Making Democracy Work

Action and Advocacy

How the LWVNH is now acting, or has formerly acted, on issues.

What is the League currently doing? What issues is the LWVNH focusing on this year? What has the LWVNH accomplished in the past? Tips for effective citizen advocacy.

Issues and Actions

Voter ID Legislation The League continues to monitor voter ID legislation. The League opposes bills requiring photo ID.

Voter ID requirements were passed in June 2012, revised in spring 2013. The League honors its commitment to voter service and education by publicizing the voter ID requirements (please visit our Elections page).

We were also co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit opposing the voter registration requirement to register a car in NH. That case was settled with a permanent injunction against the restrictive requirement in July 2014. It will be appealed by the state sometime in 2015.

Expanded Gambling The League continues to oppose gambling expansion. The coalition against expansion of gambling in NH is reorganized under the name Casino Free NH (see the website and facebook page: http://casinofreenh.org/ <https://www.facebook.com/CasinoFreeNH>

Incarceration The League is tracking legislation related to our study of women incarcerated in NH. We attended bi-monthly meetings of the Interagency Council on Women Incarcerated in NH until that body was disbanded in late 2014. We also observe meetings of the committee recently established to study the availability of services in the community to offenders released on parole.

New Hampshire Prison Privatization The League opposed the large-scale privatization of prisons in NH for which bids were being evaluated (fall 2012). We attended coalition meetings opposed to privatization. We urged members to contact the Governor and their Executive Councilors to express opposition to privately run prisons. Happily, the privatization issue has been put to rest for now (spring 2013), and a new women's prison was approved in the capital budget. The League is keeping a close eye on plans for the new prison as they are developed. We attended the ground breaking on August 18, 2014. League board members are available to speak to groups in the community interested in learning more about incarceration, alternatives to incarceration, and privatization of prisons.

Alternative Sentencing Members of the League's study committee on incarceration testified in support of establishing more drug courts (alternative courts) in NH. That legislation passed (spring 2012) and we urge the counties to establish drug courts, which are both more successful than incarceration in solving addiction problems in the long run and save money over incarceration costs for drug offenses. We are also heartened by the increase in mental health courts in several NH counties.

Redistricting League board member Nancy Marashio is part of the LWVUS task force studying redistricting in preparation for the required redistricting following the 2020 census. We have testified in favor of having an appointed redistricting commission in NH (currently the legislature does this) and advocate for greater openness in the redistricting process.

Trevor Potter talk May 2014

Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter spoke to a rapt audience in Concord on May 6, 2014, hosted by the Coalition for Open Democracy. COD is the coaltion to which LWVNH belongs that is working on campaign finance reform in NH, a timely subject given the ad money already pouring in for NH's US Senate seat.

Trevor Potter is a lawyer, former commissioner (1991+1995) and chairman (1994) of the United States Federal Election Commission. He is the founder, President, and General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit organization which works in the areas of campaign finance and elections, political communication and government ethics.[1] His government experience also includes service as assistant general counsel of the United States Federal Communications Commission (1984-1985) and attorney with the United States Department of Justice (1982-1984).

He is also notable for appearing on the television program The Colbert Report, where he discussed political action committees, and the founding and progress of Colbert Super PAC. Potter explained to Colbert's audience the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision made by the United States Supreme Court that allowed the creation of "Super PACs", and was the lawyer behind the creation and functioning of Stephen Colbert's PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow". You can hear his talk via YouTube by clicking on this link: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZHasnxft6o&feature=youtu.be>

Coalitions

Much of our work is done in partnership with other groups. We are members of or work with the following coalitions:

New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Learn more at: http://nodeathpenaltynh.org/

New Hampshire Prison Watch Learn more at: http://www.nhprisonwatch.org

Casino Free New Hampshire is the coalition against expanded gambling. Learn more at: http://casinofreenh.org/ Visit their Facebook page

Granite State Priorities (formerly The Granite State Fair Tax Coalition) P.O. Box 3431 Concord NH 03302 603-986-7696. Learn more at: http://gspriorities.org/ View this YouTube video of Mark Fernald's March 2014 talk on NH's tax structure. Fernald is a board member of GSP.

Coalition for Open Democracy 4 Park St Concord NH 03301 Learn more at: www.opendemocracy.me Also visit their Facebook page

NH Kids Count and NH Child Advocacy Network 2 Delta Drive, Concord NH 03301 Learn more at: http://www.childrennh.org/web/nhcan.html Visit their Facebook page

Housing Action NH Housing Action NH PO Box 162, Concord NH 03302 Learn more at: http://housingactionnh.org Visit their Facebook page