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Candlelight Vigils Tuesday In Support Of Refugee Resettlement

Candlelight (Lisa Widerberg FLIKR CC)

Candlelight (Lisa Widerberg FLIKR CC)

Candlelight vigils will be held tomorrow, November 24, outside the offices of U.S. Senators in Manchester, Nashua, and Dover and at Four Corners in Conway to call for New Hampshire’s elected officials to keep our doors open to refugees fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq, and other war-torn areas of the world. 

The vigils, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, will take place from 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM at the following locations:

MANCHESTER – Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s Manchester office at 2 Wall Street, moving to Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office at 1200 Elm Street.  Local contact:  Eva Castillo, (603) 661-2873.

NASHUA – Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office at 60 Main Street, moving to Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office at 144 Main Street.  Local contact:  Sylvia Gale, (603) 557-8417.

DOVER – Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office at 340 Central Avenue.   Local contact: Maggie Fogarty, (603) 988-7115.

CONWAY – Corner of Route 16 and Route 153.  Local contact: Andrea Walsh, (603) 447-2113.

The solemn vigils were motivated by passage last week of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives which adds serious obstacles to the refugee resettlement process, said Maggie Fogarty of the American Friends Service Committee.  The Senate is expected to vote on a similar measure during the first week of December, she added.  

The vigils will include songs, prayers, and periods of silent reflection.

“Turning our backs on refugees is a betrayal of our nation’s highest values,” said Eva Castillo of the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees. 

Participants have been asked to bring candles and signs with respectful messages welcoming refugees.

NH Should Not Slam The Door On Refugees

Syrian refugee (FLIKR MaximilianV)

Syrian refugee (FLIKR MaximilianV)

The world is reeling from the news, that the terrorists who committed the horrible acts in Paris, slipped into the country under the guise of refugees from Syria.

This morning the Union Leader reported, that Governor Hassan said, we should “halt acceptance of Syrian refugees until U.S. authorities can assure the vetting process keeps Americans safe.”

Senator Ayotte also told the Union Leader that she has concerns with the vetting process that allows refugees to enter the country.

Congressman Guinta sent a letter to Governor Hassan to oppose any new Syrian refugees being allowed to seek refuge in New Hampshire.

Not everyone agrees with Congressman Guinta about rejecting refugees.  New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern released the following statement:

“As Governor, keeping the people of New Hampshire safe will always be my highest priority.

The best way to protect the security and liberty of the people of New Hampshire is through expanding the extensive person-by-person security and safety screening process that the United States requires today for every refugee — not by adopting a new blanket ban against one nationality or religion that plays into the hands of the ISIS terrorists while giving us a false sense of security.

Six days ago — 48 hours before the terrorism in Paris — I stood in a Manchester living room taking questions at a house party, and a young student asked me whether I support allowing Syrian refugees into the United States. 

My answer was straightforward: offering safe refuge to those fleeing oppression is part of what it means to be an American.

When carried out carefully with deep, extensive security screenings that protect our homeland without banning an entire religion or nationality, we are a stronger nation because of it. It’s why the Statue of Liberty holds her torch high in the night, as a beacon of hope.

ISIS tried to extinguish that hope Friday night in Paris. Make no mistake: this terrorist organization wants the world to hate and fear the refugees they are driving from their homes in Syria.

As Senator Shaheen has pointed out, our nation’s deep asylum vetting process can sometimes take up to two years — much different than some European nations that are struggling with overwhelmed borders and inadequate screening of refugees today.  This is a complex threat – in many cases, carried out by various terrorists who are nationals of friendly and dangerous nations alike. It requires complex, thorough, and thoughtful safety and security measures – as well as an assertive campaign to end a global threat that has clearly not been contained.

As the world recovers from these horrible acts of terrorism, I know all Americans will join together in resolving to defeat this threat in all its forms.”

Similarly Mark Connolly, Democratic candidate for Governor, issued a statement in support of Syrian refugee resettlement in New Hampshire:

“As both a state and a nation, we’ve always opened our communities to those fleeing conflict or persecution. New Hampshire’s spirit of community and compassion is part of what makes our state great and we have always set an example as a place of cooperation and collaboration, where we come together to both address our challenges and help those in need.

Keeping our families and communities safe will always be my highest priority as Governor. While the ultimate authority on this matter rests in the hands of the President, as Governor, I will stand in support of continuing New Hampshire’s tradition of providing a safe pathway for those around the world seeking refuge from crisis and conflict. As long as the safety and security of Granite State families is ensured, we should continue to do our part to help those in need.”

Elected Leaders Honoring Our Veterans

Veterans day proclamation

Veterans day proclamation

CONCORD – Honoring the brave veterans and service members who have selflessly sacrificed to fight for their country and their fellow citizens, Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed today, November 11, 2015, as Veterans Day in New Hampshire.

“On Veterans Day, we come together as a state and a nation to demonstrate our respect and admiration for all those who have bravely answered the call to defend our nation,” Governor Hassan said. “Because of our veterans, our country is safer and our freedom is stronger, and I join all Granite Staters and Americans in thanking our veterans and their families for their brave sacrifices that have made our freedom possible.”

To mark Veterans Day, Governor Hassan is participating in the Concord Veterans Council Veterans Day Ceremony in the Hall of Flags at the State House, as well as the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery.

The Governor encourages citizens of New Hampshire to participate in the many activities planned for observing this national holiday and to join with the nation in marking this day with proud display of the flag of the United States as a reaffirmation of our national identity.

“Today across New Hampshire we reflect on the incredible service and sacrifice of those who have served our nation in uniform,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “New Hampshire has a proud tradition of military service and I join all Granite Staters in extending my deepest gratitude to all who have answered the call of duty, especially our servicemembers currently stationed overseas.”

“On Veterans Day we must rededicate ourselves to supporting the men and women of our armed forces as they transition to civilian life. They have never failed us in battle, and we must not fail them when they return home,” Shaheen said. 

Today, Senator Shaheen will give remarks honoring New Hampshire veterans at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

“Today, we honor veterans who have served and sacrificed for our country,” said Raymond Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party. “Under the past 7 years under President Obama, our country has made strides in improving our commitment to veterans, striving to make sure every veteran is healthy and has a job and a home. Democrats are committed to continuing this progress. We thank all our veterans here in the Granite State and around the country for their service.”


Manchester Mayoral Recount Complete, Craig Looses By Only A Handful Of Votes

MANCHESTER – Tonight, Alderman Joyce Craig issued the following statement on tonight’s recount in the Manchester mayoral race.

“Tonight, I want to congratulate Mayor Ted Gatsas on his re-election as Mayor of Manchester.  I recently called Mayor Gatsas and wished him well on his next two years in office.

“This election was extremely close and I want to thank the City Clerk’s office for helping with the recount process.  The initial results from November 3rd showed an 85 vote margin, and tonight’s recount resulted in votes gained for both candidates, now with a margin of 64 votes.  The recount went smoothly and we can now ensure that every vote counted.

“I also want to thank all our volunteers, supporters, and the thousands of voters who came out to support our campaign.

“Although my campaign for mayor ended tonight, my commitment to our city, our community, and our families did not.  In the coming weeks, I will have time to think about what comes next, but my commitment to making Manchester a greater city is far from over.”

Following tonight’s very close recount results, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley made the following statement:

“The Manchester mayoral race was the closest in modern history and we are proud of the campaign Joyce Craig ran right up until the very end. Joyce is a fearless advocate for strong public schools and is committed to finding solutions to curb the drug epidemic in Manchester and she certainly has a bright future ahead of her. Although Joyce came up short by just tens of votes, we thank the countless volunteers that fought right alongside her and the city clerk’s office for overseeing the recount. The fact that this race was so extremely close in an year that favors Republicans is a clear indicator that 2016 is going to be tough for Republicans. This race is now over, but Democrats will continue to fight for Granite State families from municipal level right up to U.S. Senate and the White House.”

Longtime Labor Activist Linda Horan To File Suit Against State For Expedited Access To Medical Marijuana

“Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Expedited Access to Medical Marijuana to File Lawsuit Thursday Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services”

Linda Horan of Alstead wants a New Hampshire medical marijuana ID card, which would allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire

CONCORD — A terminal cancer patient seeking access to medical marijuana will file a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.

Linda Horan of Alstead, who is suffering from stage IV lung cancer, filed a pre-registration application to participate in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program after receiving approval from all five of her physicians. She wants to receive a medical marijuana ID card that will allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire.

Horan will hold a news conference Thursday (11/6) at 10 a.m. in front of the Merrimack County Courthouse just prior to filing the lawsuit. She will be joined by her attorney, Paul Twomey, as well as State Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) and New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett.

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program into law on July 23, 2013, but patients are still at risk of arrest and prosecution because program ID cards still have not been issued. Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast.

A video of her statement is available at https://youtu.be/KNj_SwYtWe8?t=3m20s.

“The state simply needs to issue me an ID card so that I can access the medicine that I need,” Horan said. “It’s hard to imagine why it would take more than two years for that. There are seriously ill people throughout New Hampshire who are suffering everyday they go without it.”


NASHUA: Supporting Write-in Candidates Is The Right Thing Do For Our Schools


By Deb Howes, Chairwoman of the Nashua Labor Coalition. 

Deb Howes

Deb Howes, chairwoman of the Nashua Labor Coalition

Many Nashuans are upset over the Board of Education risking the safety and security of our schools, on the myth that privatizing the custodians will save many.

The Chelmsford Police just arrested their fourth contracted custodian for stealing school property and other drug related charges. By outsourcing these jobs there is little to no oversight as to who will be working in our schools. When contractors pay rock-bottom wages, you invite problems like this.

We in Nashua know all about the failings of privatizing out our school services. Our contracted bus service has steadily climbed at 3% a year until 2014 when it jumped up 20%. And it is increasing another $250,000 this year. Can we reasonably say that we are still saving money by contracting out our bus services?

The vote to privatize the custodians was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The disregard shown for long-time, dedicated employees shocked us all and left us wondering who is next. The Board even admitted they do not know if this move will save any money. This Board is failing Nashua taxpayers and our schools are being left to suffer. We have many problems in our schools and adding a disregard for the safety and security of our children is too much to bear.

Something must be done. It has become painfully obvious that Nashua needs new members who will work to improve our schools and who value the dedication of our public employees.

Who fits the bill and who will answer the call for change?

Ray Guarino, Gwen Mikailov, Donald Jean, Allison Nutting, and Atlant Schmidt decided they have had enough and announced that they will be running a write-in campaign for the Board of Education. All 5 are concerned Nashua citizens with direct, positive connections to our public schools.

Mounting a last minute write-in campaign is no small task. There is no time to fundraise for campaign flyers or signs and little time to hit the streets to meet the people. Just the fact that they will not have their names on the ballot presents a monumental hurdle.

This write-in campaign will be like running up Mount Washington in January, but something must be done. We cannot just sit back and let the current candidates run unopposed. I am glad these people are selflessly volunteering to take a position on the board because the current board is taking us in the wrong direction.

I encourage everyone to write-in Ray Guarino, Gwen Mikailov, Donald Jean, Allison Nutting, and Atlant Schmidt for Nashua Board of Education on November 3rd.


moon design studio co. presents (3)

St Anselm’s Multicultural Center Host “Teach In”

Wake up. Learn. Reflect. Teach. Act.

A Teach-In to Promote Dialogue and Inspire Change

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

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rivier University – Dion Center

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

*Cost: $20 Community Members/$10 Students

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

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

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

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

Join Fellow Planned Parenthood Supporters At #PinkOut Event In Concord

As Extreme Members of Congress Push for a Federal Government Shutdown, Planned Parenthood Patients and Supporters to Join in #PinkOut Speak Out and Light Brigade to Highlight Need for Planned Parenthood’s Basic Reproductive Health Care

Tuesday, September 29th at 8:00 p.m. at the NH State House Plaza in Concord,
Rain or Shine


NEW HAMPSHIRE – As extremist politicians in Washington continue their attack on women’s health care and seek to block Planned Parenthood from serving patients who rely on publicly funded programs for health care, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England patients, supporters, and allies will join together for  a Speak Out and Light Brigade at the New Hampshire State House as part of a nationwide show of support to highlight the need for the quality reproductive health care PPNNE has provided for fifty years.

Tomorrow’s Speak Out and Light Brigade is one of 245 events across the country to be held by patients and supporters to show they #StandWithPP. Dubbed “National Pink Out Day,” Granite Staters will participate in the Speak Out and Light Brigade in Concord as well as in three student-driven, campus events at the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, and Colby Sawyer College—all in response to efforts by extreme politicians in Congress and New Hampshire to strip Planned Parenthood of critical federal funding and cut millions off from essential reproductive health care. 

DATE: September 29, 2015

TIME: 8:00 p.m.

LOCATION: New Hampshire State House Plaza 

Nationally, Planned Parenthood provides 2.7 million women, men, and young people a year with critical reproductive health care—such as cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and well-woman exams. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that without us, many patients would literally have nowhere else to turn.


Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and teens across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 14,000 patients at these sites. 

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.  Follow us on Twitter.

Legislature Upholds Two Of Governor Hassan’s Vetos

Today the NH House met to vote on a number of items including two bills that were vetoed by Governor Hassan.

The first bill to be considered was SB 179 which would change residency requirements for voting in NH.  The House upheld the veto.  After the vote Governor Hassan said:

“The constitutional right of all citizens to vote is the most fundamental right of our democracy, critical to the robust citizen-led democracy we are so proud of in the Granite State, and while we must be vigilant in our efforts to prevent and aggressively prosecute voter fraud, Senate Bill 179 did not do anything to accomplish those goals. We should not adopt arbitrary restrictions that will prevent lawful residents from taking part in the democratic process, restrictions that have been found unconstitutional in other states. Instead, we must always work to ensure that people who are legally domiciled in New Hampshire are allowed and encouraged to participate in our democracy. Moving forward, I will continue fighting to protect the fundamental right of all citizens to vote.”

 Many people agree that these proposed changes to voting laws is an attempt by the Republicans to block people from under the guise of voter fraud.  Accusations of massive voter fraud have yet to be proven, Republicans continue to push laws making it increasingly hard for people to vote. 

Raymond Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party stated:

“When New Hampshire Republicans can’t win on the issues, they seek to disenfranchise voters – it’s as simple as that. Granite Staters have made clear time and again that we will not stand for blatantly partisan attempts to make it harder for citizens to cast a ballot, and New Hampshire Democrats are grateful for Governor Hassan’s leadership on preserving voting rights for all New Hampshire citizens.”

The House also considered overriding the veto of SB 116, removing the requirement to have a license to carry a concealed weapon. Again the House voted to sustain the Governor’s veto of SB 116. After the vote Gov. Hassan said:

“New Hampshire’s current concealed carry permitting law – which Republican 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. Senate Bill 116 would have been a step away from that appropriate and responsible policy, which is why law enforcement and public safety officials, as well as citizens across New Hampshire, repeatedly expressed public safety concerns about the bill. I support the Second Amendment and I believe that Americans have a right to responsibly own guns for personal safety, hunting, and recreation, but we must also balance the rights of gun owners with the rights of all New Hampshire citizens to be safe in their communities, a balance that existing law appropriately strikes.” 

The radical bill was opposed by many law enforcement leaders and by a majority of Granite Staters.

After the vote, Chairman Buckley added:

“Republicans in the New Hampshire House and Senate have shown once again that their priorities are backward as they continue to try to enact a radical gun bill that is strongly opposed by law enforcement officers and 71% of Granite Staters. We thank Governor Hassan and Democrats in the legislature for again taking a strong stand to support law enforcement and public safety.”

New Petition To Uphold The Governor’s Veto Of This Reckless Budget

Sign the Petition (1)

Governor Hassan vetoed the Republican budget saying;

“I have vetoed the budget passed by the legislature because it is unbalanced, makes false promises about what it funds, and gives unpaid-for tax giveaways to big corporations, many based out-of-state, at the expense of critical economic priorities, including higher education, health care, public safety and transportation. The long-term impact of these unpaid-for corporate tax cuts will create a more than $90 million hole in future budgets, further eroding our ability to encourage economic growth.”

We must uphold Governor Hassan’s veto and end the unfunded tax giveaways written into this unbalanced budget.

We are calling on all of our elected representatives to vote and uphold Governor Hassan’s veto and force the leadership to work together and find a compromise that will keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction.

The Petition reads:

We believe that New Hampshire is moving in the right direction and this reckless budget will only take us backwards. We must end these unfunded tax giveaways to big business that will blow a $90 million dollar hole in our state budget.

We call on you, our elected representatives, to uphold Governor Hassan’s veto and work together to properly fund the needs and priorities of our great state. Priorities like rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, investing in our public schools, and providing the needed funds to combat the growing heroin epidemic.

Please sign the petition below or click here to sign.


  When you are done signing the petition, please send a letter to you state reps asking them not to fall victim to the “Kansas Tax Cut Trap” that will blow a $90 million dollar hole in our state budget. Click here to send your letter or fill out the form below.



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