A CALL TO ACTION FOR NH VOICES OF FAITH
Dear NH Voices of Faith,
We hope you’ve had an opportunity to read AFSC NH’s most recent State House Watch (here) which highlights a wide array of bills — good, bad and horrible — coming up this week in the NH Legislature concerning matters of justice, equity, fair play, and the public good. Please look over the upcoming legislation carefully and take action.
As part of our Call to Action this week, we invite you, as you are able to do so safely, to show up in person (masked, boosted, physically-distanced) on Thursday, January 20 at 8:00 AM at the doors of the House Education Committee, Legislative Office Building, rooms 205-207. Join NH Voices of Faith, the Kent Street Coalition and other public education advocates for a visibility action opposing the horrific HB 1255, the “Teacher Loyalty Bill” (scheduled for an 11:15 AM hearing) and also opposing HB 1015 to be heard earlier by the Education Committee, at 9 AM.
HB 1255 expands the McCarthy-era prohibition on teacher advocacy of ‘subversive doctrines,’ stating that “No teacher shall advocate any doctrine or theory promoting a negative account or representation of the founding and history of the United States…. Such prohibition includes but is not limited to teaching that the United States was founded on racism.” NHPR provides an overview of the issue here. You can read the bill text here.
HB 1015 would enable parents to opt their child out of any curriculum material they find “objectionable” and “that violates the student’s convictions.” This bill slyly takes current statutory language calling for parents to receive advance notice of teaching plans for “human sexuality or human sexual education” (so they can object to their child experiencing this curriculum) and appears to expand this to all curriculum. We have no way of really knowing the sponsors’ motivation, but we wonder: Is this just another devious path for fomenting intimidation of teachers and creating mayhem and censorship in the classroom when it comes to any mention of racism or histories of marginalization and oppression in the U.S.? Read the bill text here.
In addition, we call upon NH Voices of Faith to take action to register your support for HB 1251, also being heard on Thursday morning January 20 (at 11:30 AM) in the House Labor Committee (LOB 305-307). This bill would prohibit the payment of a sub-minimum wage in NH and thus override the existing law that allows NH employers of certain tipped workers to pay an immoral base wage of $3.27 per hour.
And there is so much more! Additional bills related to education, bills related to immigrant rights (please help us oppose HB 1266 and support HB 1100), bills on worker rights and voting rights, and more. Again, read AFSC’s State House Watch and take action based on what you’ve read.
Here is a helpful “how to” from the Kent Street Coalition for making your voice heard:
Tips for Weighing In On Pending Legislation
- To sign in to support/oppose House legislation, use this link.
- To email members of the committee or to submit written testimony use this cheat sheet listing all the House Committees, along with the chair and the group email address for each. Or go directly to the Gencourt committee listing here.
- To view the House Calendar, click here for digital and here for PDF.
- To view streaming House Committee Meetings, visit the NH House YouTube Channel. Links are also available on the NH House Digital Calendar.
- To sign in to support/oppose Senate legislation, use this link.
- To email members of the committee or to submit written testimony use this cheat sheet listing all the Senate Committees, along with the chair and the group email address for each. Or go directly to the Gencourt committee listing
- To view the Senate Calendar, click here for digital and here for PDF.
- To view streaming Senate Committee Meetings, visit the NH Senate YouTube Channel. Links are also available on the NH Senate Digital Calendar.
Thank you for all you can do this week.
Rev. Gail Kinney and Maggie Fogarty
NH Voices of Faith