Congratulations on a huge victory this week in Senate District 16, proving that progressive grassroots action is alive and well in the Granite State.
This is a major victory on a path to reclaim power in New Hampshire, and across the country, in the 2018 elections and build a true, progressive movement in the Granite State.
Democratic Manchester Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh defeated Republican and former State Senator David Boutin in a special state Senate election on Tuesday by a solid 55-44 margin. Boutin had held the seat from 2010 through 2016 and was better-known districtwide than Cavanaugh, but Cavanaugh’s team built a strong, coordinated get-out-the-vote effort and RAD worked with progressive partners in the state to run a robust field campaign independent of the candidate, and the party, ultimately securing a significant victory.
Voter turnout was 21 percent, a clear indication that the extensive voter outreach and mobilization campaigns run by the candidate and by independent progressive organizations made all the difference.
The Democratic Leadership Campaign Committee, National Education Association (NEA), NEA NH, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, AFSCME, IBEW 2320, and Rights & Democracy collaborated on an independent expenditure program through America Votes NH.
RAD alone knocked on 6000 doors over 20 days and had 1,648 conversations with voters.
But this is just the beginning. Join the RAD statewide Movement Politics team to be part of setting our progressive road map through 2020. E-mail organizer Maria Fitzsimmons to learn more.
We’ve launched Progressive Manchester NH to mobilize grassroots support to reclaim Manchesterand make it a thriving and vibrant city that works for the people who live here. Or, join the crew in Nashua on July 31 to help stack the school board and board of aldermen with grassroots, progressive leadership.
The municipal elections are on November 7, 2017, so join the effort!
Celebrate the beautiful diversity of New Hampshire and talk about the next legislative steps to making transgender nondiscrimination a legal reality in the Granite State this Saturday at Victory Park in Manchester.
Now, more than ever — especially given President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military — we need to come together as a community and fight back against the erosion of our rights under this administration, and to realize full equality here in the Granite State.
Join Rights & Democracy's (RAD) Transgender Organizing & Leadership Development (TOLD) project, Gerri Cannon of Freedom New Hampshire, Rep. Sherry Frost and others to demonstrate that, more than ever, transgender nondiscrimination protections in New Hampshire are vital and necessary to ensure the health and well-being of communities statewide.
RSVP TODAY for the Transgender* Equality Rally on Saturday, July 29, Noon-3 PM at Victory Park, Concord St., Manchester
In early 2017, the LGBT+ community in New Hampshire came extremely close to winning key protections and passing a comprehensive state law to legally protect transgender family and friends from discrimination. New legislation will be introduced in September to build on this momentum, and it’s time to begin planning now to create a path toward justice. This bill would expand nondiscrimination to include public places, housing, and employment.
To recognize the hard work and momentum of the LGBT+ community, the Transgender* Equality Rally is designed to create community, celebrate, socialize, and strategize the next steps to victory. Featured speakers will include Gerri Cannon of Freedom New Hampshire, Rep. Sherry Frost, LGBT+ community leaders Chloe LaCasse, Carter Adams, and others.
The speaker program will last from 12:30 – 1:30 PM. After the speakers, people will stay at the park to picnic, play lawn games, dance to music, and build a sense of collective identity.
You can also join one of three breakout sessions directly after the program, starting around 2 PM. The breakout sessions will be: making art and rally signs; sharing and listening to spoken word; and, talking about a power analysis of New Hampshire.
Join Rights & Democracy, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, and other special guests to kick off Democracy Summer: From Protest to Power.
This summer-long, statewide grassroots campaign will help communities rally to stamp money out of politics, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, put people and planet before profit, fight for healthcare as a human right, rally for transgender rights, and decarcerate New Hampshire.
It’s time to bring lasting change to the Granite State in the 2018 elections and beyond.
WHAT: Democracy Summer Kickoff!
WHO: Rights & Democracy, Ben & Jerry, Andru Volinsky, NH Executive Council Member. Music by The Wooks
WHEN: July 15, 2017 at 4pm - 6pm
WHERE: Common Man Inn & Spa, 231 Main St, Plymouth, NH 03264
We need volunteers to make this kickoff a success! Email Anthony Procik to sign up.
The recent legislative session in New Hampshire lacked both a rejection of the Trump agenda and a bold vision for moving the state forward. As grassroots leaders, we have led and participated in many rallies and marches in opposition to toxic legislation and in support of policies that benefit people and the planet.
Now it's time to take our work to the next level.
This summer, we will organize a series of events to continue to build our base, move our elected officials, and organize for our progressive agenda under the framework of “Democracy Summer: From Protest to Power.”
See you on July 15th!
Since November 8, there has been endless soul searching and debate on the left and in the Democratic Party about what went wrong in the presidential election. The post-mortems continue in the blogosphere, on countless Facebook pages, and in thousands of one-on-one discussions. Meanwhile, the victorious Republicans are moving ahead fast with a clearly defined 2017 agenda, and the Congressional majorities and new administration necessary to implement it.
How to respond to that upcoming threat is now a more pressing question than “what went wrong” last fall. Fortunately for the left—often plagued by infighting over priorities, ideology, and tactics—Republicans in the new Congress and the Trump administration are providing the answer for us. In the face of an all-out assault on the social infrastructure that has supported poor, working, and middle class Americans for over fifty years, our task is clear. We must unify across organizations—social and racial justice, environmental, labor, faith, and civil rights—to resist and offer an alternative to the Republican agenda of deregulation, privatization, corporate welfare, xenophobia, and racism.
Republican Congressional leaders and President-elect Trump have identified health care as a majority priority. Trump’s proposed Health and Human Services Secretary—House member Tom Price—and other Capitol Hill foes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan to resurrect House Speaker Paul Ryan’s 2011 plan for a Medicare voucher system and other proposals to restructure Medicaid, repeal the ACA, and privatize the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
If successful, these efforts will jeopardize health care coverage for millions of Americans—disproportionately seniors, people of color, single parents, veterans, disability insurance beneficiaries, lower income workers, and the unemployed. Moreover, the Republican plan will put even more of the funding burden for social safety net programs onto already overstretched state budgets. (Seehttp://khn.org/news/millions-could-lose-medicaid-coverage-under-trump-plan/ for projections about the impact of this policy shift.)
You may have noticed since the launch of Rights & Democracy we have always managed to feature a flock of geese on our posters. We pride ourselves on putting out graphics and art that represents the beauty, energy and excitement about the movement we are trying to build for people and the planet. But you may be one of the number of people who have asked the question, “What’s with the geese?” over the course of our first year. Well, we saved the answer for our First Annual Membership Assembly held this past Saturday, December 10th in Lebanon, NH (See post about the assembly here, and see new board member Mary Gerisch’s blog post on the significance of Human Rights Day here).
I have always had deep reverence for geese as for thousands of years they have been making their annual migrations across the globe. In addition to being beautifully graceful animals, after watching a documentary detailing their amazing annual trips I have always marveled at their perseverance and teamwork. Being in New England, it is also awe inspiring to see them fly overhead sometimes in the hundreds (which they call a gaggle). Years ago I saw a presentation about the lessons of geese, and we adapted them to a poster that we released at the Assembly called “Movement Lessons From Geese.”
When introducing these new beautiful posters, I chose to read one lesson in particular that seemed special for the occasion of recognizing the work of our founding chair Michelle Salvador, who was taking a step back after playing a key role in RAD’s launch. She was able to pass the torch to new co-chairs Sylvia Gale (NH) and Brittany Nevins (VT). Along with the Sheila Reed (VT) and Janice Kelble (NH), the new co-chairs for the Rights & Democracy Education Fund, they will step up to lead this new grassroots power building formation.
Here is “Lesson # 4 - Empowering Everyone To Lead: When the lead goose in the front gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and allows another goose to take the leadership position.
LESSON: We are all leaders and have the capacity for greatness. Micro-managing and keeping tight control will demotivate people, while stifling creativity and growth. It will also burn out everyone. We all have unique skills, capabilities, and gifts to offer. When we all have the trust and a chance to shine, we will be surprised with the collective outcome.”
When over 125 leaders from across New Hampshire and Vermont came together for Rights & Democracy’s First Annual Membership Assembly, it was hard not to think back on how far we have already come. A little over a year ago we thought it was not only possible but necessary to build a new grassroots vehicle to advance the political revolution in 2016 across both states, but it is still incredibly empowering to actually pull it off. If you couldn’t make it on Saturday, here’s a recap of what you missed:
We had powerful panel discussions and skill building workshops that featured many of the elements of building the political revolution locally. This included:
A panel on Race, Class and Gender featuring Ebony Nyoni of Black Lives Matter VT, Anthony Procik from RAD NH and the Transgender Organizing & Leadership Development (TOLD), State Representative Mark King of Nashua, NH - moderated by Maria Fitzsimmons, RAD’s Director of Organizing.
Three break out workshops to spend time building an array of leadership skills including: how to talk to the media, how to share our narrative, how to effectively invite people into our movement, and how to politicize our experiences.
A panel on the local political revolution featuring former Portsmouth Mayor and NH Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Marchand, recent candidate for NH State Representative Marcy Katz Rothenberg, and VT State Representatives Selene Colburn (Burlington) and Rachael Fields (Bennington) - moderated by Jessica Early, RAD VT leader.
We held elections for our Rights & Democracy Project Board of Directors, the leadership board comprised of members from both states. We had a few key folks take a step back from the board including founding chair Michelle Salvador, who played an integral role in launching RAD and will continue to stay involved in the the Vermont Leadership Committee. While we have great people stepping down, incredible folks also stepped up, including Sylvia Gale (NH) and Brittany Nevins (VT) our new co-chairs. Sylvia and Brittany headline a strong slate of leaders who are ready to take the organization to the next level.
“I’m honored be given the opportunity to help lead RAD in this next period. The challenges for our country and our communities are enormous, and we need this organization more than ever,” said Brittany Nevins, new co-chair and RAD founding leader from Burlington. “The truth is, we are just getting started and we know that the vast majority of people support the the political revolution and the changes we are pushing for. It’s up to us to help get our communities organized for the long haul.”
To read more about Brittany, Sylvia and our incredible leadership check out the board description here: radnh.org/board
Also, check out the Board of Directors for our the Rights & Democracy Education Fund (the 501c3 charitable organization focused on grassroots organizing and education) led by new co-chairs Sheila Reed (VT) and Janice Kelble (NH) here: rights-democracy.org/board
By popular demand, we released a whole bunch of new RAD gear at the Assembly including more hoodies ($27), long sleeve shirts ($20) and short sleeve ($15), bumper stickers ($3) and some very cool new winter hats ($15 or free to new monthly sustainers*). Check it out at www.radnh.org/gear