• Advertisement

Senator Jeanne Shaheen endorses Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester

Manchester, N.H. – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen endorsed Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester at an event held at Stark Brewing, a local craft brewery and distillery. Senator Shaheen was introduced by Stark Brewing owner Peter Telge, a prominent Joyce Craig supporter who appeared in an ad for Craig’s mayoral campaign.

Shaheen, the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, noted the importance of the citywide election in Manchester on November 7th, calling it Manchester’s chance to elect Craig, a candidate who “understands what it means to invest in small businesses.”

Senator Shaheen referenced commitments Joyce Craig has made and plans she has released to invest in areas such as infrastructure and education. Shaheen asserted that a strong workforce is the basis for a thriving economy, and that small business owners in Manchester want a mayor who will invest in city services, especially education, “because their employees don’t want to move to a community that doesn’t have good schools.”

“Joyce is going to make sure that when she is mayor she going to invest in the schools in Manchester,” Senator Shaheen continued. “She understands that it’s important to ensure that every child has a opportunity to reach their full potential. She understands that you need to engage with the business in the community, and that we need to make city hall more efficient.”

The Senator finished her remarks by saying, “I’m delighted to be here to support Joyce, to join all the small business people who are supporting her, and to make sure that we get her elected.”

“I’m honored to receive Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s endorsement,” said Joyce Craig. “Throughout her career as Governor, and U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen has worked tirelessly to make government work for the people of New Hampshire. I agree with Senator Shaheen that this is an extremely important election for the future of our city, and I appreciate her support of my efforts to build a stronger Manchester.”

Shaheen recorded a minute-long radio ad in support of Craig’s run for Mayor of Manchester.

In the ad, Senator Shaheen describes Craig as a champion for Manchester residents who would bring responsible management to City Hall.

Shaheen calls Joyce Craig someone “with the vision to make the city all we know it can be” and says she “can’t think of anyone better than Joyce Craig to build a stronger Manchester.”

Said Joyce Craig: “I greatly appreciate Senator Shaheen’s support. Senator Shaheen has been a dedicated public servant for the people of New Hampshire for over two decades. She knows how critical it is that Manchester voters take this chance to put our city on the right track. I have put forward detailed plans on critical issues like education, public safety, responsible management, economic development, and transparency, because I believe that, with the right management, we can build a stronger Manchester.”

Joyce Craig Releases Plan To Address Opioids and Crime While Gatsas Plays Games With Voters

This week, the Manchester mayoral race ratcheted up a notch as Joyce Craig unveiled her plan to address the opioid epidemic and the current Mayor, Ted Gatsas, looks to score political points with additional funding to the ‘Safe Station’ program and a new solar power project.

On Tuesday morning, Joyce Craig released her plan to address the opioid crisis and crime in the city, titled “Safe Streets, Opioid Crisis, and Recovery Services Plan.” The plan includes important provisions involving early education, support for expanded Medicaid, and receiving support from the state.

“The opioid crisis is continuing to harm Manchester. Programs like Safe Station are vital to our response, but we need to be doing more. I believe we need a comprehensive approach including early education, prevention, peer recovery support, strong enforcement, and increased advocacy. As the largest city in the state, Manchester needs to lead the effort to combat the opioid crisis. As mayor, I will fight for state and federal resources and empower our community service providers to respond effectively. The safety of every resident of Manchester is my first priority, and my plan reflects the steadfast approach I will take to addressing opioid and safety issues in our city,” Craig said.

Although the city of Manchester has been making efforts to combat the opioid crisis, the problem is as severe as ever and remains a top concern for residents. This past September saw the most overdoses in Manchester in a single month with 147, and every month this summer saw increased overdoses from last year. Policies such as Safe Station are important, but more must be done if we want to see an end to this crisis.

Craig’s plan includes:

  • Continue regular ride-alongs with the police and fire departments to understand the challenges our community and first responders face
  • Develop and implement an evidence-based substance use prevention education program for schools and the community
  • Hold landlords accountable for problem properties where drugs are being sold and used and crimes are committed
  • Lead weekly interdepartmental meetings between the mayor, fire, health, police, office of youth services, the superintendent and key community organizations to ensure we are working together to comprehensively address the opioid crisis
  • Track and report outcomes based on funding to identify the most effective programs and improve services that combat the opioid crisis
  • Monitor indicators such as arrest data, emergency room admission rates, respite center admission rates and average wait time to identify key areas that need improvement
  • Compile citywide overdose data and utilize the data to identify and target interventions to reduce overdoses and overall opioid misuse
  • Establish partnership with the state to address this statewide problem. Over 65% of Safe Station entrants come from outside of Manchester, we need the state to recognize and invest in this program as a statewide resource
  • Advocate for resources from state and federal agencies that city departments and community service providers need to make a lasting difference in this fight, such as recovery housing throughout the state
  • Maintain a full police complement at all times to ensure resident safety
  • Support and advocate for expanded Medicaid. Without it, Safe Station would end and treatment options in Manchester would significantly decrease
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to address chronic homelessness

In a surprising announcement yesterday, Mayor Gatsas and Governor Sununu announced additional funding for the ‘Safe Station’ program.

“I want to thank Governor Chris Sununu, Drug Czar David Mara, and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Meyers for working with the City of Manchester to ensure the continued success of the Manchester Safe Station program. The immediate $150,000 commitment by Governor Sununu and his leadership team will assure the continuation of Manchester Safe Station and the programs in place to provide the services to Safe Station. I am confident that as we move forward we will secure additional funding for the future,” Gatsas said.

This announcement is surprising because it was Mayor Gatsas who opposed an additional $50,000 requested by Chief Goonan to be moved to Serenity Place as part of the Safe Station program in July of this year.

Gatsas is hoping that with today’s announcement people will forget about all of the times he opposed increased spending on the Safe Station program.

During her campaign for mayor, Joyce Craig has advocated on multiple occasions for state funding for Safe Station. Joyce recognized that Safe Station is a statewide resource in the fight against the opioid crisis and should receive support from the state.

In a written statement, Craig said, “This is good news for Manchester’s Safe Station program and those dealing with substance misuse. Safe Station has been a great tool to help people receive recovery services and I am thankful to our first responders for implementing this program.

Unfortunately, Ted Gatsas didn’t bother to take action to make sure Safe Station is recognized as a statewide resource until three weeks before his next election. I’ve advocated for state recognition for months and I am glad Mayor Gatsas decided to take my lead and ask for funding in Concord this week. We need a mayor who works for Manchester every day, not just in the weeks leading up to an election.”

Another example of Gatsas playing games with the people of Manchester is his new solar power project.

“The proposal consists of a twenty five-year power purchase agreement for solar energy and the construction of a solar array on Mount Manchester, also known as the former city dump, that will generate at least three mega watts of power,” reported Girard at Large.

In 2015, Gatsas killed a proposal that was fully supported by the Board of Alderman to install solar panels at the former landfill in Ward 12.

Craig called out this proposal for what it is, a half-baked idea to “score political points” with voters just prior to the election.

“It was clear from the presentation this evening that this proposal was nowhere near ready to be presented to the full Board of Mayor and Alderman. Although he acknowledged being aware of the issue for weeks, Mayor Gatsas failed to provide any information to the Aldermen until tonight. Mayor Gatsas is attempting to rush this issue through the board to score political points before the election. He should have followed the usual protocol and sent this to the city’s energy committee for proper vetting.”

Craig was also quick to criticize Gatsas for his failure to support a similar proposal in 2015.

“Manchester would already be realizing energy savings and revenue if Mayor Gatsas didn’t kill a fully vetted and approved solar project for the landfill in Ward 12 that was overwhelmingly supported by the aldermen in 2015.

I’ve been a strong advocate for renewable energy as an alderman and during my campaign for mayor. While I appreciate Mayor Gatsas is finally endorsing renewable energy, the city would have been better served had the mayor supported a fully vetted project two years ago. Manchester needs a mayor who serves the city every day. Unfortunately, Mayor Gatsas is scrambling to fix his record with rushed plans three weeks before the election.”

Joyce Craig Says ‘Mayor Gatsas Is Failing Our Students’

Mayor Ted Gatsas (Image By Marc Nozell)

Today, the Union Leader reported through the anonymous whistleblowing of public school teachers that Manchester public schools don’t have enough math textbooks or workbooks for students. The story revealed that Manchester hasn’t had an elementary math curriculum in the city for three years, and teachers are defaulting to old, out-of-date textbooks. Teachers are being forced to reach into their own pockets to pay for school materials. As Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Gatsas has direct oversight of the school district and is not addressing critical issues in our schools that directly impact student success.

From the Mark Hayward at the Union Leader:

When Manchester schools started earlier this month, it marked the third year without a common, district-wide program for teaching mathematics in elementary schools, a situation that is drawing criticism from school officials, teachers and parents.
Critics, some who asked to speak anonymously for fear of reprisal from fellow teachers, say children in the city’s 14 elementary schools don’t get the same textbook or workbook — or even any book — that provides the tangible, step-by-step continuity that is helpful to mathematics instruction.

Without a district-wide curriculum, teachers cobble together lessons from various sources, meaning no conformity for lesson plans and teaching material in the district.

…Teachers use math workbooks left over from previous years, the teacher wrote.

They also download material from websites such as teacherspayteachers at their own expense (one 3rd-grade workbook bundle goes for $72). Lesson plans cost less for individual topics. For example, a lesson plan about sums costs $7. The district provides some materials.

…At another elementary school, a veteran teacher said teachers collaborate, but it comes down to whatever a teacher decides is best for her class. The teacher did not want her school or name published, fearing repercussions. Manchester students come from such diverse backgrounds, she said, that she’s not sure one curriculum would work for all.

“I wish we did have some kind of a book or program we all could use,” she said, “but on the other hand, I don’t know what it would be.”

She uses the teacherspayteachers website for some lessons. Her school, she said, has an active parent-teacher group that provides stipends that cover the lesson. Other schools don’t.

“There are a lot of teachers buying a lot of things,” she said. She said teachers also use their own printers at home to print out the lessons.

A teacher of more than 20 years, she relies on her experience.

“You’re pulling pieces of what you used to use, a game, a book,” she said. “For a new teacher, I don’t know what they’re doing.”

After the article published, Manchester Mayoral candidate, Joyce Craig issued this statement:

“As Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Gatsas is failing our students with his mismanagement of resources and lack of oversight of the school district. Textbooks and curriculums are a basic necessity for a quality education. Mayor Gatsas lets problems go unaddressed and shows he is not focused on leading discussions to improve student achievement.

My 13-year-old daughter is learning algebra, but she doesn’t even have an algebra textbook. There are hundreds of kids with the same problem. We can and must do better, and we can’t let Mayor Gatsas continue to shortchange our children’s education. We need fresh leadership that takes a proactive approach to solving our city’s problems and our families can’t afford more of Mayor Gatsas’ inaction.

My vision of Manchester is one where students and teachers have the resources they need to learn and succeed. As mayor, I will set goals and review results with the school board and community on a regular basis to ensure we are focused on improving student achievement.”

Joyce Craig will face off against Manchester’s current Mayor, Ted Gatsas, in the citywide elections on Nov. 7th.

Joyce Craig Garners Endorsement Of Manchester Firefighter Unions

Manchester, NH – Today in front of Manchester Fire’s Station 8, the Queen City’s two firefighter unions weighed into the contentious race for Mayor with their endorsement of former Alderman Joyce Craig.

“Manchester is in desperate need of a new vision for our city and its fire department. Over Mayor Gatsas’ tenure, staffing at the department has been reduced while the city has experienced a continuous increase in call volume and hazardous situations. As a 31 year veteran of the department, I am increasingly alarmed by the dangers and long term effects our firefighters face as they perform their mission to protect life and property. Simply stated we need a change and it must originate from the top,” said James Michael, President of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820. 

“Our members pride themselves on their effective and efficient answering of every call, to every home and every business in need. We see firsthand the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in running our city, most recently through Mayor Ted Gatsas’ tall tale of saving Station 9 in his underfunded budget. As a lifelong resident of our city, I can say that smoke and mirrors does not result in a clear vision for our community. It is time that a change come to City Hall, and today we announce that Joyce is our choice as the next Mayor of Manchester,” said Jeff Duval, President of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 856.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association. Our firefighters risk their lives to respond to an increasing amount of emergency calls and hazardous situations with outstanding professionalism and dedication. I also want to thank our firefighters for their leadership and service implementing the Safe Station program. They have opened their doors to more than 2,000 people seeking help for substance use disorder. I look forward to working with our public safety officials to address our challenges and move Manchester forward,” said Joyce Craig, Candidate for Mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig is running against the current Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas.  This election rematch is shaping up to be a very tight race.

The firefighters have not held anything back when talking about the failed leadership of Mayor Gatsas.  In his campaign announcement, Gatsas proclaimed he “saved a fire station from closing,” The firefighters quickly tamped that out in their statement.

“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the Mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures,” said the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement.

“Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough,” the firefighters added.


Be sure to follow the NH Labor News for more updates on the Manchester Mayoral Race.

Manchester Mayoral Candidate Joyce Craig Launches ‘12 Wards in 12 Days’

Manchester, NH – Today, Joyce Craig, candidate for Mayor of Manchester, announced the launch of her ‘12 Wards in 12 Days’ tour to kick off her grassroots campaign. Joyce will meet voters in their neighborhoods, listen to their concerns, and share her ideas on how to make Manchester a better and safer place to work and live.

From Thursday, June 22 to Tuesday, July 3, Joyce Craig will participate in events and campaign activities in each of the 12 wards.

“I’m excited to work hard for every vote”, said Craig. “I want to reach people where they are; in every ward, to discuss real solutions to Manchester’s challenges. I want voters to know that I’ll work tirelessly to make Manchester a better place to live and work. Manchester has so much potential, but unless we address our struggling schools, the opioid crisis, and our deteriorating infrastructure, we’re not going to be able to move this city forward.”

The Craig campaign will launch ’12 Wards in 12 Days’ with a house party in Ward 6 on Thursday June 22 at 6pm. On Friday, Joyce will make stops in Ward 11 and will make stops and canvass in Wards 5 and 8 over the weekend. For more information or to RSVP please email craig@joycecraig.org.

The campaign will advise public events ahead of each day.

Joyce Craig Announces Campaign for Mayor of Manchester

MANCHESTER – Citing a need for new leadership in City Hall to address the many challenges facing Manchester, Joyce Craig today announced her campaign for Mayor of Manchester. 

“I’m running for Mayor because I love Manchester, and I know that we can and must do better to make our city a place where people want to live, work and raise their children,” said Joyce. “For eight years, under Mayor Gatsas, we’ve seen our city stumble from crisis to crisis.  We need a new Mayor with vision and energy. As an Alderman, I led bipartisan efforts to lower the tax rate while putting more police officers on the streets, improving our roads and investing in our schools. As Mayor, I will make smarter decisions with your hard earned money and work to bring pride and optimism back to the City of Manchester. Our city has great potential, but to get there we need new leadership, and that change must begin in the Mayor’s office.”

Born and raised in Manchester, Joyce is a former school board member and alderman, property owner and parent of children attending Manchester public schools who has seen first-hand the challenges our citizens face every day.  Joyce knows that Manchester cannot reach its full potential without the leadership in City Hall to address the many issues facing the city – including drugs and crime, the quality of our schools, our roads and infrastructure, and the need for a long term plan to promote economic development and job creation. 

Joyce and her husband, Attorney Michael Craig, have three children, William, Sarah and Kathryn. Joyce is a graduate of Manchester public schools and earned her degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. Joyce worked as a marketing director in Boston for 15 years where she developed strategic plans and managed multimillion dollar budgets. She is now a self-employed property manager. Joyce is also an avid runner, who has completed 13 marathons and is currently training for her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon. 

Joyce Craig: Gatsas Cares More About Debate Rules than Manchester’s Future

MANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig issued the following statement on yesterday’s mayoral debate.

“Yesterday, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce hosted a Mayoral debate where Ted Gatsas and I had the opportunity to address business and community leaders about the many issues facing Manchester – from the out of control heroin problem to our failing schools,” said Craig.

“Instead of talking about his record as Mayor or the issues important to our community, Mayor Gatsas accused me of violating debate rules by writing on a pad of paper provided by the Chamber to each candidate for use during the debate. After six years as Mayor, it is clear that Ted Gatsas has no interest in talking about his failed record or his lack of vision for Manchester’s future.

“During his tenure as Mayor, class sizes remain high, we lost over $9 million in tuition revenue after he lost the sending towns of Auburn, Hooksett, and Candia, and young families continue to leave Manchester for safer communities with better schools.

“As Mayor, Ted Gatsas has stood by while heroin abuse and drug-fueled crimes, like prostitution and burglary, have continued to plague our city. Last month, Manchester experienced the highest number of heroin overdoses to date. Despite this alarming trend, Mayor Gatsas failed to convince members of his own party to fund a drug court in Manchester and he refuses to join his Chief of Police and Public Health Director in supporting Medicaid Expansion to provide more options for treatment and recovery.

“For too long, Mayor Ted Gatsas’s misplaced priorities and failed leadership have held our city back. I am running for Mayor because as a former School Board Member, Alderman, marketing executive and mother, I have a record of bringing people together to solve problems, and that is exactly the kind of leadership that Manchester needs.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig Announces Public Safety Endorsements

Joyce Craig MayorMANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig announced that the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820, and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 856, have endorsed her campaign for mayor of Manchester.

“Alderman Craig will confront the challenges that face our community with compassion and purpose,” said Jim Michael, President MAFS Local 3820.

 “After 6 years of failed leadership from Mayor Gatsas, we look forward to working with Alderman Craig as mayor and know she shares our passion of making our community the safest city possible,” added Jeff Duval, President, MPFFA Local 856.

“I am honored to have the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association,” said Craig.  “I commend our public safety officials for all they do and we must support them in their efforts to keep our city safe.  Emergency calls and crime have increased during the Mayor’s tenure, yet in the past he has taken actions that would have cut our critical public safety forces.  This must stop, and as mayor I look forward to working collaboratively with our public safety officials to ensure we are confronting our challenges and making Manchester a safe and welcoming city for all our families and residents.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.

Manchester Education Association Recommends Joyce Craig For Mayor, Craig Announces Dates Of Public Forum

Manchester Education Association Recommends Joyce Craig for Mayor

MANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig announced that the MEA has officially recommended her for mayor of Manchester.

“The Manchester Education Association officially recommends Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester,” said Sue Hannan, President, MEA. “Joyce’s long term record of understanding and supporting public education in Manchester is a clear message for all parents, educators and citizens that she is our best hope to move our schools forward.”

“I am truly honored to have the support of the Manchester Education Association and their 1000+ members,” said Craig.  “As a proud graduate of Memorial High School and the mother of three children in Manchester public schools, I understand the critical role public education plays in our city.  Good schools lead to greater economic development and safer streets, but under the Mayor’s tenure our schools have worsened and we have bigger class sizes, fewer teachers, and  fewer course offerings.  Our city has much room to improve, but we need a leader who will proactively work with others to find solutions to some of our pressing problems.  As mayor, I will work with parents, teachers, and administrators to strengthen our schools and make sure our kids have the opportunities to graduate and succeed.”

Joyce Craig is currently the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.


The campaigns for incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas and mayoral candidate Joyce Craig have announced the following dates and locations for the Manchester Mayoral Town Hall series. 

Each town hall will begin at 6:30pm and is scheduled for 45 minutes.  The format will be that each candidate begins with a brief introduction, takes questions from audience members and concludes with a closing statement. 

The following confirmed dates and locations are: 

Thursday, October 1, 2015: 

McDonough Elementary School, 550 Lowell Street

Ward 4 Polling Location

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015: 

Hillside Middle School, 112 Reservoir Ave.

Ward 2 Polling Location

 

Friday, October 16, 2015:

Location to be confirmed

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015:

Location to be confirmed

 

Friday, October 23, 2015:

Location to be confirmed

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015:

 Our Lady of the Cedars Church, 140 W. Mitchell Street

 

The Manchester municipal election is on Tuesday, November 3rd and polls are open from 6am to 7pm.

 

Joyce Craig wins Primary Nomination And To Face Mayor Gatsas In Mayoral Election 

MANCHESTER – This evening, Alderman Joyce Craig released the following statement on tonight’s municipal primary results.

“Tonight, after six years of failed leadership, growing crime and drug addition, and failing schools, the majority of voters in Manchester said they are ready for a change in the Mayor’s Office,” said Craig. “While Mayor Gatsas may have outspent our campaign, we clearly outworked him – beating him outright in his home ward – and we will continue to outwork him in the general election campaign. Since beginning our campaign, we’ve made over 20,000 calls and knocked on over 13,000 doors talking to voters about our vision for a better Manchester.

“I want to thank all of my supporters – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – who joined me in saying tonight to Ted Gatsas that we want change in Manchester, and with your help, and your energy, we will beat Gatsas and begin to build a brighter economic future for our city.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement on Joyce Craig’s Manchester mayoral nomination:

“The overwhelming majority of Manchester voters sent a message loud and clear tonight: after ten years of worsening schools and increasing crime under Frank Guinta and Teddy Gatsas’ failed leadership, it’s long past time to bring change to Manchester’s corner office.”

“As an alderman, school board member, and mom, Joyce Craig has proven that she’s exactly the leader we need to defeat Gatsas and build a safer and brighter economic future for Manchester.”

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 12,492 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement