Take Action - Rights and Democracy NH

Thank Legislators & Governor Sununu for Supporting HB 1319

Now that HB 1319 is through the Senate, we’re closer than we’ve ever been to ensuring state law explicitly protects transgender Granite Staters from discrimination in housing, employment and public places like restaurants and hospitals.

That Senate vote was the biggest political hurdle HB 1319 has faced, and we wouldn’t have cleared it without transgender people bravely sharing—and allies lifting up—their stories.

But it also required our senators to show real political courage. Some weren’t initially with us, but they listened to us with open hearts and minds, and made the right choice: To stand on the side of freedom and fairness.

When our lawmakers stand on the right side of history, it’s important to say thanks. Send a short personal message of thanks to the 14 senators who voted to pass HB 1319. Then, follow it up with a quick message to Governor Sununu, thanking him for his promise to sign HB 1319.

Saying thanks is especially crucial right now, because there’s still one thing that has to happen before HB 1319 becomes law: Governor Chris Sununu has to sign it.

After the vote, he made it clear immediately that he plans to, but that hasn’t stopped our opponents from calling, emailing and tweeting at him daily with the hope that their misinformation will scare him away from signing HB 1319.

Showing our lawmakers that we’ll have their backs when they do the right thing sends a signal to Governor Sununu that he can win our thanks too—by signing HB 1319 as soon as it hits his desk.


Protest Betsy DeVos at Atkinson Country Club

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a champion of such horrendous ideas as cutting funds to public education and opening privatized charter schools, will pay a visit to the Granite State next Monday evening.

DeVos is the guest of honor at a New Hampshire GOP fundraising dinner this Monday:

Her visit comes on the heels of a desperate effort by New Hampshire Republicans to revive SB 193, the School Voucher bill which would have diverted money from public schools to private and religious institutions.

(Thankfully, due to your persistent calling, emailing, and rallying, SB 193 was defeated for the third time in the House yesterday!)

It's no secret that school choice is a policy idea that DeVos has pushed aggressively in her short tenure with the Department of Education, and her visit once again cements the strong ties between the Trump and Sununu administrations.  

It's up to us, the people of New Hampshire, to take a visible stand against the harmful education policies championed by Secretary DeVos and Governor Sununu.

Please join us to protest DeVos's visit from 4:30-6:00pm on Monday, May 14th outside the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, NH.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

 


Make 2 Calls to Help With 4 Critical Bills This Week

It all comes down to this week. There are 4 very important votes happening in Concord in the next three days, and we need you to take action to ensure the health and civil liberties of Granite Staters are protected.

The most important thing you can do is pick up the phone and make your position known.

>>>We are asking you to make just 2 calls:

  • one call to your Representatives in SUPPORT of Medicaid Expansion (SB 313) and in OPPOSITION to School Vouchers (SB 193)
  • and one call to your Senator in SUPPORT of Transgender Non-Discrimination (HB 1319) and in OPPOSITION to voting restrictions (HB 1264)

***

Here are some more details about when the votes are happening on specific bills, and events you can attend in Concord to show your support for the outcomes we want:

EXPANDING MEDICAID

The full House votes on whether to reauthorize Medicaid Expansion (SB 313) on Wednesday, May 2nd

>Call your representatives and urge them to vote YES on Medicaid Expansion. 

>Attend the Rally to Reauthorize Medicaid Expansion on May 2 at 8 am at the State House in Concord. 

TRANSGENDER NON-DISCRIMINATION

The full Senate votes on whether to pass HB 1319, updating NH law to protect transgender people from discrimination, on Wednesday, May 2nd.

>Call your Senator and urge them to vote YES on HB 1319

>Attend visibility rallies on May 2nd and May 3rd. Supporters are hoping this final gathering will be a victory rally.

PROTECTING PUBLIC EDUCATION

The full House votes on whether to allow school vouchers to fund private education (SB 193) Thursday, May 3rd.

>Call your representatives and urge them to vote NO on the School Voucher bill (SB 193).

>Email the whole House:  HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us   

Subject line:  The Reps are getting TONS of emails, so be sure to say something in the subject line that lets them know you oppose SB193 and why (just a quick "Don't raise my taxes with SB193" or something - but make up your own so it doesn't look canned.)  And then the body of your email can be 1 or 2 sentences - no more is needed.  Talking points are below. 

Talking Points:  (Choose one; put it in your own words! One or two sentences is all you need)

  • SB 193 downshifts $100 million in costs to towns/cities in the first 11 years, in ways they can’t make up with cost savings.  Property taxes will rise.
  • This bill takes public money and uses it for purposes beyond what the public agreed to, which was to fund public education accessible to all.

PROTECTING VOTING RIGHTS

The full Senate votes on HB 1264 on Wednesday, May 2. This is effectively a poll tax on voters because it requires them to establish residency and pay related licensing fees. 

>Call your Senator and urge them to OPPOSE HB 1264.

>Attend a visibility event on Wednesday, May 2 from 12:30-3:30 pm 

Thanks so much for your help!!


Your Support Sustains Us

Thank you for your past support — it is because of you that we were able to accomplish so much last year.  

And it is because of you that we have been able to unite folks during the legislative session around issues that improve the lives of our neighbors and our communities.   

These wins are important because, if the past sixteen months have taught us anything, it’s that Democracy is fragile, and Rights can’t be taken for granted.

The priorities of far too many elected officials – and the policies they attempt to enact – favor the wealthy few over the benefit of communities they have been entrusted to serve.

We need your voice to let our elected officials know we expect them to deliver on behalf of the people of New Hampshire.

And, we need your financial support.

Building on the success of the past two years, Rights & Democracy has fortified its coalitions to defend health care and education, and fight for economic and civil justice in the New Hampshire Legislature.

  • We have mobilized with partners to fight a school voucher bill that would rob Granite State public schools of millions of dollars and give them to private and religious schools with no oversight.
  • We have played a key role in the struggle for Medicaid expansion, challenging the onerous work requirements proposed.    
  • We are leading the fight for livable wages, affordable housing, and policies to address the opioid crisis.   
  • We are fighting to ensure non-discrimination protections are provided to our transgender community in New Hampshire.
  • And we are fostering the next generation of community and elected leaders through recruitment, education, and electoral support by canvassing in heavily contested special elections in which our backed candidates flipped 9 of 11 seats - including in districts heavily won by President Trump in 2016!

Throughout rural and urban communities in our state, we see working and middle class neighbors fighting to survive in today’s economy. That’s why this spring we are launching a series of community forums, going into our rural communities, meeting people with diverse backgrounds and political viewpoints in order to better understand their priorities for the future, and develop a platform we can use to hold elected officials accountable to our community’s true needs.

Your financial support makes our work possible, {{ recipient.first_name_or_friend }}.

You can help with a one-time, annual donation of $25, $50. $100, or more.

Or, join our growing list of monthly, sustaining donors who give $5, $10, $20 (and more) each month to help make our shared work possible.

We need your help in so many other ways, too. Get involved – forward our emails and Facebook pages to your friends, attend a meeting or a rally, join a working group, attend a legislative committee hearing or testify. We want our elected officials to hear your concerns.

One way to get involved is the upcoming Medicaid Expansion Rally on Wednesday, May 2nd at 8:00 am on the State House Lawn in Concord.  We’d love for you to join us!  

RSVP! We’d love for you to join us in sending a message about Medicaid’s critical impact on the wellbeing on Granite Staters.

Without the support of our members, our shared goals will be difficult to realize. So, it’s imperative that you unite to promote grassroots progressive policies our country so desperately needs.

By becoming a sustaining member of Rights & Democracy you are helping to build that movement — online, in local communities in New Hampshire and Vermont, and beyond. We need your help now to make it a reality.

Thank you for your contribution and continued support,

Jaime Contois, Director of Strategic Development

Rights & Democracy


3 Actions to Take on Paid Family Leave and Trans Rights

Here are some quick, easy actions you can take in the next week to help move forward key issues like enacting paid family and medical insurance and stopping transgender non-discrimination. Thank you!
 
PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE (HB 628)
 
On April 19, the Senate Finance Committee voted along party lines to send HB 628 to interim study—effectively killing the bill. This was shortly after a letter from Gov. Chris Sununu saying he planned to veto the legislation. After three years of research, 18 months of bipartisan collaboration, and three separate votes to pass the bill in the House, Gov. Sununu and the Senate are working derail this popular proposal.
It's important that your State Senator and the Governor hear from disappointed voters who overwhelmingly support implementation of a paid family and medical leave insurance program for working families. The entire Senate will be voting on the bill soon. Please call today!
 
ACTION #1:
Find your Senator, contact them and to urge support of HB 628
ACTION #2:
Call Gov. Sununu's office at 603-271-2121 and let him know you expect him to stand by his campaign promise to support paid family and medical leave in New Hampshire.
 
SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT FOR GOVERNOR SUNUNU (603) 271-2121:
 
Hello this message is for Governor Sununu, my name is ___________. I live in _______________ and I’m calling about the Family and Medical Leave bill, House Bill 628. I am very disappointed to hear that you are in opposition to this bill that would greatly benefit New Hampshire families such as my own. I was so pleased when you voiced your support for the policy in the past and am frustrated to hear you are now working in opposition to this popular program. Working families in our state need family and medical leave and I urge you to work with the Senate to advance this important policy.
***
TRANSGENDER NON-DISCRIMINATION BILL (HB 1319)

Today, HB 1319 advanced to the full Senate, though without an endorsement from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, the Committee recommended HB 1319 by a 3-2 vote for interim study—essentially a polite way to try and kill the bill. An interim study committee takes no clear action on a bill, and its recommendations are not required to be acted on. 

The bill still gets a vote on the Senate floor, and momentum is high. That vote could come either this Thursday, or next Wednesday or Thursday (May 2nd or 3rd) during the final days of the Senate session.

ACTION #3:

Contact your senator and urge them to vote in favor of HB 1319. We don’t need more time to know discrimination is a problem and this non-discrimination bill is the right solution.


Paid Family Leave: Preventative Insurance for New Hampshire Workers

(This following essay was written by Rights & Democracy member Nikki Casey)

It’s time for New Hampshire to allow for a simple, employee-funded insurance program to allow workers to take paid time off to care for newborn children, recover from illness or injuries, take care of their ailing parents, or recover from substance misuse disorders.

Please contact your legislator and ask them to support HB 628, which would establish a Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program for Granite State workers.

How does it work? Workers would pay .67 percent of their salary into the fund and after six months they will be eligible for six weeks of paid leave to deal with medical emergencies.For someone making $50,000 per year that would amount to $6.70 per week.

People who object to participation are given the opportunity to opt out. Additionally, the program is funded by employee contributions; employers would not be required to contribute anything.

Read more

Canvassers Needed: Special Election in Laconia

It’s time to carry the electoral energy of 2017’s special elections into 2018 as we build momentum for the mid-term elections this November.

Join RAD to knock doors for Democratic candidate Philip Spagnuolo in Belknap House District BE3, which is in Laconia, in advance of the special election on February 27.

We’ll be knocking doors on February 11, 18, and 25. Click on the button button to let us know what day(s) work best for you to join.Join_Us_button.pngDemocrats won eight of 10 special legislative elections in 2017 and Rights & Democracy members knocked doors and canvassed in many of them.

You can make a difference!

We look forward to seeing you out in the streets and on the doors.


Calls Needed: Important Vote on Paid Famly & Medical Leave Insurance

Help us get one step closer to ensuring all Granite Staters have access to paid family and medical leave insurance (FAMLi)!

We need folks to call state Representatives and urge them to support HB 628 in a crucial House vote THIS WEEK!

Paid FAMLi would complement existing insurance benefits such as worker’s compensation insurance and unemployment insurance.

The House is expected to vote on this important worker’s insurance program on Wednesday!

Here’s how to find your Legislator and contact them.

paidFAMLi_NH.jpgIMPORTANT: See below for a script if your legislator is one of the Republicans (they are listed below, too) who supported this important bill earlier this year—courtesy of Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy—along with some key talking points. If you have a personal story of a time this might have been helpful to you, let them know.

HB 628 enjoyed a healthy measure of bipartisan support, but there is a concerted GOP effort to kill this legislation.

Did you know? Only 11 percent of workers in the U.S. have access to paid family leave through an employer, and fewer than 40 percent have access to personal medical leave. Thousands in our own state continue to face severe challenges without paid time off to care for their newborn children, recover from illness or injuries, or take care of their ailing parents.

Establishing paid family and medical leave insurance in the Granite State is a key is part of Rights & Democracy’s Raise Up New Hampshire platform.

How the program would work: After six months of paying into the program, participants would be eligible for up to six weeks of paid leave to recuperate from an illness or procedure, or to care for a family member, a new baby or a sick parent for example. Participants would receive 60 percent of their wages.

Currently, there is an opt-out provision in the bill, and no business would be required to pay into it - only workers. The Department of Employment Security (DES) recommended that the participant input be increased from .5% to .67 percent, which they felt would secure the solvency of the program if participation rate was as low as 70 percent. This means that the average New Hampshire wage earner making $50,000 would see their weekly deduction increase from $5 in the original bill to $6.70. Businesses are not required to contribute anything to the program. Democrats on the Commerce Committee put forward an amendment to change the bill to reflect the DES recommendation.

Keep reading to find out how best to talk to your local representative.

Read more

Rally in Support of Transgender Rights

TransRally_unionleader.jpegHundreds of Granite Staters will gather on Wednesday, January 31 at the Legislative Office Building to show their support for a bill that will protect LGBTQ+ Granite Staters from discrimination.

In 2016, Rights & Democracy became a founding member of a strong, bipartisan coalition: Freedom New Hampshire, which is working to update state law to explicitly protect transgender Granite Staters from discrimination.

Since 1998, New Hampshire’s Law Against Discrimination has protected lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination in employment, housing and public places like restaurants, retail shops and hospitals. But there are still no explicit protections based on gender identity—and this year, that has to change.

Join_Us_button.png

Read more

Say it With Us: Health Care as a Human Right

The 2018 session of the New  Hampshire legislature convened January 3, and there are several bills aimed at creating universal health care plans in the Granite State and acknowledging that access to health care is a human right.

If you support creating a universal health care system in New Hampshire - this could be the year to have your voice heard!

On Friday, January 12, beginning at 9 AM, the Commerce Committee will be holding hearings on several bills related to single payer and Medicare for All in Room 302 of the Legislative Office Building.   

Please come to the State House to testify or just be present at the hearings. If you are not able to make it to testify please send your testimony to the Commerce Committee here.

These are the key health care bills:

  • HealthCareJustice.pngHouse Bill 1241 establishes a commission to study the benefits and cost of a "health care for all" program for New Hampshire.
  • Senate Bill 383 establishes a commission to assess benefits and costs of a "health care for all" program for New Hampshire.
  • House Bill 1516 establishes a commission to examine the feasibility of the New England states entering into a compact for a single payer health care program.
  • House Bill 1790 This bill establishes a New Hampshire health access corporation and health access fund.

This is also the year New Hampshire’s  Medicaid Expansion will need to be re-authorized.  Representative Cindy Rosenwald has submitted a bill—House Bill 1811—to extend the program which will have a hearing by the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on January 16, at 2:15PM in Room 205 of the Legislative Office Building.

Rights & Democracy NH’s Health Care Justice Team is looking for new members, so if access to health care is an important issue for you, contact Kathy Staub at kathy@radnh.org.


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