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Get Covered: NH Insurance Department Reminds NH Residents Open Enrollment Ends December 15

CONCORD, NH – Open enrollment for individual health insurance (on and off HealthCare.gov) ends this Friday, December 15 at 11:59 P.M. The first premium needs to be paid by the insurance company’s due date before the 2018 coverage will take effect. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2018.

“Governor Sununu and the Insurance Department want to make sure that people are aware their last chance to sign up for a 2018 plan is this Friday,” said Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “If you still have questions about what plan is best for you, reach out to an insurance agent or broker or a Navigator for help understanding your options.”

New Hampshire residents should be aware that there are only three companies selling qualified health plans: Anthem, Ambetter, and Harvard Pilgrim. If a consumer purchased coverage from a different company, the plan may not offer them full coverage of services. Individuals who have questions about the plans they purchased may contact the NH Insurance Department’s Consumer Services unit for assistance by calling 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

If a consumer needs assistance selecting a plan during the open enrollment period, the Insurance Department recommends that they contact an insurance agent or broker or a Federal Navigator. Residents can receive assistance from these types of in-person assisters at no additional cost during the open enrollment period. The Insurance Department’s website features a federally-created list of agents and brokers who are certified to sell plans on HealthCare.gov, although many also sell plans outside of HealthCare.gov. Consumers may also visit the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov to find a local agent or broker by zip code.

Even if a consumer likes their 2017 plan, they should still update their application on HealthCare.gov and shop and compare options for 2018. The only way to receive an accurate financial assistance amount for 2018 is to update and submit an application on the website. If consumers who purchase coverage through HealthCare.gov do not take any action they will be automatically enrolled into a plan by HealthCare.gov that is considered “similar” to their current plan; but that plan may not have a similar premium, and their doctors and prescription drugs may not be in network. That plan will not be effective unless the consumer pays the first premium.

Outside of the open enrollment period, the only way residents can enroll in an individual insurance plan is if they qualify for a special enrollment period, typically the 60 days following certain qualifying life events.

Minuteman Health members have a special enrollment period until March 1, 2018, but need to enroll by December 31st to avoid a gap in coverage. For more information visit here.

The NH Insurance Department Can Help:

More information for New Hampshire residents about open enrollment may be found on the Insurance Department’s website. If you have questions about or issues with using the Marketplace and obtaining coverage, please call the federal government at (800) 318-2596. Once you have coverage, please contact the Insurance Department with questions or concerns at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.
About The New Hampshire Insurance Department

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit http://www.nh.gov/insurance.

Rights and Democracy To Host 2nd Annual Assembly and Celebration

WHEN: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1-6PM

WHERE: LEBANON HIGH SCHOOL
(195 HANOVER ST., LEBANON, NEW HAMPSHIRE)

RSVP Here http://www.radnh.org/assembly2017

LEBANON, NH – Hundreds of Rights & Democracy members from across Vermont and New Hampshire will gather on Dec. 10th for the organization’s annual membership assembly and celebration.

RAD members will celebrate key victories in each state as well as Washington, DC and will look to the movement organizing that lies ahead in 2018 and beyond.  That organizing will include the adoption of a multi-issue People’s Platform for each state.

Members will also discuss organizing campaigns that center on building a rural agenda in both states – from raising the minimum wage to decarceration to universal health care, among other topics.

Other highlights of the day’s events include a special “bird dog” training to show members how they can use direct action to hold their elected officials accountable, a potluck meal, as well as “Resistance Bingo,” and breakout sessions on core issue campaigns in each state. (RSVP For Birddog Training)

Before the event, there will be a special training “Resistance Through Bird Dogging Powerholders” run by three national trainers who have been helping organize the national resistance to the GOP and Trump agendas to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act and enact a tax bill that will make cuts to Medicaid and Medicare to give tax breaks to millionaires. That training will take place from 10:30AM – 12:30PM at Lebanon High School.

In just two years, Rights & Democracy has gone from being a scrappy startup grassroots organization with a handful of key Vermont leaders and staff to a bi-state organization with 12,000 members and a vision to change the world.

Here are a few of our key New Hampshire success stories from our first two years:

  • Developed a robust canvassing operation to knock on 60,000 doors in the 2016 elections in support of Sen. Maggie Hassan in a tight race for US Senate, and brought thousands of our members who came in the door supporting Bernie Sanders to stay involved by defeating Donald Trump and Kelly Ayotte in incredibly tight races.
  • Launched the Transgender Organizing Leadership Development (TOLD) project that has been a leading voice for transgender nondiscrimination in New Hampshire. Nearly 500 people turned out in Manchester’s Victory Park in the Summer of 2017 to stand in unity for LGBTQ+ protections in the coming legislature.
  • Mobilized thousands of Granite State residents to take direct actions – like our “die-in” when US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (who has since resigned!) visited the state. Other actions included calling on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to push back against the Trump administration’s most horrific proposals to kick millions off health care.
  • Defeated yet another misnamed “right to work” legislation push that would undermine worker protections in New Hampshire.
  • Won legislation to allow acupuncture to treat addiction, thanks to a grassroots advocacy effort led by Elizabeth Ropp, RAD NH leader and acupuncturist. The law allows frontline workers to use ear acupuncture to treat addiction to heroin or fentanyl, also known as auricular acupuncture or acu-detox.
  • Worked with the Monadnock Progressive Alliance, which is now an affiliate of RAD, as a way to build a truly progressive movement in the region’s communities.  RAD-NH’s long-term goal is to develop and invest in similar local organizing teams throughout the state.
  • Connected with voters in two special elections in New Hampshire, which helped to elect Democrats to the NH legislature in districts that have, in previous elections, supported Republicans and even voted for Trump in 2016.
  • Provided our key allies with support around clean elections, universal health care, immigration rights, reproductive freedom and more.

After the membership assembly, Rights & Democracy will celebrate with its inaugural Human Rights Awards. These awards are to designed to lift up the important work in both Vermont and New Hampshire that are making a difference in the lives our communities.

The inaugural awards will be presented to the following individuals and organizations:

VERMONT

Migrant Justice is a Vermont-based organization of dairy farm workers which organizes to advance human rights. The Milk with Dignity agreement reached on October 3, 2017 between Migrant Justice and Ben & Jerry’s — an agreement three years in the making — continues to make waves across the country as one of the most significant wins for worker’s rights in 2017– at a time when rights are under attack.  The news quickly caught the attention of major media outlets, from the New York Times to the AP to Vermont Public Radio and was also picked up in major media outlets throughout Latin America.

Vermont Racial Justice Reform Coalition is a coalition of organizations which led  a grassroots effort to successfully pass a far-reaching Racial Justice Reform Law  which sets forth guidance to “establish a panel to review and provide recommendations to address systemic racial disparities in statewide systems of criminal and juvenile justice”.

RAD VT’s Health Care Justice Heroes: Starting in the Spring and continuing in the Summer of 2017, leaders of Rights & Democracy, including nurses and people directly affected by the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, began participating in rapid response civil disobedience direct actions to push back on the Trump Administration and GOP leaders in the US Senate and House. These brave acts, along with organizing across the country, help prevent deep cuts to Medicaid and millions of Americans from losing their access to health care.

Muslim Girls Making Change (MGMC), a youth slam poetry group created by Burlington and South Burlington High School students class of 2018 Kiran Waqar, Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi, and Balkisa Abdikadir, is dedicated to social justice through poetry. Tired of having their voices ignored by older generations, they turned to slam poetry to be heard and to make a change. Since forming, these girls have competed at international levels, won numerous awards, performed widely, and help lead several local and national initiatives to increase cultural understanding, fight against racism and promote women’s rights.

Vermont Women’s March Core Organizers: Vermont’s solidarity rally with the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 was organized by a group of dedicated women organizers including RAD’s own Elise Greaves, Katie McCarty, Michelle Mraz, Bonnie Acker, along with Melinda Moulton, Cara Nelson, Marie Lallier, and Katie Titterton. The rally drew an estimated 25,000 people becoming the largest political rally in Vermont’s history.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire Labor Movement for defeating “Right To Work in NH”: A grassroots effort defeated the Republicans first priority of passing so-called “right-to-work” legislation after winning the Governor’s seat and retaining majorities in the NH House and Senate. Despites having all the odds against them, the labor movement and allies led a push to defeat the bill in the House. RAD NH was proud to have contributed strategic field outreach in this NH Labor Movement struggle to defeat Right To Work against all odds

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA): A grassroots advocacy effort led by Elizabeth Ropp, RAD NH leader and acupuncturist.  The law they won for ear acupuncture to treat addiction allows frontline workers to use ear acupuncture to treat addiction to heroin or fentanyl. Known as auricular acupuncture or acu-detox, this is one treatment that practitioners insist can help recovering addicts deal with the painful symptoms of withdrawal and the accompanying stress.

Freedom NH and the Transgender Organizing & Leadership Development: RAD NH and Freedom NH have been working together to pass comprehensive legislation to protect trans folks from discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. Although our opponents in the State House tabled our bill in 2017, we’ve built impressive grassroots momentum around the issue and have started a statewide conversation about LGBT+ rights that is unprecedented in New Hampshire’s state history. In 2018, RAD NH and Freedom NH will again be introducing an identical nondiscrimination bill and will be working to pass it during the upcoming legislative session.

New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition and the tireless work of Dean Lemire on a grassroots level: for helping hundreds of people get into recovery through an all pathways approach, creating needle exchange programs and providing test kits to test level of Fentanyl. As we struggle for more public health solutions for these epidemics, Dean and the work of the coalition is doing critical work saving and turning lives around in our communities.

National COSH on OSHA, Bureau of Labor Statistics Nominees: Transparency Saves Lives

 Advocates call for “open source” policy on workplace fatalities and renewed action on silica, temp workers

SAN DIEGO: As the U.S. Senate prepares for a hearing on nominees to head the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, safety advocates are calling for the two agencies to boost efforts to save lives in U.S. workplaces by collecting and disseminating full information about on-the-job fatalities.

“Transparency saves lives,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH.) “The more we know about how and why workers are dying on the job, the more we can do to prevent future tragedies.”

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will hold a hearing this coming Tuesday, December 5th at 10:00 am ET to consider the nominations of FedEx safety executive Scott Mugno to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health and William Beach of George Mason University to serve as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“Every day, workers are at risk because of hazards that can be controlled and prevented,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, also a co-executive director of National COSH. “It’s time for OSHA and BLS to adopt an open source policy and tell us all they know about workplace fatalities. That includes identifying – and publicizing – what goes wrong when workers lose their lives because employers fail to provide safe working conditions.”

The BLS conducts an annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which publishes aggregate information about worker deaths, but does not includes names of workers, employers or additional details. In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, BLS identified more than 4,800 fatalities due to traumatic events in U.S. workplaces. U.S. OSHA is responsible for investigating workplace deaths.

National COSH is also urging senators to ask Mugno about his plans to limit worker exposure to silica dust and whether he will continue OSHA’s initiative to offer enhanced protection for temporary and contract workers.

Background on silica:

  • Millions of workers every year are exposed to silica dust, a known carcinogen and primary cause of silicosis – a potentially fatal lung disease. OSHA issued a new safety standard in 2016 that limits exposure to silica dust and will save an estimated 700 lives each year.
  • Industry groups have urged Congress to reverse the new standard, issued after years of careful research, with thousands of pages of testimony from scientists and labor and industry stakeholders. OSHA is currently limiting enforcement of the new standard to those employers not acting in “good faith.”

Questions for Scott Mugno on Silica Dust:

What are his views of this life-saving regulation?
What are his plans to carry out inspections and enforcement?

Background on temporary workers:

  • Temporary workers, who represent about two percent of the U.S. workforce, accounted for 17 percent of fatalities from workplace trauma in 2015.
  • Temp and contract workers often do not receive adequate training and have little or no job security.  These and other factors combine to make temp work more hazardous than permanent, full-time employment.
  • In 2013, OSHA began an initiative to protect temporary workers, holding both host employers and contract agencies responsible for following safety laws, including the duty to provide a safe workplace.
  • In September 2017, Patrick Kapust, OSHA’s deputy director of the Directorate of Enforcement Programs, told the National Safety Council: “We are continuing this initiative. We are trying to get forth that staffing employers and host employers both have joint responsibility for their workplaces.”

Questions for Scott Mugno on Temporary Workers:

Does he support OSHA’s temporary worker initiative?
Will he continue the emphasis on joint responsibility for both host employers and contract agencies?

“Nominations to these crucial positions deserve a rigorous review by the U.S. Senate,” said Martinez, “because so much is at stake for American worker and our families.”

NH Rebellion “Democracy Dinner” With Special Guest Lawrence Lessig

On Thursday, November 30, NH Rebellion will hold a “Democracy Dinner” starting at 5:30 pm at the Lawrence Barn Community Center, 28 Depot Road, Hollis, NH with special guest Lawrence Lessig.

The speaking program will focus on the group’s campaign for a “Civic Dollars” campaign financing system in New Hampshire.

“Open Democracy believes in an equal voice for all,” said Executive Director Olivia Zink. “Through our NH Rebellion campaign, we are working to stop big money in politics, end partisan gerrymandering, protect the right to vote, and more by engaging thousands of Granite Staters in nonpartisan civic involvement.”

In 2018, the group will be supporting “Civic Dollars” legislation with bipartisan support in Concord. A Civic Dollars system would help balance the influence of out-of-state dark money in New Hampshire’s elections. It would also end the so-called “money primary” that keeps qualified candidates from running for office, empower every citizen to fund the candidate(s) of their choice, and encourage voter participation. Maine, Arizona and Connecticut already have this type of system at the state level; and some cities, including Albuquerque, NM, have also passed this kind of election reform.

When enacted, the measure would allow political candidates to opt-in to a “Civic Dollars” system that will limit campaign contributions to $250 per person.  It would also ban out-of-state donors; require quick disclosure of contributions; create a voluntary program for citizen-funded campaign financing through four $25 “civic dollars” issued to registered voters that could be donated to qualified candidates of the voter’s choice; and establish an agency to enforce campaign finance laws.

“We all want our children and the next generation to have a better life and more opportunities than we did. But too many hard-working Granite Staters are just barely scraping by because wealthy donors and special interests have too much power and make the rules.” Zink said. “If we want our children and the next generation to inherit a free and fair New Hampshire, that will take coming together to make our democracy work for all of us.”

NH Rebellion members have walked a total of more than 40,000 miles, continuing the legacy of New Hampshire’s legendary campaign finance reform activist “Granny D.”  The network of more than 33,000 local activists have organized town meetings, circulated petitions, supported legislation and “Asked The Question” hundreds of times to get candidates on the record about their position on campaign reform.

Scholar-activist Lawrence Lessig draws inspiration from the “rebellion clause” of the New Hampshire Constitution, which empowers citizens “to reform the old or establish a new government” when laws serve a privileged few rather than “the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community.

NH Rebellion is part of Open Democracy, the Concord-based nonpartisan reform organization founded by Granny D. To learn more,  please visit: www.nhrebellion.org.

Some Would-Be Speakers of the NH House Decline to Debate Ethics, House Procedure

Non-partisan candidate forum to be held Saturday at 2pm, at the New England College in Concord

Since the announcement by Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper that he may be stepping down to fill the role of agriculture commissioner, many Republicans have thrown their hats in the ring for House Speaker.  However, while many attended the Freedom Caucus conservative policy-based forum, only a few have agreed to debate other candidates regarding the actual non-partisan role of Speaker, House procedure, or ethics.

In answer to the Freedom Caucus’ forum asking policy questions such as those regarding taxes and abortion, the 55-member NH House Progressive Caucus decided to host a non-partisan candidate forum focusing only on issues of ethics and procedure, with no political questions or litmus tests.

Of the declared candidates, only two Republicans, Rep. James McConnell (North Swanzey), and Rep. Steve Smith (Charlestown) have agreed to participate.

They will be joined by Democratic candidate Stephen Shurtleff (Penacook).

Rep. John Burt (Goffstown), who recently released a letter explaining his walkout at the Freedom Caucus forum, initially had confirmed but cancelled, due to family matters.

Republican candidate Rep. McConnell expressed his enthusiasm for the non-partisan forum, explaining, “I am looking forward to it!  I think it’s important that we take advantage of every opportunity to sit down with members of the House and discuss the matters that should be important to all of us.  It is important to note that this is only the second opportunity we have had to discuss these things publicly.”

Recognizing the importance of the Speaker’s duties, outgoing Speaker Shawn Jasper notes that, “It is critically important that the Speaker of the House be totally impartial in presiding over the House.  Every member deserves the same courtesy as any other.  Maintaining decorum of the House that allows debate to be open and free is a really important job.”

“With all the ethical issues and questionable procedures that have occurred in the House in the last few years, I cannot imagine a more important event for anyone seeking to become Speaker.  We welcome all the candidates and hope that those who aren’t planning to can find a way to attend”, invited Progressive Caucus convener, Rep. Ellen Read.

The House Speaker Candidate Forum Part II – Ethics and Procedure will be held this Saturday, November 18th at 2:00pm, at the New England College, 62 N. Main Street, Concord.  The public is invited to attend, and will have the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates.

Shea-Porter, Walz Secure TRICARE Fairness Provision in Final Bicameral Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), a four-term member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01), Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced the inclusion of their provision to extend TRICARE health benefits currently available to Active Component forces to deployed reserve component service members in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as reported out of the Conference Committee.

“Our National Guard and Reserve members deserve the same benefits as those they serve alongside,” said Rep. Shea-Porter. “With this fix, all our overseas troops and their families will now have access to TRICARE health benefits, both before and after deployment. I was glad to work with Congressman Walz on this legislation, and I thank him for serving our nation and then being a tireless advocate for all those who served.”

“This is about recognizing the sacrifice of all our men and women who volunteer freely to serve this nation,” said Rep. Tim Walz. “Ensuring fairness in TRICARE health benefits to National Guard and Reserve Component troops who answer the call to serve right alongside their Active Component counterparts is the right thing to do. I thank Rep. Shea-Porter, our VSO partners, and most importantly, our veterans, servicemembers and military families for fighting to bring these brave Americans and their loved ones the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will now be eligible for TRICARE health benefits.”

The provision was first introduced as part of H.R. 1384, the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, a comprehensive, bipartisan bill to provide fairness to certain mobilized National Guard and Reserve Component service members by extending eligibility for certain benefits. H.R.1384 was sponsored by Walz and co-introduced by Shea-Porter and Reps. Palazzo (MS-04) and Franks (AZ-08).

In October, Shea-Porter and Walz wrote to the NDAA conferees to urge them to retain Section 503 of the House NDAA, which would authorize Reserve Component members activated under the authority provided by either §12304a or §12304b of title 10, United States Code, to receive pre-mobilization and transitional TRICARE health care. Their letter was cosigned by Reps. Palazzo, Rosen, Moulton, Brown, Jones, Stivers, Bordallo, Lamborn, Hanabusa, Moore (WI), Gonzalez, DesJarlais, McGovern, Radewagen, and Gallego.

 

A large number of veterans and military organizations supported the fix, including the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), the Military Coalition (TMC), the Reserve Officers Association (ROA), the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the National Military Family Association, the Air Force Association, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), and the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

 

Lawyers’ Committee Opens Up Voter Protection Hotline

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law & Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) To Take Calls LIVE During Election Day

Voters In 25 States Will Go To The Polls On November 7th To Cast Ballots In Local, Statewide Elections 

Washington, D.C.Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, will provide live assistance for voters across the country on Election Day this year.

On Tuesday, November 7th, Election Protection volunteers will be available to assist voters with issues, problems, or questions that arise in the voting process.  Voters may call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) toll-free from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST with any questions or issues that may arise. Spanish-speaking voters may seek bilingual assistance through the 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) hotline, also from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST.

“The right to vote is the most important right in our democracy.  This year, critical elections are taking place at the local, state and federal level all across the country.  Through vigilance, we can ensure that all eligible voters are able to freely cast their ballots and have their voices heard in the 2017 election cycle,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  “The 866-OUR-VOTE hotline is a resource for all voters and would-be voters across the country who seek to report complaints or otherwise access information needed to meaningfully participate in elections in their community.”

Election Protection – the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – has trained volunteers available to answer questions on Election Day.  Election Protection also utilizes field monitors and voter education, and relies on its expansive network of national partners and state advocates, to respond to any questions or concerns voters may have.  In 2016 alone, Election Protection received over 120,000 calls from voters from around the country, and the hotline will continue to serve as a resource for voters year-round.

The 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline will be answered live on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST.  Voters are encouraged to call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for voting-related questions or problems.

NH Insurance Department to Hold Public Hearing on Health Insurance Premiums

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department will host its annual public hearing on health insurance premiums and medical care cost drivers from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2017, at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord.

According to state law, the Insurance Commissioner “shall hold an annual public hearing concerning premium rates in the health insurance market and the factors, including health care costs and cost trends, that have contributed to rate increases during the prior year.” This year’s public hearing is based on data and information available in 2016.

“The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s annual hearing is an important tool to increase transparency and foster dialogue on health care costs in New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Each year, we convene health insurance companies, members of state government, and New Hampshire residents to examine what’s behind higher health care costs in the state and what can be done about it. I encourage anyone who is interested to attend, either in person or remotely.”

This year’s hearing will include a report on the 2016 data submitted by health insurance companies in New Hampshire. Two separate insurer panel discussions will focus on managing covered populations, benefit design, and provider payment reform. The hearing will include a public comment period.

The hearing is open to the public, although seating is limited. Live streaming of the event is planned.

Reserve a seat to attend the event in person.

Register for the livestream option.

For more information on the event, including the full agenda: https://www.nh.gov/insurance/media/events/annual-hearing.htm

No Word On Who Will Be On Sununu’s ‘Millennial Advisory Council’ One Day Before 1st Meeting

Sketchy timeline for Sununu’s new “Millennial Advisory Council” draws concerns it is just a pretense to promote Sununu’s latest pet projects 

Concord, NH – Governor Chris Sununu first announced a Millennial Advisory Council just last Thursday, along with information on how to apply. The first meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, September 27th at 6:00 PM in the Executive Council chambers – begging the question about who would have had an opportunity to apply, be selected, and set aside time to participate in the supposedly open and non-political 25-member advisory council in less than a week’s time.

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“If Governor Sununu was truly interested in hearing from young leaders and creating a functioning Millennial Advisory Council, he would take the time to gather applications and make thoughtful, balanced appointments. How can you ask people to apply one week and have the first meeting the next? This appears to all be a pretense for Governor Sununu to stack the advisory council with appointees who will serve as rubber stamps for his latest pet projects.”

“A Millennial Advisory Council could be a wonderful tool for New Hampshire. A key first step to engaging millennials would be to acknowledge their contributions and good ideas. We encourage Governor Sununu to stop playing politics and instead really invest in the diverse opinions of young adults in our state.”

Sununu’s policies have thus far been antithetical to millennial priorities, from signing a voter suppression law that makes it harder for young people to vote, to his failure to freeze USNH tuitions as costs skyrocket, to denying climate change, to saying he has “no personal opinion” on transgender rights, to allocating zero dollars to workforce development, to opposing a rail project to connect Manchester to the Greater Boston area. Sununu ignored a letter from UNH students, including the student body president, requesting to meet with him in February.

New Hampshire Young Democrats’ Executive Director Amelia Keane issued the following statement:

“It’s troubling that, just one day out from Sununu’s millennial council meeting, no council members have been announced. The first step to engaging young people productively is to be transparent, open, and bipartisan about the process, and Sununu’s council has been anything but. It’s unclear why Sununu is in such a rush or how members are being selected, but young people deserve time to consider and submit their applications and clear their schedules to attend.”

In his proclamation and media statement, Governor Sununu did not give any credit or thank you to the young leaders behind his new Millennial Advisory Council. Back in June, graduates of the Class of 2017 Leadership Mount Washington Valley Community Connections first urged Governor Sununu to form just such a council, even calling it the Millennial Advisory Council.

The Governor’s Millennial Advisory Council is to consist of 25 members, all selected by the Governor. The first report is due on December 1st.

Questions About Registering To Vote Today? Election Protection Is Here To Help

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law & Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) To Take LIVE Calls During National Voter Registration Day

Washington, D.C. – Today, Election Protection – the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil RightsUnder Law – will join hundreds of organizations across the country in a national effort to register people to vote for National Voter Registration Day.

To support national, state and local partners’ efforts to register voters, the nationwide nonpartisan Election Protection (EP) hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683), will be answering calls in real time from 9:00am to 7:00pm EDT, verifying voters’ registration status and helping them navigate the voter registration process. In addition to registration-related assistance, our trained volunteers will be available to answer a wide range of voting questions from voter ID, to language assistance resources.

“The importance of voter registration cannot be overstated.  In the face of an administration determined to take away the right to vote for millions of Americans, the work of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to inform citizens of their voting rights and to protect those rights is even more pressing,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “An informed electorate gives way to increased participation.  This National Voter Registration Day, we encourage the public to contact 866-OUR-VOTE with any voting-related questions, and above all, to register to vote so that your voice can be heard.” 

While trained volunteers are available to answer questions on National Voter Registration Day and on Election Day, Election Protection works year-round to support efforts to expand the franchise.  Election Protection utilizes field monitors and voter education, and it relies on an expansive network of national partners and state advocates to respond to any questions or concerns voters may have.  In 2016 alone, Election Protection received over 118,000 calls from voters from around the country.

The 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline will be answered live today, September 26, 2017 from 9:00 AM-7:00 PM EDT. Voters are encouraged to call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for voting-related questions or problems.  For assistance in Spanish, we invite callers to dial 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682); for assistance in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, or Bengali, dial 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683).

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