work opportunities. One recent analysis reports that someone working full time at minimum wage would need to work 91 hours per week in order to afford a one bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent in New Hampshire.”

Gaining employment does not always lead to prosperity.  NHCEH notes that the poverty rate in New Hampshire, currently 8.9%, has grown by 6% a year since 2014. “Given the link between homelessness and poverty, the steady increase in the state has the potential to slow recent decreases in the number of homeless individuals and families,” stated NHCEMH.

To make matters worse wages have not kept up with the increased cost of housing.  Statewide wages have increased by 3.7% but have failed to keep up with the 8.8% increase in median rental costs.

Below is the breakdown of  the “median gross rent” for a 2-bedroom apartment by county in NH.  As you can see the median cost for a 2-bedroom apartment in Rockingham and Hillsborough are $1,321 and $1,278 a month, respectively.

median-rental-costs-nh-2016

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition the median “fair market rent” for a 1-bedroom apartment in New Hampshire is $861 a month. Remember, a full time (40 hour) minimum wage worker ($7.25 per hour) earns $290 a week or $1,160 a month. That means that 74% of their monthly paycheck would go to paying for housing alone and does not include food, heat, electricity, transportation or any other expenses.  The cost for a 2-bedroom apartment it ranges from 68% of their monthly paycheck in Coos County to 113% in Rockingham County.

To keep their housing costs below the 33% guideline, the National Low Income Housing Coalition also estimates that a worker would need an hourly wage of $16.55  for a 1-bedroom apartment and $21.09 for a 2-bedroom apartment. To meet the 33% guideline a minimum wage worker would need to work 91 hours a week for a 1-bedroom and 116 hours a week for a 2-bedroom apartment.

The New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness also highlighted another problem plaguing New Hampshire: a lack of affordable housing.  Nearly 30% of Granite Staters are renting and that means there is a very low “vacancy rate.” The vacancy rate is defined as “the percentage of available rental units in a given area.”  Statewide the vacancy rate is 1.5%, which leads many to struggle to find stable and affordable housing.

vacancy-rates

“These low vacancy rates further exacerbate the scarcity of affordable housing in these populous regions of the state, making it even more difficult for low income renters to find stable housing. The combined impact of rising rents and declining vacancy rates often leads many individuals and families to still live in temporary rooming houses or motels, often thought of as the housing of last resort by many advocates,” noted NHCEH. “These living environments can be particularly difficult for children and families who are forced to relinquish their privacy and to live in very cramped and sometimes unsafe quarters in order to maintain some semblance of shelter.”

These three factors (stagnant wages, high rent increases, and low vacancy rates) should be a warning sign to everyone that New Hampshire is teetering on the very edge of dramatic increase in the homeless population.  Many Granite Staters a struggling to hold on. In a 2013 survey, 76% of people national, said they are living paycheck-to-paycheck and more than 47% said they do not even have enough to cover a $400 emergency expense.

All it would take for many of these people is one incident, one missed paycheck to be in real danger of ending up homeless. If our goal is to completely eliminate homelessness, then we need to start by increasing wages, slowing the increasing cost of renting, and building more affordable housing across the state.

Dr. Kuhn summed it up perfect by saying:

“Once again, I am so proud of the excellent work being done by service providers, volunteers, advocates, policy makers, community leaders, and concerned citizens to end homelessness in our state. It is clear that our work is making an impact! Despite our progress, however, there are still far too many men, women and children who are homeless in New Hampshire. Over the next year, it will be important that we continue our commitment to permanently and immediately house anyone who falls into homelessness in New Hampshire. For our part, the Coalition remains steadfast in our belief that, together, we can and will end homelessness in New Hampshire, I invite you to join us as we work towards this achievable goal.”


Until we eliminate homelessness many find refuge in community shelters. These shelters are always in need of donations and here is a quick list of things, aside from food, your local shelter could use.

A list from the Homeless Shelter Directory:

Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
Dental Floss
Bandaids
Underwear
Neosporin
Cortisone Cream
Cotton Swabs
Listerine
Deodorant
Razors
Nail Clippers
Baby Wipes
Thick Socks
Batteries
Feminine hygiene products
Anti-diarrhea tablets

(I would also add linens, pillows, and blankets)

The NH Charitable Foundation also released their list of 12 Things Food Pantries Wish They Had…But Might Not Ask For as a guide for donations.

Human Rights Campaign Highlights NH LGBTQ Protections, Laws and Legislative Proposals in New National Report

HRC’s State Equality Index finds that, despite historic federal progress, anti-LGBTQ state bills seek to undermine rights and target vulnerable populations, such as transgender youth 

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation, today released its third annual national report assessing the status of state legislation affecting LGBTQ equality across America, including in New Hampshire.

HRC’s State Equality Index reveals that in many states opponents of equality are ramping up efforts to sanction discrimination against LGBTQ people by proposing state-level laws that would undermine existing protections, erode marital rights of legally-joined same-sex couples, target transgender people — including youth — and limit the ability of cities and towns to pass their own inclusive laws.

New Hampshire falls into the category, “Building Equality.” New Hampshire is one of 30 states in the country that lack explicit state-level workplace protections for all LGBTQ employees.

“State governments have a clear choice between sowing the seeds of division and discrimination or building an economy that works for everyone by fostering fairness and inclusion,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, “Unfortunately, too many lawmakers have decided to target LGBTQ people for state-sanctioned discrimination and to interfere with local protections for workers, customers, and residents. Now more than ever, it is crucial that legislators across the country stand on the right side of history and ensure full equality for all their citizens – nothing more and nothing less.”

“Last year our community faced a barrage of attacks on our freedoms, but we are more united and better prepared than ever to continue our momentum toward equality for all,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation Institute. “This report serves as an important tool for advocates to keep pushing forward. We’re not going to stop until all LGBTQ people and their families are able to reach their full potential, free from discrimination, no matter what state they live in.”

While more than 111 million people live in states where LGBTQ people lack clear state-level protections against discrimination in the workplace, the SEI points to a few encouraging signs — particularly in areas related to LGBTQ youth, health and safety and protections for the transgender community. States like Vermont and New York took steps to protect LGBTQ youth by banning conversion therapy. Massachusetts expanded the state’s non-discrimination law to include gender identity in public accommodations.  Hawaii passed a law to make it easier for transgender residents to update their name and gender marker on a birth certificate or driver’s license. Five states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan and Pennsylvania banned transgender exclusions in health care insurance, a sizable increase from 2015.

The SEI assesses statewide LGBTQ-related legislation and policies, good and bad, in five areas: parenting laws and policies; non-discrimination laws and policies; hate crimes laws; youth-related laws and policies; and health and safety laws and policies. Based on that review, the SEI assigns states to one of four distinct categories.

Nine states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality

California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington

These states and the nation’s capital have robust LGBTQ non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing and public accommodations, as well as protections in the areas of credit, insurance and jury selection. Most allow transgender people to change official documents to reflect their gender identity, and almost all bar private insurers from banning transition-related healthcare. LGBTQ youth are protected by anti-bullying laws, as well as innovative measures in some states that address conversion therapy, inclusive juvenile justice policies, homelessness and sexual health education.

Seven states are in the category “Solidifying Equality

Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey and Rhode Island

These states have non-discrimination protections and are considered high-performing, but have not yet adopted innovative equality measures. Many of these states allow transgender individuals to change gender markers on official documents and more than half do not allow second-parent adoption. These states have relatively robust anti-bullying laws, but bad laws begin to crop up in this category.

Six states are in the category “Building Equality

Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah and Wisconsin

These states have taken steps toward more robust LGBTQ equality, including passing basic non-discrimination and hate crimes laws. They allow gender markers to be changed on official documents, but have few protections guaranteeing access to transgender health care. Some lack explicit gender identity protections and several lack comprehensive anti-bullying laws. Bad laws are more common, so advocates are working to stop bills that could undermine LGBTQ equality and pass more comprehensive non-discrimination laws.

Twenty-eight states are in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming

Most of these states, including Arizona, North Carolina, South Dakota and Florida, have many laws that undermine LGBTQ equality, from those that criminalize HIV and sodomy, to measures allowing religious-based discrimination against LGBTQ people. None have non-discrimination laws that explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity protections; few have hate crime laws with those protections. LGBTQ advocates largely work to defeat bad bills and pass municipal protections for LGBTQ people.

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every state, as well as a comprehensive review of 2016 state legislation, is available online at www.hrc.org/sei

Trump Nominates Climate Denier And Anti-EPA Advocate To Lead The EPA

Image by Gromit702 CC

Image by Gromit702 CC

Last week, President Elect Trump continued his Cabinet appointments with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Scott Pruitt running the EPA is like the fox guarding the hen house,” League of Conservation Voters’ president Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “Time and again, he has fought to pad the profits of Big Polluters at the expense of public health. He’s sued the EPA over commonsense safeguards like the Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan and sent letters to federal officials that were written almost entirely by the oil and gas industry. And like fellow Oklahoman senator Inhofe, Pruitt is an outright climate denier who has ignored settled science for political points.”

During his time as Attorney General, Pruitt has attacked the EPA and challenged them directly in court on behalf of the oil and gas industry.

“During the campaign, Mr. Trump regularly threatened to dismantle the EPA and roll back many of the gains made to reduce Americans’ exposures to industrial pollution, and with Pruitt, the president-elect would make good on those threats,” said Ken Cook, the head of the Environmental Working Group, in a statement.

“We need an Environmental Protection Agency Administrator who protects our environmental laws, is guided by science when crafting and implementing policy, puts public health ahead of dirty energy special interests, and has the qualifications necessary to safeguard the American public from climate change,” said Environment America’s Executive Director, Margie Alt. “President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt meets none of those criteria.” 

“Scott Pruitt is a main party to several lawsuits against the very agency he would be in charge of.  He denies the science of climate change and he has numerous close ties to polluters.  Americans need an EPA administrator who will fight to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the planet we love. Scott Pruitt fails on all these accounts,” Alt added. 

“The EPA has the enormous responsibility of protecting our environment and keeping Americans safe and healthy,” said Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz in a statement. “Its administrator should share those goals, but Scott Pruitt’s record has shown us that he does not. While the EPA is tasked with protecting our people and our environment from the impacts of climate change, he denies the science behind it. And while the agency has worked to keep our air and water clean and safe, Scott Pruitt has worked to undermine the very rules that protect those resources.”

“Climate change is a direct threat to New Hampshire’s environment, economy and way of life,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “As New Hampshire continues to combat carbon emissions and provide clean, safe drinking water, we need a reliable partner in the EPA to achieve these goals. Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s environmental record is extremely concerning and his appointment would signal a capitulation to polluters. We owe it to future generations to build on the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and I will not support any nominee that is intent on rolling back this progress.”

As one of nine Northeastern states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), New Hampshire has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector by nearly 50 percent since 2008. New Hampshire is on track to meet the Clean Power Plan’s carbon reduction goals 10 years ahead of schedule. RGGI was the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The threat of global warming is real.  A recently released report by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, estimates that the New Hampshire Seacoast will experience sea-level rise due to climate change of between a half-foot and two feet by 2050. By 2100, the report estimates sea-level rise of one-and-a-half feet to over 6 feet.

We need a EPA Administrator who will directly address the growing problem of Climate Change before it is too late.  Unfortunately Trump has nominated a climate-denier who rejects the 97% of climate scientist who agree that Climate Change is real and that we have sped up the process.

New Report Highlights 17 Bad Actors Waging Aggressive Anti-Solar Campaigns

Manchester, NH – With solar power on the rise around the country, a national network fossil fuel and utility-backed organizations have joined forces to put the brakes on this fast growing pollution-free energy resource.  Trade groups and think tanks backed by deep pocketed anti-clean energy ideologues and fossil interests are bankrolling campaigns, promoting model legislation and media campaigns to provide cover for anti-solar campaigns across the country, said a new report released today by Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center. 

“Pollution-free solar energy represents New Hampshire’s most abundant energy resource,” said Michelle McCarthy, Campaign Organizer with Environment New Hampshire.  “For our climate and our environment, we can’t allow special interest forces in the fossil fuel industry to pull the plug on the bright potential of solar power.”  

The report, Blocking the Sun, documents 17 fossil fuel backed groups and electric utilities running some of the most aggressive campaigns to slow the growth of solar energy in 12 states. 

Of the findings, the report documents how the Koch brothers have provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits; the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provides utility and fossil fuel interests with access to state legislatures, and its anti-net metering policy resolution has inspired legislation in a set of states; utilities in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, West Virginia, California and Illinois have undertaken extensive campaigns to revoke renewable energy policy or impose new charges on their solar customers.

“Solar has the chance to become a leading technology,” said Rachel Cross of Frontier Group, report co-author. “It’s ready, it’s more accessible every year, and it’s a solution for a world that needs to quit burning carbon. Allowing electric companies and fossil fuel interests to stand in the way of that kind of progress defies common sense.”

In mid-2016, there were at least 84 ongoing policy actions in U.S. states that could impact the growth of solar energy, including through limitations to net metering or new charges to make rooftop solar power less economically viable.  

“In New Hampshire, we were fortunate to have a bipartisan group of legislators who realized the very real threat to the future of non-polluting solar energy by hitting the so called ‘cap’ allocated to our four electric utilities,” said. Representative Bob Backus of Manchester. “Legislation resulted which while, unfortunately not eliminating the cap entirely, increased it to permit the NH PUC to undertake a proceeding, now underway, to set new net metering rates.”

The report urges state decision makers to recognize and resist utility and fossil fuel industry influence that seeks to undermine solar energy and to instead encourage the growth of solar.

“Solar energy is important to my family by assuring that we leave a healthier planet for our grandchildren by drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels one house at a time,” said Lester Cuff, a solar homeowner in Stratham, NH. “Since installing solar panels in 2012, we have been a residential power plant. The panels have generated to date, 36.3 megawatt hours, which is equivalent to lighting the Eiffel Tower for 15 nights. Our carbon offset to date is equivalent to planting 656 trees. Our family and the State of New Hampshire will receive accumulative economic and environmental benefits for at least 25 years.” 

“Solar is finally catching on and providing tremendous benefits, reducing pollution, saving consumers and businesses money, and revitalizing local economies,” said McCarthy. “Now, more than ever, states must lead the charge on a transition to solar power and renewable energy. ” 

Read the full report here.

Become A Progressive Advocate With NH New Leaders Council

new-leaders-councilNH New Leaders Council looks to the Granite State to develop the next generation of progressive advocates

November 10, 2016, Concord, NH – New Leaders Council NH was founded in 2015 to help expand and deepen the pipeline of progressive entrepreneurs and advocates in New Hampshire.  We are currently recruiting interested individuals to apply for their second institute in New Hampshire.  Dates and information about the 2017 Institute may be found online.

NLC’s flagship program is the Institute, a rigorous 5-month training program that focuses on entrepreneurship, advocacy, organizing, and fundraising. NLC seeks out the top tier of emerging progressive leaders from around the country for the Institute, building a community of vetted, trained progressive leaders with the skills and support system to help to change the way politics is done and foster a more equitable, just America.  

Because of NLC’s commitment to recruiting and training outside of traditional power structures, the NLC Institute is FREE for all Fellows.

New Leaders Council is a national  501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2006 to recruit, train and promote the next generation of progressive leaders. New Hampshire’s chapter was founded in 2015 and has already graduated over 30 fellows.  

Interested candidates should apply  by November 14, 2016 online at www.newleaderscouncil.org/apply_to_be_a_2017_nlc_fellow 

New Poll Shows Gun Violence Prevention is Key Issue for NH Voters; Most State House Candidates Have a Record on Background Checks

On Friday, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released new polling, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), of voters in Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In the six battleground states, voters across the aisle expressed strong support for commonsense gun safety legislation, finding that candidates who endorse these policies are set to perform well on Election Day.

nh-ayotte-background-checks-pollIn New Hampshire, 42% of likely voters were LESS likely to vote for Kelly Ayotte because of her opposition to comprehensive background checks on gun sales. Only 14% were more likely to vote for Ayotte because of her position. Additionally, the poll found strong support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike for a number of gun violence prevention policies, and also that voters are more likely to vote for state legislators who support expanded background checks.

Of the 705 State House candidates on the ballot tomorrow, 307 of them already have a vote record on background checks. Granite State Progress compiled those votes from the past two legislative sessions and matched them with this year’s State House candidate list — take a look and see whether your State House candidates side with the gun lobby like U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, or with the overwhelming majority of Granite Staters who support common sense gun violence prevention.

GSP Brief: NH State House Candidates on Background Checks, 2016

GSP Brief: NH State House Candidates on Background Checks, 2016

 

 

Former Congresswoman Giffords’ “Vocal Majority” Bus Tour Makes Stop In Portsmouth

Giffords’ Calls on Granite Staters to Vote to Stop Gun Violence in November

Portsmouth Event Is 18th Stop in Giffords’ 14-State, 42-Day National Bus Tour Urging Americans to Be Gun Violence Prevention Voters This Election

PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Granite State leaders joined former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords today in Portsmouth as her 42-state, 14-day national “Vocal Majority” bus tour stopped in New Hampshire. The tour was in town to urge Granite Staters to vote to help stop gun violence this election by supporting Governor Maggie Hassan for the United States Senate and Hillary Clinton for President; the two candidates who have a record of standing up to the gun lobby and a commitment to taking responsible steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.

Congresswoman Giffords’ stop in New Hampshire coincided with the release of a new ARS-commissioned Public Policy Polling survey showing that nine out of ten Granite Staters say that making it harder for criminals to get guns is an important issue – comparable to the level of support by New Hampshire voters who say other top priority issues like creating jobs (96%) or improving education (95%) are important. Results also show that a plurality of undecided voters (42%) would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports strengthening gun laws. Undecided voters overwhelmingly (85%) say that it’s important to make it harder for criminals to get guns, while a clear majority (71%) support background checks on all gun sales and prohibiting individuals on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List from buying guns (77%).

The event in Portsmouth was the 18th stop in the 42-day Vocal Majority Tour, which Congresswoman Giffords and her husband, the Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly Captain Kelly, kicked off on September 27th in Orlando, Florida, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history, the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead.

The Vocal Majority Tour is being organized and hosted by Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly in 2013, just weeks after the tragedy at Sandy Hook School.

 “Stopping gun violence takes courage – the courage to do what’s right, and the courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” said Congresswoman Giffords in her speech at today’s event. “Now is the time to come together – to be responsible! Democrats, Republicans – everyone.”

“Today, here in New Hampshire – as in most states around our country – a domestic abuser or felon fresh out of federal prison has the option of buying a gun without a background check and with no questions asked. It’s a dangerous system,” said Police Commissioner Joe Plaia. “One of those minority of senators who has stood with the Washington gun lobby and repeatedly voted to PROTECT those loopholes in our laws is our own United States Senator, Kelly Ayotte. The reality is that Senator Kelly Ayotte and the Washington gun lobby have failed us. So along with so many of my fellow Granite Staters who want to make our communities safer, I’m committed to holding Kelly Ayotte accountable and committed to electing Maggie Hassan and Hillary Clinton in November.”

The new Public Policy Research release today showed a seven point drop among New Hampshire voters 59% to 52%) who believe Sen. Kelly Ayotte is a stronger advocate for gun safety than her record shows. Along those same lines, the results demonstrated that candidates who actively support gun safety measures are ahead in New Hampshire. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who has made gun safety a foundational part of her campaign, leads Republican Donald Trump by eleven points (48/37) while ARS-endorsed Democratic Maggie Hassan remains ahead of incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte by one point (44/43). Similarly, New Hampshire voters said they are more likely to support a candidate for U.S. Senate who seeks to strengthen gun laws by a two-to-one margin (53/26). To read the full survey results, click here.

Following the event today, the Vocal Majority Tour will travel to Boston, Mass. and Newtown, Conn.

The Vocal Majority Tour is part of ARS PAC’s “Vocal Majority” campaign this fall to mobilize millions of Americans to make the 2016 election a referendum on gun violence prevention and to support leaders up and down the ballot who are committed to taking responsible steps that reduce gun violence.

Along with its joint “Granite State Majority” grassroots campaign with Granite State Progress to hold Kelly Ayotte accountable for her record of standing with the gun lobby, by protecting the background check loopholes in federal law, ARS PAC has made significant investments in New Hampshire’s Senate race. ARS PAC-endorsed candidate Governor Maggie Hassan has voiced her support for closing those gun show and internet loopholes in federal law.

About Gun Violence in the United States

  • Americans are nearly 20 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other peer countries. [Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 2011]
  • Each year, 33,000 Americans die from gun violence. [WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2010]
  • Over the past 15 years, the gun murder rate has remained largely unchanged – even as violent crime has dropped. While America’s rate of violent crime has generally decreased over the past 15 years, the gun murder rate in the U.S. has remained relatively constant. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]
  • The number of shootings is on the rise. While the number of gun murders in the U.S. has remained constant, the number of shootings has been increasing. The number of non-fatal gunshot wounds rose more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2013. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]

About The 2016 Vocal Majority Tour & Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC

The Vocal Majority Tour is just one component of ARS PAC’s 2016 Vocal Majority Campaign to make 2016 a referendum on gun violence prevention. Along with the nationwide bus tour, the campaign also includes making significant investments in races and ballot initiatives across the country to support pro-gun violence prevention candidates and responsible ballot initiatives.

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) w orks to elect candidates at every level of public office who show the political courage to stand up to the gun lobby, are passionate about reducing gun violence in our communities, and who commit to taking action once elected. Since 2013, ARS PAC has supported Champions for Common Sense in key federal, gubernatorial, and state races – and supported the passage of ballot initiatives – in states around the country.

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