Take Action - Rights and Democracy NH

Sign the Petition: Raise the Wage!

A recent report by the Rights & Democracy Education Fund — “New Hampshire Together: Voices from the Granite State”* — found strong, shared agreement across the state around the major issues facing our families and communities.

They are: lack of access to affordable health care; the impact of the overdose crisis; quality public education; jobs that don’t pay enough; the cost of meeting the basics in life; the affordability of college and career training; and pollution of land and water.

The same report found similar, broad agreement to solutions such as raising wages and benefits for Granite Staters—83 percent of people surveyed said raising wages would "help" (23 percent) or provide a "great deal of help" (60 percent).

That's why RAD is part of Raise Up NH and we're calling on everyone to sign the petition urging state legislators and the governor to Raise the Wage!

RAD is working with community members and allies throughout the state for true, lasting solutions to several of the community problems identified in our survey, including issues of health care, quality jobs, public education, and raising the state's minimum wage, which was abolished in 2011.

RAD is a member of Raise Up NH, a project of the New Hampshire Alliance for a Moral Economy, a coalition of faith, labor, and grassroots community organizations convened by the Granite State Organizing Project.

Raise Up NH coalition members include: Granite State Organizing ProjectAmerican Friends Service Committee of NHSEIU Local 1984- NH State Employees AssociationAFL-CIO of New HampshireRights & Democracy NHUnited Valley Interfaith ProjectCampaign for a Family Friendly EconomyThe Economic Justice Caucus of the NH LegislatureUU ActionThe Economic Justice Mission Group of the United Church of ChristThe Sisters of MercyPoor People’s Campaign of NHNH Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

Learn more about Raise Up NH in this piece from New Hampshire Public Radio.

Also from NHPR: Can Minimum Wage Workers Make Rent in New Hampshire?

* The report's findings are from the 889 New Hampshire residents who filled out the New Hampshire Community Survey, which was conducted beginning in the winter and continuing through the summer of 2018.

Rights & Democracy Endorsed & Recommended Candidates

Rights & Democracy (RAD) is encouraging everyone to get out and vote for these RAD-endorsed and recommended candidates this November!

We need these community leaders elected so they can champion policies to defend public education, access to health care, paid family and medical leave benefits, protect voting rights, and ensure basic human rights for all Granite Staters.

A little bit about the process:

Endorsed candidates: They applied for our endorsement, and their applications were reviewed by an endorsement committee made up of RAD member leaders. Some, given past work with RAD, were endorsed. A handful were voted on by the full membership.

Recommended candidates: In two races - Congress and Governor - there wasn't sufficient time to have the candidates fill out an endorsement application and be voted on by our full membership. So our endorsement committee, and Board, voted to recommend the candidates.

We've added links, where available, to the candidate's election page so you can get more information about how to help them win!

You can also sign up to become one of our Get Out the Vote volunteers!

Questions? Email me Kathy Staub at kathy@radnh.org


US House

Chris Pappas - Recommended



Molly Kelly - Recommended


Executive Council

Andru Volinksky, Executive Council (District 2)


State Senate

Dan Feltes, Senate District 15

Jenn Alford-Teaster, Senate District 8


House Races

Julie Radhakrishnan, Amherst District 22

Ed Butler, Carroll Distritct 7

Sparky Von Plinsky, Cheshire District 7

Pat Brady Martin, Cheshire District 11

Cathleen Fountain, Coos District 7

Sallie Fellows, Grafton District 8

Heidi Hamer, Hillsborough District 17

Tim Smith, Hillsborough District 17

Dan Westervelt, Hillsborough District 20

Laura Lynch, Hillsborough District 25

Jan Schmidt, Hillsborough District 28

Trish Klee, Hillsborough District 30

Mark King, Hillsborough District 33

Barbara Blue, Hillsborough District 37

Jim Bosman, Hillsborough District 38

Chris Balch, Hillsborough District 38

Candace Moulton, Hillsborough District 44

Connie Van Houten, Hillsborough District 45

Bonnie Wright, Rockingham District 8

Sean Lewis, Rockingham District 8

Ellen Read, Rockingham District 17

Renny Cushing, Rockingham District 21

Manny Krasner, Strafford District 2

Gerri Cannon, Strafford District 18

Claudia Istel, Sullivan District 7



Elizabeth Ropp, Hillsborough Register of Probate

URGENT: Join us in NH to #StopKavanaughNow!

Help us #StopKavanaughNow and join us tomorrow, Friday, September 21 in New Hampshire to let Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine — who will be speaking at St. Anselm College — know that we want her to keep her word and protect our rights by rejecting the Koch Brothers' hand-picked conservative activist Brett Kavanaugh from being appointed to the US Supreme Court. Collins is a crucial swing vote in the narrowly divided US Senate and this is a chance for us to tell her why she must vote no & protect the future of our Supreme Court and the shared rights of generations to come!

If you are at all able, please join us for a picket starting at 4:30PM. Our friends at Granite State Progress will also be there, and you can find details on their Facebook event.

Please sign up here if you can attend.

For our Vermont members: We are working to organize housing with our New Hampshire members for those who want to be at the event tomorrow, and would like to stay overnight to attend our Membership Assembly & People Power Summit on Saturday in Keene.

For our New Hampshire members: If you are able to host someone, please let us know by filling out this form.

As you know, this is a crucial fight; the Affordable Care Act and access to health care, women’s reproductive rights and autonomy, migrant rights, marriage rights, tribal sovereignty, workplace rights, environmental regulations, and critical checks on executive impunity are #What’satStake.

And thanks to the hundreds of folks who have signed our petition in standing strong with Sen. Patrick Leahy who is helping to lead the effort in stopping this sham nomination.

Thanks for fighting back with us!

Email me if you have questions, katherine@radvt.org

Kate Lapp, Rights & Democracy

Your 2018 Movement Builder Awardees!

The Rights & Democracy Project is excited to announce the recipients of our annual Movement Builder Award winners for Vermont and New Hampshire.

This year, we are honoring individuals in three separate leadership categories for each state—Youth, Organizing, and State House.

The winners will be honored during a midday awards ceremony this Saturday, September 22 at RAD's Annual Members' Assembly in Keene NH (click the link to RSVP and attend).

The awards ceremony will feature a keynote by one of the nation's leading progressive voices, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

The winners were selected from a group of nominees from RAD members, and staff, from both states. And the winners are ... drumroll please ...





Ethan Sonneborn is an activist and former Vermont gubernatorial candidate as well as the youngest gubernatorial candidate in American history. He ran a progressive campaign focused on bringing new people, especially young people, into the political process. He lives in Bristol, Vermont and now is a youth advocate, trying to make change from outside the beltway. Ethan plans to remain engaged and to keep fighting for policies that affect him as a young person.


Conor T. Hill, Oni Saleh, Adam Minihan and Hannah Landry are students at Keene High School together and are strong youth leaders in their school and wider community. Their organizing has led to a school walkout to end school shootings, gun sense and ending school violence events, the Youth Climate Rally, net neutrality rally, and student voter registration. They are passionate about many other important issues including ending college debt, uniting immigrant families and wider immigration policy and we look forward to watching and supporting their efforts as they grow.


These young women organized a school walk out at Conval Regional High School in Peterborough, NH as part of the National School Walkout movement, on March 14th, the one month anniversary of the Parkland Florida shootings, that left 17 students dead. When they first walked out of their school for 17 minutes, read the names and held a moment of silence to honor those killed. After that some of the students went back to their classes, but many continued on a three-mile walk to the town hall where they hosted a rally as well as gathering afterwards to reach out to their representatives to voice their concerns about gun policy in NH and our nation. They also did so knowing that they would face unspecified disciplinary action by their school administration.



Brenda Siegel has been a strong voice in the effort to raise the minimum wage, enact paid family leave, and stand up to the policies of Gov. Phil Scott  as well as writing political commentaries around the state. Brenda ran for governor making history as the first ever low income single mom to do so. During her campaign, Brenda released a Four-Part Plan to Heal the Opioid Epidemic and this plan is making headway and has a chance at becoming the plan of the state. Siegel spoke of redefining leadership throughout her campaign and making sure that we have all the voices at the table. Her leadership has inspired us as we work to build a better Vermont for everyone.


Pat Martin is a powerhouse organizer in the Monadnock region, but known to all in the Granite State when it comes to energy and the climate. She organized the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice Rally and Social this year, while also testifying at the state level against gas pipelines, writing op-eds, and rallying her fellow MPAers and partnering like-minded groups to fight against fracked gas and fossil fuels.



Rep. Kiah Morris of Bennington has been a RAD champion in the Vermont Legislature - a leading voice for women, people of color, and low-income and impacted communities. Kiah has worked with RAD to train and support first-time candidates seeking public office. Her too short time in the Legislature - and the visible way in which she confronted the racism that led to her withdrawal for reelection - has re-ignited a statewide call to action to make our institutions equitable, inclusive, and to confront systemic racism.


Andru Volinsky was elected to Executive Councilor in NH from District 2 in 2016. He was endorsed by Rights & Democracy in his bid and has become one of the strongest, most consistent progressive voices in Concord. He hit the ground running and has been a strong critic of Gov. Chris Sununu’s leadership, while working to promote public schools, addressing climate change, providing universal access to health care and reducing income inequality.

Support these RAD Candidates Today!

New Hampshire's primary is TODAY and Rights & Democracy (RAD) is encouraging everyone to get out and vote in their local elections for these RAD-endorsed candidates!

We need these champions elected to help us flip the House in November so they can champion policies to defend public education, access to health care, paid family and medical leave benefits, protect voting rights, and ensure basic human rights for all Granite Staters.

Below is the list of RAD-endorsed candidates who we've endorsed in the primary. We will issue another round of endorsements for the general election after the primary results.

We've added links, where available, to the candidate's election page so you can get more information about how to help them win!

Other questions? Email Kathy Staub at kathy@radnh.org

Thanks and vote early (but not often)!

Primary Candidates Endorsed by Rights & Democracy

Erik Corbett: Carroll 1 (Bartlett, Jackson)

Sallie Fellows: Grafton 8 (Plymouth, Hebron, Holderness)

Stephen Rand: Grafton 8 (Plymouth, Hebron, Holderness)

Barbara Blue: Hillsborough 37 (Hudson)

Jordan Thompson: Hills 29 (Nashua, Ward 2)

Connie Van Houten: Hills 45 (Manchester, Ward 10,11,12)

Bonnie Wright: Rockingham 8 (Salem)

Sean Lewis: Rockingham 8 (Salem)

Ellen Read: Rockingham 17 (Newmarket)

Gerri Cannon: Strafford 18 (Somersworth)

Help Protect Health Care in New Hampshire

Gov. Chris Sununu’s administration is seeking to impose the harshest Medicaid work requirement in the country—resulting in hundreds, if not thousands, of Granite Staters losing their health care.

We can help stop this from happening, but we need to act now & speak out.

The Trump Administration is currently collecting comments on New Hampshire's request to force a 100-hour-per-month work requirement to maintain eligibility for Medicaid. We must flood them with comments about why work requirements are harmful to some of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors.

Here’s the link to the website where you can post your comments starting today.

The deadline to comment is September 2.

See the bottom of this email for key talking points.

New Hampshire’s waiver also asks for permission to include assets tests and proof of citizenship—taking a page out of the Trump administration playbook to target rural farmers (who may be property rich and cash poor) and immigrants.

Most New Hampshire Medicaid Expansion recipients are already working, but some may have irregular hours because they are at the mercy of their employers or they work seasonal jobs. Others return to the workforce as soon as their health improves or a job becomes available.

Here’s what we can expect if this waiver is approved with these forced labor requirements: Arkansas recently implemented an 80 hour-a-month work requirement this year and after only two months, more than 5000 people were at risk of losing coverage—either because they did not work enough hours or did not have internet access and couldn’t report their hours.

New Hampshire’s Medicaid Expansion program is working just fine as is. Granite Staters don’t need more obstacles to health care.

Your comments are critical to protect people’s access to life-saving health care, as they can shape waiver approvals and can be used in court to stop implementation.

Access to health care is under attack around the country, and we can’t let it happen here in New Hampshire.

Click here and make your voice heard!

Facts about New Hampshire's Medicaid program

Here is some information about New Hampshire’s Medicaid program to help craft your comments. If you have personal experience with Medicaid Expansion, irregular hours, seasonal employment, or limited access to the internet please share that experience in your comments.

  • The program has provided access to health care to more than 100,000 New Hampshire residents since it began. Most have transitioned to other health plans. Only a small percentage have been enrolled in the program for the whole time.
  • Of the 50,000 people who are currently enrolled in the program, most of them (65%) are employed.  The rest are between jobs, caring for young children or other family members, or too ill to work.
  • New Hampshire has many people who work in low-wage or seasonal jobs. People in the hospitality industry, food service, logging, farming, and construction jobs experience gaps in employment and many have irregular hours that they have no control over.
  • Self-employed people may also experience months where they work many hours followed by months where they have no work.
  • Monthly reporting means that a minor illness or other crisis spanning two months could result in loss of coverage.
  • In some areas of the state employment opportunities, even as volunteers, do not exist and transportation is unavailable.
  • Electronic reporting of work hours or conditions of exemption may prove difficult for people who can’t afford internet access or live in rural parts of the state where there is limited internet access.
  • New Hampshire’s Medicaid Expansion program has been a great success. It should be allowed to continue without the added burden of work requirements.

Tell Governor Sununu to Stand Up for Public Education

Stand up for New Hampshire’s public schools that are increasingly under attack!

This legislative session New Hampshire’s public schools were threatened by SB-193, which was called the most dangerous school voucher bill in the nation.  The bill would have siphoned millions of taxpayer dollars from local school districts and given to parents to pay for private and religious schools or to homeschool. A sustained, public outcry defeated this bill and protected public schools ... for now. We know the opponents of strong public schools will be back!

Sign our petition to Governor Sununu

Volunteer with Rights & Democracy and join the statewide campaign to advance our shared values to protect and improve public education.


Stop Work Requirements in New Hampshire


 Republican lawmakers have requested a federal waiver to impose a harsh work requirement on recipients of Medicaid Expansion in the Granite State.  

Folks who want to remain on Medicaid Expansion will now be forced to work 25 hours a week (100 hours a month) to receive health insurance.

This is the most severe work requirement in the United States, and could have dire consequences for many of the state’s most vulnerable individuals and their families:

Your help is needed to show strong, widespread opposition to these work requirements.

Here are three things you can do:

  1. Submit a comment to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.They are currently asking the public to weigh in on whether the government should approve the waiver. A big deluge of comments will make it harder for them to justify approval and will strengthen the case against work requirements when this matter goes to courts. Comments must be received by 5 pm on June 29. Use any of the bullet points in this email to help you write a strong paragraph. Send your comment to: nhmedicaidcaremanagement@dhhs.nh.gov
  2. Write a letter to your local newspaper or your local legislator using the bullet points below. We are happy to take a look at what you’ve written and help you fine-tune it.
  3. If you or someone you know has a powerful health care story to tell, take a minute to fill out this short form on our website and someone will be in touch.

Please let us know if you take any of these actions!

Talking Points:

Personalize it with your own story if at all possible - this does make a difference.

  • Work requirements should not be a condition of receiving health care.
  • These changes may lead to loss of health insurance for people who don’t have the stamina to work 25 hours a week.
  • If work could not be found, unpaid community service would have to be substituted, amounting to a forced labor situation.
  • Seasonal and self-employed workers who experience gaps in employment may also lose coverage because they won’t meet the required 100 hours every month.
  • Some people live in areas of the state where finding suitable employment and securing reliable transportation to a job may be very difficult.
  • Reporting would happen monthly, so if workers missed shifts because of illness, they could be at risk of losing health insurance.
  • People who suffer from mental illness may have periods when they are unable to work.
  • The number of identification forms required of people to enroll could make it much more difficult, if not cost-prohibitive, for low-income folks to participate.
  • There is an exemption on the work requirement for people who are ill or caring for children or family members, but how difficult will it be for someone to find out if they are eligible for the exemption?
  • Financial assets and citizenship status do not determine eligibility so we should not collect this information from people as a condition of enrollment.
  • If someone with school-aged children needs childcare during work hours, which is very expensive and not available everywhere, what is the plan for providing it?
  • Retroactive coverage will be eliminated. This will lead to increased uncompensated care, hurt recovery centers and community health centers, and prevent people from seeking medical care when they need it.


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.




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