State House Watch: February 3, 2023

By Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke



"The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois

Hello State House Watchers,

BRRRR! We hope you are warm and safe during this arctic freeze. Find some important safety tips here, as well as emergency shelter and warming center resources. Please do what you can to support local partners who are working day and night to ensure that houseless community members can come in from the cold.

ACTION ALERTS! Please sign in (House bills here; Senate bills here), contact the committee, or show up to support/oppose next week’s key bills:

SUPPORT HB 570 relative to Real ID compliant New Hampshire driver licenses. This bill authorizes the Department of Safety to issue Real ID driver licenses to non-citizens who are lawfully present in the U.S. and who are otherwise eligible for a driver license in NH. On Tuesday, February 7 at 1 PM in House Transportation Committee, Room 201-203, LOB. This bill is a priority of the immigrant-led Drive Safe NH team.

OPPOSE SB 132-FN, prohibiting cities and towns from adopting sanctuary policies. This is a harmful bill that could require state and local law enforcement to engage in enforcement of federal immigration laws. Defeating this bill is a priority of the NH Immigrant Rights Network. On Tuesday, February 7 at 9:45 AM in the Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs Committee, Room 103, LOB.

SUPPORT HB 629-FN, establishing a student bill of rights. On Friday, February 10 at 2:45 PM in the House Education Committee, Room 205-207, LOB.

SUPPORT SB 144, relative to the state minimum hourly rate. This bill would re-establish and raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by July 2024. On Tuesday, February 7 at 10 AM in the Senate Commerce Committee, Room 100, SH.

SUPPORT Gun Violence Prevention! Join the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition for Lobby Day at the State House on Wednesday, February 8, starting at 8 AM. We will meet in the Hall of Flags and proceed to the doors of Representatives Hall (the House chamber) prior to hearings in the House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee on multiple bills, both good and bad. Scroll down for details.

Mark your calendars! Governor Sununu will give his biennial budget address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Tuesday, February 14 at 1 PM. Stay tuned for opportunities for action from the NH Campaign for a People’s Budget. And check out this article by Garry Rayno at InDepthNH: Budget Season Opens Long Before Governor’s Budget Address.

Immigration news

Nine Republican-led states have filed a new lawsuit in federal court seeking to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an effort to withdraw protections for nearly 600,000 young immigrants currently living in the US. Read more here. And learn more about how the ongoing campaign against DACA has impacted one Texas family: Lengthy timeline for DACA legal fight puts lives on hold for years.

AFSC joined 114 other human rights organizations this week to call upon President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Special Student Relief (SSR) for the Democratic Republic of Congo: “We believe that the ongoing armed conflict, humanitarian situation, and other extraordinary and temporary conditions in DRC warrant an immediate designation of TPS and SSR. Further, we reiterate the necessity to combat racial disparities in decisions regarding TPS designations for Black and Brown-majority countries that meet the statutory requirements…It is more important than ever for the Administration to use the full breadth of its executive power to provide essential humanitarian protections for Congolese nationals in the United States.” You can read the letter here. We hope that the Administration heeds this urgent request.

Want to learn more? We recommend viewing this presentation which was recorded on Wednesday: Immigration Is a Black Issue: A Conversation About Black Immigrants in the United States.

Last week at the State House

As you know, last week was packed with hearings on many important issues, including LGBTQ rights and safety, bail reform, racial profiling, health care access for immigrants, and abortion rights. Read about the bail reform hearings here, and the effort to protect abortion access here.

The full House met in session on February 2. Below are some outcomes for the bills we’re watching.  We’re disappointed that the full House rejected HB 95, a bill that would have given municipalities more tools to address the affordability crisis for rental housing. Read more here.

LOB – Legislative Office Building (33 N. State St. Concord)
SH – State House (107 N. Main St. Concord)

OTP – “Ought to Pass,” the recommendation for approving a bill or an amendment
OTP/A – Ought to Pass with Amendment
ITL – “Inexpedient to Legislate,” the recommendation for defeating a bill or an amendment.
ITL” can also be used as a verb.
IS – Referred for interim study
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
VV – Voice vote

On the Consent Calendar

HB 65, commemorating the first labor strike in the United States by women. Vote ITL on a VV
HB 140, proclaiming January 24 as “Granny D” day. This bill commemorates January 24th as “Granny D” Day. As in previous years, the committee finds that proclamations by the Governor and local celebrations are a more appropriate means of commemorations for those whose memory we hold dear, such as Granny D. Vote ITL on a VV

HB 422-FN, to create a public county registry of the monthly rent charged by landlords for each owned unit. The committee believes this bill is an unfunded mandate, leaving the Registry of Deeds to develop a new database system and infrastructure to be enacted in 60 days. The committee also was concerned about the invasion of the landlord’s privacy. Laid on the table and indefinitely postponed.

On the Regular Calendar

HB 95, enabling municipalities to adopt rental practice regulations. The majority believes allowing each municipality to establish de facto rent control flies in the face of free market principles. From the minority report: With the vacancy rate below 1%, some landlords have been raising rents 100 to 150%, which has resulted in numerous evictions of tenants who have no housing options. The minority believes there is a need for some municipalities to consider adopting rental regulations to protect economically vulnerable people in their communities. ITL by RC
HB 295-FN, relative to requiring all selectboard and school board meetings to be recorded and broadcast live online. Laid on the table

HB 330-FN-A, relative to the national guard recruitment incentive program and its funding and rulemaking. This bill raises the enlistment incentive payment from $500 to $1000 to current and former members of the NH National Guard who refer enlistees. OTP & referred to Finance

Next week at the State House

The House doesn’t have a voting day scheduled for next week, but the Senate will meet in full session on Thursday, February 9. Both bodies will meet the following week, on Tuesday, February 14 in Joint Convention at 1 PM to hear Governor Sununu’s budget address. House members will meet before and after the budget address to vote on bills.

You can watch the House hearings here, and the Senate hearings here. You can sign in for House bills here, and for Senate bills here. And you can contact House committees and Senate committees.

Coming up in House committees

Monday, February 6

Room 202-204, LOB

2 PM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 421, requiring feminine hygiene products to be provided to prisoners who menstruate in state and county correctional facilities.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:30 AM Executive Session on HB 102-L, requiring high schools to include instruction on the nature and history of communism; HB 435, relative to relief aid calculation in determining grants for adequate education; HB 439-FN, relative to the duty to provide an education and contracts with private schools; HB 440-FN, relative to the uses of education trust fund; HB 466, relative to water bottle filling stations in schools; HB 501, relative to ages for special education services; HB 540-FN-L, relative to adequate education grant amounts for pupils receiving special education services; HB 601-FN-L, relative to state participation in the Medicaid direct certification program for free and reduced price school meals; HB 464-FN, relative to eligible students in the education freedom account program; HB 272-FN, increasing chartered public school per pupil funding.

1 PM HB 134-FN, extending the public employees labor relations act to employees of the general court and relative to the duties of the joint committee on legislative facilities.

2 PM HCR 6, relative to condemning the use of violence against supporters of self-governance.

Tuesday, February 7

Room 206-208, LOB
2:45 PM HB 551-FN, relative to department of children, youth, and families tracking and publishing statistics.

2:15 PM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 639-FN-A, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:30 AM HB 441-FN-L, eliminating residency requirements for public school attendance.

10 AM HB 104, relative to multi-stall bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.

10:45 AM HB 352, relative to excused absences due to a student’s mental or behavioral health. 11:15 AM HB 505-FN, relative to comprehensive mental health education in schools.

1:45 PM HB 539-FN, relative to vaccination clinics at schools.

ELECTION LAW, Room 306-308, LOB
10 AM HB 40, relative to domicile residency, voter registration, and investigation of voter verification letters, and relative to the terms “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence,” and “residency.”
1 PM HB 405, relative to out-of-state college students voting.


10 AM HB 241, relative to the opportunity of school district employees representing the collective bargaining unit to meet with the public employer as part of collective bargaining negotiations.
1 PM Executive Session on HB 48-FN, relative to employee protections from COVID-19 in the workplace; HB 57-FN, relative to the state minimum hourly rate; HB 58-FN, prohibiting payment of subminimum wages; HB 74-FN, relative to an employee’s unused earned time; HB 118-FN, prohibiting employers from engaging in certain anti-union activities.

10:30 AM HB 605-FN, relative to solar generation under the renewable portfolio standards.

1 PM HB 570, relative to Real ID compliant New Hampshire driver licenses.
2 PM Executive session on HB 570, relative to Real ID compliant New Hampshire driver licenses.

Wednesday, February 8

Room 302-304, LOB
10:45 AM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 353-FN, establishing an interstate compact for universal healthcare; HB 373-FN, relative to billing for ambulance services; HB 389, relative to consumer protection relating to hospital price transparency; HB 414-FN, relative to health insurance coverage for preventative PFAS care. HB 242-FN, relative to banning PFAS in food packaging.

9 AM HB 32-FN, relative to possession or discharge of a firearm in a safe school zone.

9:45 AM HB 59-FN, requiring a background check prior to any commercial firearm sale.
10:30 AM HB 76, imposing a waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.
11:15 AM HB 78, repealing an act prohibiting the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep or bear arms.
1 PM HB 106-FN, relative to extreme risk protection orders.

1:45 PM HB 351-FN, relative to the negligent storage of firearms and relative to firearm safety devices.
2:30 PM HB 444-FN, prohibiting possession of a firearm at a polling place.
3:15 PM HB 474-FN, relative to enforcement of federal firearms laws and establishing penalties. 4 PM HB 512-FN, exempting firearms manufactured in New Hampshire from federal laws and regulations.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9 AM HB 627-FN, relative to local education improvement plans and disparities in education.

9:45 AM HB 514, relative to the dissemination of obscene material by schools and institutions of higher learning.
1 PM HB 452, relative to the department of education procedures for school building aid applications.
1:45 PM HB 354, relative to chartered public school eligibility for state school building aid.

2:30 PM HB 394-L, relative to the organization of cooperative school boards.
3 PM HB 632, relative to the cooperative school district budget committee.


1 PM Executive Session on HB 620-FN, establishing a department of early childhood education and relative to a pre-kindergarten pilot program.
1:30 PM Executive Session on HB 180, renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day; HB 266, relative to notice and public access requirements for hybrid and virtual agency public comment hearings for rulemaking.

10:30 AM HB 299-FN, prohibiting discrimination in medical care.
1:30 PM HB 582-FN, requiring the division of vital records to collect induced termination of pregnancy statistics; HB 615-FN, requiring independent audits of reproductive health care facilities; HB 566-FN-A, relative to establishing a fund for child care workers and early childhood educators at state licensed child care centers; HB 264-FN, relative to amendments and corrections to birth records; HB 574-FN-A, re-establishing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program; HB 565-FN-A, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services; HB 580-FN, establishing a children’s vision screening initiative within the state Medicaid program; HB 282-FN-A, relative to including certain children and pregnant women in Medicaid and the children’s health insurance program.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
11 AM Executive Session on HB 112, relative to tenant’s right to notification prior to the sale of a multifamily home; HB 117, relative to the termination of tenancy at the expiration of the tenancy or lease term; HB 235, establishing a commission to study the expansion of the landlord tenant mediation program in circuit courts; HB 261, authorizing residential tenants to terminate their lease in instances of domestic violence or following a disabling illness or accident; HB 283, to limit application fees charged to prospective residential tenants; HB 401, relative to evictions based on the owner’s intent to renovate the property; HB 469-FN, prohibiting discrimination against tenants holding certain vouchers for purposes of renting dwellings; HB 567, relative to notice of rent increases in certain residential rental property; HB 396, relative to state recognition of biological sex. Continued Executive Session on HB 379-FN, requiring that attorneys be appointed to represent indigent tenants during residential eviction proceedings and making an appropriation therefor.

Thursday, February 9

Room 202-204, LOB
9:30 AM HB 135-FN, prohibiting no-knock warrants.
10:15 AM HB 156, relative to misconduct by a law enforcement officer.
1 PM HB 481-FN, relative to arrest warrants and search warrants.
2:30 PM HB 593-FN, relative to the forfeiture of assets in connection with a drug offense.
3:30 PM HB 624-FN, relative to federal immigration checkpoints.
4 PM HB 653-FN, prohibiting personal recognizance bail for violent crimes.

FINANCE, Room 210-211, LOB
10 AM SB 1-FN-A, relative to the closing of the Sununu youth services center and establishing a commission to study the public safety of the secured youth development center and surrounding communities.
1:30 PM Executive Session on SB 1-FN-A, relative to the closing of the Sununu youth services center and establishing a commission to study the public safety of the secured youth development center and surrounding communities.


11:30 AM Division Work Session on HB 49-FN-A, relative to postponing the closure of the Sununu Youth Services Center; SB 1-FN-A, relative to the closing of the Sununu youth services center and establishing a commission to study the public safety of the secured youth development center and surrounding communities.

1 PM HB 611-FN, relative to eligibility criteria for the therapeutic cannabis program.

1:30 PM HB 610-FN, expanding the definition of providers who can certify patients of the therapeutic cannabis program.
2 PM HB 431, permitting qualifying patients and designated caregivers to cultivate cannabis for therapeutic use.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
9 AM Continued executive session on any remaining bills from February 8, 2023.

10:30 AM Executive Session on HB 203, relative to publication of annual county budgets; HB 273, requiring composting and waste recycling to be made available to residents of public housing.

Friday, February 10

11 AM Executive Session on HB 89, relative to posthumous exonerations and annulments; HB 158-FN, relative to armor piercing ammunition; HB 315, prohibiting provocations based on a victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation from being used as a defense in a criminal case; HB 305, relative to exceptions for violations related to Presidential Executive Orders governing the keeping or bearing of arms.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
1:15 PM HB 628-FN, requiring certain non-public schools or education service providers that accept public funds to perform background checks on all employees and volunteers.
2 PM HB 427, relative to public comment and inquiry during school board meetings.
2:45 PM HB 629-FN, establishing a student bill of rights.


10 AM Executive Session on HCR 7, recognizing the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation; HR 7, calling for the federal government to preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security without cuts to benefits.

Coming up in the Senate

The Senate will meet in session on Thursday, February 9 at 10 AM in the Senate chamber. You can watch it here . Here are some of the bills scheduled for votes:

On the Consent Calendar


SB 156-FN, relative to voter registration and verification of voter identity. Senator Gray for the committee. This bill, as amended, updates the procedures for determining voter qualifications and voter registration by deleting language found unconstitutional by the courts and allowing authorized election officials to use nonpublic information from the centralized voter registration database to verify a voter’s identity. The intent of this legislation is to clarify procedures and provide additional tools for clerks and officials to use in order to verify legitimate voters. The amendment clarifies that the non-public information used will remain to be non-public. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 5-0.

SB 172-FN, allowing court-appointed guardians to receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 5-0.

SB 254-FN, relative to community-based sentencing alternatives for primary caregivers. This bill would have addressed community-based sentencing alternatives for primary caregivers. The language is in need of further examination, and a working group intends to come together to discuss the impact primary caregiver incarceration has on children, the problem the bill intends to address. Therefore, the Committee recommends a motion of Inexpedient to Legislate by a vote of 5-0.

On the Regular Calendar


SB 113-FN, relative to cost effectiveness review of the joint utility energy efficiency plan. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 4-0.

SB 42-FN, relative to overpayment of unemployment compensation. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 7-0.

SB 32-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Committee recommends OTP-A by a vote of 5-0.

Next week in Senate committees

Tuesday, February 7

Room 100, SH
9:15 AM SB 193, relative to the obligation of collective bargaining units to negotiate in good faith.
10 AM SB 144, relative to the state minimum hourly rate.

9 AM SB 153-FN-A, establishing a first responder career development, recruitment, and retention program, and making an appropriation therefor.

9:15 AM SB 154-FN, relative to tuition waivers for children in guardianships after being in state foster care.
9:30 AM SB 214-FN-A, establishing a department of early childhood education and relative to a pre-kindergarten pilot program.

9 AM SB 110-FN-L, relative to administration of the emergency shelter program by cities and towns.
9:45 AM SB 132-FN, prohibiting cities and towns from adopting sanctuary policies.

FINANCE, Room 103, SH
1:25 PM SB 138-FN-A, making an appropriation to PFAS remediation fund grants.
1:40 PM SB 230-FN-A, making an appropriation to the department of environmental services for wastewater infrastructure projects.

1:30 PM SB 185-FN, relative to protective services for vulnerable adults and the definition of abandonment.
1:45 PM SB 179, relative to eliminating the use of seclusion as a form of punishment or discipline on children in schools and treatment facilities.
2:10 PM SB 184, relative to the age at which a minor may receive mental health treatment without parental consent.

Wednesday, February 8

Room 103, SH
9 AM SB 108-FN, relative to participation of the New Hampshire public defender program in the state employee health insurance plan.

9:30 AM SB 233-FN-A, re-establishing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
9:45 AM SB 175-FN, relative to Medicaid coverage for mothers.

9 AM SB 189-FN, relative to the definition of gross business profits in determining taxable business profits.
9:15 AM SB 260-FN, relative to deductions under the business profits tax for compensation of members and owners.

Upcoming Events

Sign up for the DEI workplace innovation challenge hosted by NH Businesses for Social Responsibility.

Wednesday, February 1 to February 17

Crying in the Wilderness: An Immigrant’s Journey in Detention – 3 PM to 5 PM. Cheshire Mills Complex – 69 Main Street, Harrisville. Sharing a message of compassion and care for all our immigrant neighbors. Powerful photos, words and artwork illustrating the emotional toll of immigrant detention. Join us for the opening reception of a traveling exhibit with 10 large photos printed on canvas and suspended in black metal frames, illustrating the physical and emotional impacts of detaining and shackling an asylum seeker.

Saturday, February 4 to Saturday, April 8

Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival & Forum – 1 PM. Hosted by The Black Quaker Project. We are proud to announce the 2023 Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival & Forum, a groundbreaking exploration of Black Friends who made a difference throughout both USA and world history.  From February 4 to April 8, we will hold screenings, dedicated to Quakers of Color, over Zoom.

Sunday, February 5 to March 22

Bringing It Back: Conversations We Still Need – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Portsmouth Public Library, Livingston Room, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. In 2023, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will celebrate four hundred years as an incorporated town by honoring the city’s diverse and dynamic social, political, intellectual, cultural, economic, and spiritual history from the time of the first Native American settlements to the present. In recognition of this four-hundred-year milestone, BHTNH’s annual Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talk series will revisit significant themes from past conversations. The 2023 series will dig deeper into complex issues that often divide us in order to build inclusive communities in which we all can thrive.

Sunday, February 5

Before European Contact: Changing The Ways We Present Our History – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Portsmouth Public Library, Livingston Room, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. Many rich stories about the complex history of our region remain hidden, oftentimes erased in the conventional dominant stories. These narratives start with European contact on these shores and the arrival of enslaved Africans. This conversation aims to foreground the silenced stories of the Indigenous and African American experiences before European contact. Panelists also will discuss how we can change the language we use to tell a truer history when that history is told from an Indigenous and African point of view. Ahead of the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization, this coalition will advocate a policy shift towards Food Not Feed, to revitalize America’s heartland and put profits back in the pockets of our family farmers.

Monday, February 6

Free Her NH Campaign Kickoff Town Hall – 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Join organizers with the FreeHer NH campaign and some special guests to learn about how we are working to end the incarceration of women and girls in our state.

Support Milford students: Visibility Rally & School Board Meeting – 6 PM (Visibility Rally) 7 PM (School Board Meeting) Milford High School, 100 West Street, Milford. Hosted by Milford Pride & 603 Equality. School board member Nate Wheeler has proposed a policy that will strip LGBTQ+ students of their right to a supportive, gender-affirming school environment. All friends and allies are invited to celebrate diversity and support our LGBTQ+ students at a rally before the school board meeting. Milford residents are welcome to speak in support of our students and share a response to [the proposed policy] during the public comment portion of the school board meeting. Email for more information.

Tuesday, February 7

Food Not Feed Summit - 9 AM to 12 PM. Hosted by Farm Action. The Food Not Feed Summit aims to establish an agenda of shifting federal farm programs toward fiber-rich foods and regeneratively raised livestock and poultry within a system that’s fair and equitable from seed to fork.

Wednesday, February 8

Gun Violence Prevention Coalition Lobby Day - Voices of Faith Visibility - 8 AM. NH State House, Concord. Hosted by the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition and NH Voices of Faith. Please join us for a visibility outside of Reps Hall from 8 AM-9 AM. We will join our colleagues in the GVP Coalition for press and visibility in support of commonsense gun legislation in the Granite State. The time has never been more crucial for this work in NH, and beyond.

Emerging Leaders for Liberation Information Session - 8 PM to 9 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us as we answer questions about the Emerging Leaders for Liberation 2023 cohort, a program designed for Quaker young adults, students at Quaker colleges, and young adults in AFSC programs (ages 18-22) to hone their skills in leadership and community organizing. Our application is available January 30 through March 12, so apply today! Join our webinar and learn more about this immersive development opportunity, and how you or a young adult you know can join.

Thursday, February 9

Juvenile Justice Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Networking Forum – 5 PM to 7:30 PM. NH Fire Academy, 98 Smokey Bear Boulevard, Concord. Hosted by the Juvenile Justice Reform Commission’s Subcommittee on Ethnic and Racial Disparities. Join us for a quarterly forum, intended to foster collaboration between agencies and teams in New Hampshire who are working on common goals. The group’s mission is to prevent the disproportionate entrance into the juvenile justice system of any underrepresented population, ensure equal access to programs and treatment for all populations, and ensure equal opportunities for all youth involved in the juvenile justice system regardless of race, gender, identity, sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. This forum will include introductions with a structured youth panel and parent panel. The group hopes to empower everyone by harnessing empathy for the important work different teams are engaged in.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Sunday, February 12

The Paradox of Education for Black & Brown Children – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Portsmouth Public Library, Livingston Room, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH.  It has been a year since NH Legislators joined a wave of states across the country to pass laws prohibiting teaching critical perspectives on histories, laws, social practices, and literature that have excluded opposing voices and histories of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and People of Color. For this panel, presenters will discuss the effect these “divisive concepts” laws have had on teaching excluded perspectives in their classroom with a particular focus on NH. The panel will also explore the paradox of an educational system based on the notion of socializing young people into the existing structure of society, while also claiming to have, as its core mission, the goal of teaching students to be critical thinkers.

Monday, February 13

Peace & Justice Conversations: Building Peace in our Schools with Restorative Practices – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Whitney Howarth who will talk about her work with educational administrators, behavioral interventionists, counselors and teachers working to implement restorative practices in schools in order to build positive cultures of belonging where students feel empowered and connected. What can we learn about peace building on the local level and interpersonally that has macro-applications from the restorative framework? Come join the conversation about how we can build relationships within high support/high expectation systems that honor equity and inclusion at all levels of influence in our schools. By building less punitive climates of care and connection, we are creating spaces where learners and teachers work together to feel less overwhelmed and more emboldened as change agents.

Wednesday, February 15

To Live Peaceably Together: AFSC's Campaign for Open Housing, 1950-1970 - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Housing—where and how people live—is central to conflicts around race and poverty in modern America. Residential segregation continues to concentrate people of color and low-income families in constricted urban neighborhoods or, increasingly, in older, close-in suburbs, while whites and the more affluent move farther out into newer communities. Decades of private practice and government policy created this segregation and its resulting inequality.

Thursday, February 16

“Love and Resistance” - An Evening of Poetry and Conversation. 6 PM to 7:30PM. Hub Hage Room at Plymouth State University, Plymouth. Hosted by NH Panther and Plymouth State University’s Center for Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice. Please come out and join Diannely Antigua, who is both the youngest and the first person of color to be named Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH, and Ben Bacote, founder and director of NH Panther, writer, activist, and humanities teacher, for a lovely evening of poetry and conversation. Antigua and Bacote will share selections by BIPOC writers touching on the themes of love and resistance, and discuss the intersections of poetry and activism through the lens of their personal experiences. Additionally, Antigua will record the event, to be featured on her podcast, Bread & Poetry. This is intended to be an immersive arts experience, open to all.

Sunday, February 19

Beyond Forty Acres: Land Ownership, and Black Wealth – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Portsmouth Public Library, Livingston Room, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. In the 1930s and 1940s, as African Americans in urban centers like New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston began to establish themselves as part of the middle and upper-middle class, they flocked to the East Coast shoreline in summer to take in the beach and the bonfires. For this conversation, panelists will share the history and personal stories of land ownership, discriminatory practices that have prevented wealth accumulation, and the enormous loss of farmland that Black families have experienced. Panelists will share stories of upwardly mobile Black communities and how they have recast the borders of white spaces. They will also discuss innovative ways Black New England farmers are reclaiming the land and sowing the seeds of health and empowerment.

NH Peace Action Acts! – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Did you know that it only takes six calls in one day coming in to get that issue discussed in the daily staff meeting of a Congressperson or Senator? While it can feel daunting to advocate for our positions with officials who we often disagree with, we have seen that we can change minds and policy, especially when we coordinate our efforts. In this Zoom meeting, we will start with a quick update on current legislation on a peace issue (exact focus TBA). Then we will take action together, calling and writing our representatives and using social media to spread our message.

Tuesday, February 21

Don't Step on My Feet Again: A Poetic Exploration of Life in Gaza - 12 PM to 1 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us for the second AFSC "Light in Gaza" webinar, where we will have the privilege of listening to Basman al-Dirawi in conversation with poet Tariq Luthun. This event will delve into the richness of poetry, culture, and life in Gaza, as the speakers shed light on the challenges posed by the blockade and occupation.

The Kent Street Coalition Book Club – 7 PM. Hosted by the Kent Street Coalition. We will discuss the book The Common Good by Robert Reich on Zoom. All are welcome to join us. Contact GaleTaylor for the Zoom link. "Robert B. Reich makes a powerful case for the expansion of America’s moral imagination. Rooting his argument in common sense and everyday reality, he demonstrates that a common good constitutes the very essence of any society or nation. Societies, he says, undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce the common good as well as vicious cycles that undermine it, one of which America has been experiencing for the past five decades. This process can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh the moral obligations of citizenship and carefully consider how we relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership." -

Wednesday, February 22

A Friend's Call to a Farm Bill - 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Our food system is failing to address hunger in the United States. Nearly 38 million people—including 12 million children—are food insecure. The U.S. 2023 Farm Bill can expand efforts to alleviate hunger in the U.S. and ensure that no one is forced to go without food. Join AFSC staff and partners for our second roundtable discussion on the U.S. Farm Bill on how we can collectively call for policies that build a more just, equitable, and sustainable food system. In this Farm Bill learning series, all are welcome to join. We will deepen our understanding of how the Farm Bill functions, its crucial role in responding to the climate crisis, and how we can advocate for legislation that prioritizes the growing needs of our communities and environment.

Saturday, February 25

Prepared to Serve 2023 – 9 AM to 4 PM. Pembroke Academy, Pembroke. Hosted by the NH Conference United Church of Christ. With the theme “Connecting & Reconnecting”, we will offer a slate of workshops that will provide training and sharing on the topics most commonly asked for in this time of emergence. This year’s theme is from the scripture passage found in Romans 1:11-12 (CEV): “I want to see you and share with you the same blessings that God's Spirit has given me. Then you will grow stronger in your faith. What I am saying is that we can encourage each other by the faith that is ours.”

Black Excellence Conference  - 9 AM to 4 PM. University of NH, Durham. Hosted by BLM Seacoast. On February 25th in Hamilton Smith Hall at UNH, we are holding our first Black Excellence Conference! This empowering, one day conference draws talented BIPOC professionals from across different industries by offering access to distinguished speakers and panelists, as well as a trusted environment to network, celebrate excellence among our peers, and share innovative practices to advance our community.

Sunday, February 26

Shades of Black: Connected by Color, Culture & Community – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Portsmouth Public Library, Livingston Room, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. Black folk in predominantly white environments have often found it “exhausting” to continually describe for others the negative impact of racism on them. They also have felt it a burden to serve in the position of “teacher” representing the wider Black community, instead of being viewed as individuals with their own unique stories and needs. For this panel, Black Americans from diverse backgrounds will share their stories on what it means to live in and love their own skin.  

Black Excellence Awards Night – 5 PM to 8 PM. University of NH, Durham. Hosted by BLM Seacoast. In the Strafford Room in the Memorial Union Building, we are hosting our 3rd Black Lives Matter Seacoast Awards Night but this time in person! On this night, we will be honoring Black, Indigenous and People of Color community members who have contributed greatly to the Seacoast! This space is to give a platform to those who's recognition is long overdue. The night will feature an amazing keynote speaker, a dinner, performers, and the honoring of great award winners!

Monday, February 27

Peace and Justice Conversations: Ukraine’s Path to Peace – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. One year into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, join retired Colonel and former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell Lawrence Wilkerson for a discussion of the current state of affairs in Ukraine, and the ways the US policy can help work toward a peaceful future.

Tuesday, February 28

Self Care for Organizers - Close Art Looking - 6:30 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by RENEW US. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” - Audre Lorde. Organizing and movement work isn't easy - if you're reading this, you've probably experienced compassion fatigue, overwhelm, and issues around caring for yourself while you continue to do this work. Self-care looks different for everyone: how can you start caring for yourself when you're too busy caring for everyone else? We'll start with a brief grounding and relaxation exercise, and then spend time with a work of art. We'll do close looking, conversation prompts, and deep discussion about what we notice. Organizers of all levels are welcome to join, zero art skills or knowledge necessary!

Be well,

Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke 

AFSC’s New Hampshire "State House Watch" newsletter is published to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord which relate to racial, social, and economic justice. Bookmark to read past and upcoming newsletters, including our 2022 End of Session Report. 

The AFSC is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about peace, social justice, humanitarian service, and nonviolent change. Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke staff the New Hampshire Program which publishes this newsletter. Check out our 2022 Highlights brochure!