Workshops

We are proud to release the 2017 workshops! Our expert presenters explore not just the what, where, and why of each issue, but how to create real change. Your challenge is simply choosing among such a terrific array of sessions! Scroll below to see this year’s NH Progressive Summit offerings. Note: There may be a few editions and edits.

 WORKSHOP SESSION #1: 11:00 A.M. – Noon

 Organizing to Win Transgender Non-Discrimination Protections

This workshop is a primer on the most persuasive ways to talk about transgender non-discrimination, and the campaign tactics the Freedom New Hampshire coalition is utilizing to advance a transgender non-discrimination bill the next time it is introduced, including house parties, business endorsements, and schools organizing. Presenters: Linds Jakows, Campaign Manager, Freedom New Hampshire; Alexis Payne, Rights & Democracy New Hampshire’s Transgender Organizing and Leadership Development (TOLD) Team │ Location: Classroom 238

Steps to Media Success: How to Work with the Media

You’re doing important work and it needs to be amplified – which means you’re going to need to be comfortable working with the media. Learn the four steps to media success: research, messaging, delivery, and control, plus how to use visual cues to enhance your impact. This workshop is strongly encouraged for New Wave Leaders working with the media. Presenters: Lauren Smith, Communications Director, SEA/SEIU Local 1984; Molly Cowan, Communications Manager, Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund; Sarah Palermo, Communications and Outreach Manager, New Hampshire Legal Assistance │ Location: Classroom 246

Digital and Social Media for the Reluctant User

Digital and social media are major sources of information and communication used effectively by progressives everywhere.  This round-table discussion will be an open forum for reluctant users and those who don’t know much about using social media to discuss their concerns and get some of their questions answered. If you are not using social media in your organization or in your personal political advocacy, or are leery of using it for whatever reason, this is workshop is a must attend for you. We’ll discuss some of the concerns along with some strategies for beginners who might want to start using social media. This will be an informal conversation about the benefits of using social media, not necessarily a tutorial on how to use it.  There will be resources for your reference and contacts to help you make forward progress in the digital age. Presenter: Stan Freeda, Progressive Website Developer and IT Specialist │ Location: Classroom 300

Positive Policy – Layering Advocacy for Maximum Impact

Advocacy can come in many forms, shapes and colors – effective advocacy often involves multiple tactics of layers which ensure your message is heard. We will discuss the layers of the MomsRising advocacy cake and explore successful multilayer approaches to advocacy. We will discuss the value of the positive organizing alongside other tactics, and brainstorm approaches to your advocacy challenges. This is a highly interactive workshop. Presenters: Christina DAllesandro, NH Director, MomsRising; Sarah Sadowski, Organizer, Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy │ Location: Classroom 304

The Path to Progressive Power: Electoral Landscape & Democracy Reform in the Granite State

This session is designed to look back at trends from 2014 through present day and plans being made incrementally for electoral gains in 2018 and 2020. Democracy reforms like voting rights and nonpartisan redistricting will be critical as NH prepares for the reapportionment of Congressional and State Legislative maps. This session will dive into the data behind 2014, 2016 and what it tells us heading into 2018.  The session will also highlight why election modernization and the fight to protect voting rights is critically tied to maintaining progressive power. Presenters: Paula Hodges, America Votes-NH State Director, Mike O’Brien, America Votes -NH Political & Field Director; Zach Jonas, America Votes -NH Data Manager │ Location: Classroom 306

Nuclear Weapons in the Trump Era

With the end of the Cold War, attention has waned concerning the dangers of nuclear war.  Yet these dangers are in some ways greater than ever.  Progressives need to rebuild the movement against nuclear weapons and nuclear war. Presenter: Dr. Curtis C. Smith, Chair, New Hampshire Peace Action │ Location: Classroom 308

Actor, Ally, or Accomplice?

Many progressives do not get involved with causes outside of their comfort zones or areas of expertise because they do not feel “qualified” or are “afraid to say the wrong things.” While these are certainly valid fears, they are also hindrances to our Progressive movement overall, as they stop us from taking necessary actions to right a wrong for fear of being wrong. This session will help people understand their place in movements they are not centered in, and will help them build the confidence and skills necessary to advocate for changes needed to help marginalized groups seeking justice. We will leave this workshop with a greater understanding of the difference between an ally and accomplice, and a renewed ability to hold ourselves accountable for being accomplices, especially as being allies for the cause is easier, and being actors in the oppression is the natural makeup of our society. Presenter: Felicia Teter, Recent Dartmouth College Graduate & Tribal Member, Yakama Nation in Washington State │ Location: Classroom 310

Education Vouchers:  Choice for Whom?

The privatization of public education is proceeding rapidly across the United States and has spread to New Hampshire. Whether it be the broad-based voucher bill currently in the Legislature (SB193) or the so-called Croydon bill (SB8) permitting local districts to use public funds to send students to private schools, public education is under assault in New Hampshire. Moreover, these attacks are aided and abetted by our Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut, who has been active in supporting these policy initiatives despite his disclaimer at his confirmation hearing that he would be a mere administrator and not a policymaker. Advocates of these initiatives repeatedly claim it is all about “choice” especially “choice” for parents and children to seek out the best educational opportunities. This workshop aims to examine this claim and look at how this policy is not equitable or available to all. Therefore, by using public funds, we privilege and subsidize certain groups at the expense of a public education system that is open to all and is a key institution for promoting democracy in our society. In fact, by using public funds to subsidize private education, we starve the public sector, making it even more difficult to meet the heavy demands of a diverse population and the multitude of required programs, facilities, and personnel mandated by regulators and by the needs of a diverse student body. Hopefully, by the end of this workshop you will comprehend the basics of vouchers as they stand in New Hampshire, the role of our Commissioner of Education, and be ready and able to respond to those who tout vouchers as merely facilitating “choice.” Presenters: State Rep. Douglas Ley, President, American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire; Jasmine D. Oke, Senior Associate for Educational Issues, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO (AFT) – Washington, DC │ Location: Classroom 312

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Long Term Activism, Organizational Structure, and Self-Care

After the events of the 2016 election, grassroots organizations around the county have been stepping up to organize in their communities. As volunteer organizers, it takes a lot of hard work to balance careers, life, and activism, especially during this heightened time of anxiety. There are many ways to combat disenchantment, foster the momentum, and organize for the long term. In this workshop, we will dive deep into organizational structure, leadership ladders, self-care, and knowing our limits. Join the discussion and pave the way to a sustainable future; for yourself and for your organization.

Presenters: Jillian Matson, Northeast Regional Director, Progressive Turnout Project; Sara Pereschino, Campaign & Communications Consultant; Dan Weeks, Chair of Open Democracy and Director of Market Development for ReVision Energy │ Location: Classroom 314

WORKSHOP SESSION #2: 2:00 P.M. – 3:15 P.M.

Workshop: Bird-dog Training

Given New Hampshire traditions of participatory democracy and the special role of the nation’s first Presidential Primary election, New Hampshire voters have an unusual opportunity to interact directly with people who seek public office on the local, state and federal level. With good preparation, we can use those interactions not only to find out where candidates stand on crucial issues but also to drive the political discourse in the direction of more justice, more peace, and more democracy. “Birddogging” is a term that describes techniques to get public officials or candidates to address issues out in the open, for all to see and hear. This workshop shows participants how birddogging works and how to do it so that you feel more comfortable when practicing this tool (less anxiety, trepidation, or fear).  Come and hone your birddogging skills while learning about local campaigns that will utilize the tactic over the coming year. In New Hampshire an election is always just around the corner; it’s time to get ready! Presenters: Olivia Zink, Executive Director, Open Democracy; Melissa Bernardin, Facilitator │ Location: Classroom 238

Voicing Our Values – Message Framing for Progressive Elected Officials and Advocates

Message framing is not a silver bullet; it’s just one political tool among many. But with so many close campaign battles, a little better messaging could make a big difference in our fight for economic and social justice. It’s the same reason why right wing groups spend millions of dollars on message framing and persistently repeat that language. Voicing Our Values is a highly interactive workshop on research-based language that progressives should use to address a wide range of domestic issues, including highly-controversial matters like abortion, immigration, health care, gun violence prevention, and voter ID. This training is appropriate for both progressive elected officials and advocates and includes ideas for how to incorporate your own experiences and voice on the policies and campaigns you seek to impact. Participants will also receive information on how to download the messaging book “Voicing Our Values” which includes further practical messaging on many specific issue areas (e.g. budget and taxes, education, environment). Presenter: Gloria Totten, Found and President, Public Leadership Institute and Co-Author of “Voicing Our Values” │ Location: Classroom 246

A Just Society Demands a Just Government

This workshop seeks to define the attributes of a just society and how government, at all levels, either positively or negatively impacts such a society.  While conservatives and progressives would likely define “just” from different perspectives, on one thing both sides can agree and that is, government has a role.  As an arbiter of resource allocation through taxation and distribution, as a consumer of goods and services, as an employer of human resources, and as a rule-maker of economic activity, the governing body establishes the climate for society, thereby either nourishing or starving its potential to thrive. The Economic Justice Caucus, a Democratic group of lawmakers in the NH House, is dedicated to enhancing economic opportunity for every New Hampshire citizen. With a commitment to a shared economy that lifts up our working men and women and their families the EJC, through its legislative agenda and leadership capacity, seeks to ensure a just economy in our state. Presenters: Rep. Jackie Cilley, Chair, Economic Justice Caucus; Rep. Kermit Williams, Vice-Chair, Economic Justice Caucs; and various Economic Justice Caucus members │ Location: Classroom 300

Protecting the Affordable Care Act — and Then Moving Forward on Health Reform

Governor Sununu celebrated the passage of Trumpcare 2.0, which takes health care away from 23 million Americans, slashes Medicaid, sends premiums through the roof, promotes barebones coverage, and puts people with pre-existing conditions back at the mercy of the private insurance companies. All this just to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and to maximize profits for drug and insurance corporations. But we say resist! And if Obamacare is repealed (or even if it’s not), let’s replace it with single payer! Join us for a health care campaign strategy discussion about how Granite Staters can impact federal health policy discussions by putting pressure on Governor Sununu and others to protect health care in our state. Our discussion will be part ACA protection, part strengthening the ACA, and part moving beyond it to truly have health care for all. Presenter: David Meuse, Indivisible Portsmouth; Dr. Ahmed Kutty, Granite State Physicians for a National Health Plan; Dr. Donald Kollisch, Granite State Physicians for a National Health Plan │ Location: Classroom 304

Ready for 100% Renewable Energy: Campaign Planning Workshop

The Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign is a nationwide effort to influence towns, cities, regions, and states to commit to 100% of their energy coming from renewable sources by 2050. On May 9th, 2017 Hanover residents voted during their town meeting to commit to a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable heating and transportation by 2050. Hanover is the 28th town in the country to commit to this goal, and the first in New Hampshire. This workshop is designed to give an overview of the national Ready for 100 campaign and our work in Hanover and surrounding Upper Valley towns. We will also be speaking about our campaign strategy in Hanover and working with participants to develop a similar plan to help get their towns/cities to commit to being powered by 100% renewable energy. Hanover’s commitment is just the first step – we’re ready to mobilize towns across New Hampshire to be 100% renewable! Presenters: Allyson Samuell, Associate Organizing Representative, Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign; Judith Colla, Co-Chair, Sierra Club Upper Valley Group’s Executive Committee │ Location: Classroom 308

Addressing Structural Racism and Oppression

Structural racism is about power in our society. It is the total of cultural norms, institutionalized inequality and individual attitudes, acting on each one of us  at all times. It is one of the core root causes of every problem in our communities, and no significant change can happen locally or nationally without addressing structural racism. Like creating social change more broadly, taking on structural racism requires responsibility and risk, conflict and controversy, personal reflection and public action. This workshop will establish a framework of analysis on structural racism, and begin to use that analysis to understand other forms of oppression, and offer participants action steps to continue the work of addressing structural racism. Presenter: Maria Fitzsimmons, Organizing Director, Rights and Democracy │ Location: Classroom 310

Reframing the Debate on Job Creation: Fight for $15

This workshop will share research about income inequality and why income inequality has been growing over the last 4 decades; then pivot to how raising the minimum wage will result in higher income for lower and middle class families, grow jobs, and reduce income inequality.  This interactive session is filled with anecdotes and real-world examples to help people retain and share facts around the minimum wage. Presenter: Jeremy Dupuis, Co-Chair, New Hampshire Fight for $15 Committee │ Location: Classroom 312

New Wave Leaders Caucus

New Wave Groups are the face of the resistance and the leaders paving the way forward community by community. But being a leader is tough work, especially when you’re an all-volunteer organization in the Trump era of daily scandals and attacks on our basic rights. Join together with other New Wave Leaders for a straight-forward conversation on where you are in your organization, where you want to be, and how to get there. This New Wave Leaders Caucus is geared towards leaders of new and emerging grassroots organizations and will include short tutorials on How to Sustain a Grassroots Organization and How to Manage Facebook Support, followed by facilitated discussion and networking. Presenters: Moderated by Paula Hodges, America Votes with tutorials by Dave Holt, Seacoast Occupy; Molly Campbell, OneActionNH.org │ Location: Classroom 314

WORKSHOP SESSION #3: 3:30 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

 Taking Effective Non-Violent Direct Action

“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.” Dr. King,  Letter from a Birmingham Jail. People in power make decisions about our lives every day. We can confront them through the ballot box,  but we can also confront then directly to win the specific changes we seek.  If our decision makers won’t negotiate with them then we have the tool of nonviolent direct action to create the situation we need to level three playing field.  This workshop with review the basics of nonviolent direct action and specific strategies and tactics to use going forward. Presenter: Maria Fitzsimmons, Organizing Director, Rights and Democracy │ Location: Classroom 238

Get the Words You Need to Heal the World You Love: Copywriting for Social Change

Your mission is vital. But to succeed, you need power. You need influence. You need other people to care as much as you do. Powerful copywriting is how you get what you need. Copywriting sound like a technical thing, but really, it’s just the words and stories in your brochures, your press releases, your websites, your social media, your presentations that ignite other people’s passion. Extraordinary copywriting makes people care and act. This practical, tip-rich workshop trains you to write copy that connects and converts, so you can achieve the progressive change we desperately need. Presenters: Becky Karush, BeckyK Creative Marking; Terri Trespicio, New York-based Writer, Branding Consultant, and Co-Creator of Lights Camera Expert │ Location: Classroom 246

How to Use Social Media to Push Your Message

Whether you are a candidate, a single-issue campaign organization, or a broad progressive coalition, using Facebook and other social media platforms is an absolute must.  Learn how to use Facebook and Twitter like a pro and give your message a boost. Some of the topics we will discuss: managing multiple Facebook pages, creating engaging Facebook posts, creating a Meme, topics to avoid, online trolls (the pros and cons), creating powerful tweets and other twitter basics, and the importance of reaching out to local bloggers to spread your message.  Presenter: Matt Murray, Creator, NH Labor news │ Location: Classroom 300

Lobbying 101

This workshop will be about what lobbying means, and how you can use your activism to influence decision makers. We’ll go over the basic of how to lobby along with developing your story, best practices, and potential challenges (geographical, social anxiety, etc). We will also highlight lobbying meetings with a specific ask versus building relationships with lawmakers. Finally, we’ll cover how to use the General Court website to track bills, votes, and view the calendar. Presenter: Kayla Montgomery, Director of Advocacy and Organizing, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund; Jessica McGondel, Planned Parenthood NH Action Team Volunteer │ Location: Classroom 304

Take Back the Map: Redistricting Reform & Voting Rights

Should politicians pick voters or should voters pick politicians? The first section of this workshop will contextualize the redistricting process in New Hampshire and the 2020 census and redistricting that is just around the corner. Along with analyzing the current district lines, we will address legislative solutions to put the power of redistricting back into the hands of the people.  The second section of the workshop will address the radical anti-democracy campaign to roll back voting rights and campaign finance regulation, where it stands in New Hampshire and nationally, and how we can work together to stop it. Presenters: Olivia Zink, Executive Director, Open Democracy; Paul Twomey, Elections Law Attorney & Advocate; Brendan Summers, Campaign Director, Let America Vote │ Location: Classroom 306

What’s in My Water and What Can I Do About It?

This workshop will get attendees up to speed on some of the threats you face when you turn on the tap in our state.  Why do I keep hearing about PFCs and what are they?  How big is the problem? What kinds of problem can be caused by drinking contaminated water?  Why is EverSource buying our water systems?  Citizen advocacy has been extremely effective in driving real change through legislation and regulatory oversight in our state.  Attendees will hear about how an advocacy group was founded and how everyone can help advocate for clean, safe drinking water across the state. Presenters: New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance members State Rep. Mindi Messmer, Scientist, Member of Governor’s Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigation; State Rep. Renny Cushing, Co-Founder, Clamshell Alliance; Lisa Moll, Author of “Rye’s Battle of the Century: Saving the New Hampshire Seacoast from Olympic Oil” │ Location: Classroom 308

Reparationists Are the New Abolitionists

Colonial and post-colonial American society and economy were built on the dehumanization of the African personality in the European imagination. The benefits to and involvement of all of American society (both North and South) is undeniable and indisputable based on the pervasiveness and persistence of the economic, social and political institutions and practices that continue even today. In the past, those who objected to and opposed the degradation of chattel slavery based on the impact of the enslaved and the degenerative impact on the moral character and human decency of the enslaver answered the clarion call of the abolitionist. Today, those who object to and oppose the vestiges of this crime against humanity join the call to repair the injuries caused to individuals by African chattel slavery and to rehabilitate the institutions used to carry out the injustices answer the call for reparations! Presenter: Brenda Lett, National Secretary for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRRA) and Co-Author of “Race Between Us”; Facilitator, Emotional Emancipation Circles │ Location: Classroom 310

SEA World Café

Come join us in conversation to explore challenges and opportunities, and discover the collective wisdom and possibilities that will help us build stronger connections.  Though we come with individual backgrounds, our community is one living system; if one part is not well, the whole system is impacted. What could a committed group of citizens with a shared intention of strengthening our connections accomplish? What else might happen if multiple groups from across our state, with the same intention could talk to each other? Join us on the cutting edge of 10,000-year old technology – conversation! What patterns will we begin to notice? What power would be created in learning this together? Presenters: Joe Cicirelli, Organizing Administrator, SEA/SEIU Local 1984; David Holt, Lead External Organizer, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 │ Location: Classroom 312

Understanding Conflict, Culture and Cross-Cultural Conflict in an Unequal, Globalized World

Most of us avoid it, but conflict can be a positive force for change and progress – if it’s managed well.  In today’s globalized world, and even here in New Hampshire, we live and work and interact across an increasing diversity of cultures.  These two aspects of the human experience – conflict and culture – can combine in very positive, and in quite challenging ways. In this workshop we will share insights into conflict, culture, and how we can best manage their interplay.  It will combine a conceptual overview of the concepts, some small-group discussion, and an exercise or two to deepen understanding and have a bit of fun. Presenter: Mark McPeak, former Executive Director of UUSC Just Democracy, PeaceCorps Member, and Graduate, Advanced Studies in Dispute Resolution at the Law School of the University of New South Wales │ Location: Classroom 314

That concludes the 2017 workshop offerings! Good luck making your selections!


See examples of previous NH Progressive Summit workshops below:

 

Words That Work: Communicating on Gun Violence Prevention in the Granite State

Rep. Rogers & Zandra, GSPHow do we most effectively communicate on the need for action that helps keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives? Drawing on national public opinion research – including among Granite Staters – this presentation and Q&A with the team at Americans for Responsible Solutions – the organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – will provide advocates and allies with more tools to discuss critical gun violence prevention policies like background checks, child access prevention laws, and extreme risk protection orders. Presenter: Mark Prentice, Americans for Responsible Solutions

The Transpeople in Bathroom Issue

Rachael Booth is a 9-year Navy veteran of the Vietnam War who spent 30 years as a senior computer scientist programming and designing Shipboard Weapons and Missile systems for the US Navy.  She will share her experiences as a 64 year old transgender woman who has lectured on the transgender “experience” in universities and colleges since 1992 and authored the book “Wishing on a Star – My Journey Across the Gender Divide.’’ The session will focus on personal stories and the current political frenzy around bathrooms. Presenter: Rachael Booth, Author of “Wishing on a Star – My Journey Across the Gender Divide”

Addressing Racism: Reflection and Action

The goal of this workshop is to assist participants in understanding why it is worth it for them to address race and structural racism in their work, no matter what issue or action they are working on, to be clear what is at stake for them personally and for their success if they do not, and finally, how to do it effectively and build a practice of reflecting on race and racism in all the justice work they do. In this session we will reflect on our own experiences with race and racism, unpack how racism operates as a root cause of injustice and an obstacle to building an equitable society locally and internationally, and practice race analysis across issue work in the progressive movement.  Structural racism is one of the root causes of injustice in our world. The modern social structures that perpetuate injustice were built before people of color were considered human beings, and were established to benefit landowning white men. If we are to build a more just, human society grounded in the worth of all human beings we must address structural racism in all that we do. Presenters: Maria Fitzsimmons, Senior Trainer, National People’s Action

Workshop: Food Insecurity: Building Support for the Programs That Are Defeating Hunger in NH

LeticiaA look at hunger in our state and the Federal, State and Local programs that are in place to help end it. We’ll review legislation that helps and hinders the movement to end food insecurity. Knowing what the problem is and exchanging ideas that help end it are key to ensuring that NH citizens have what they need to live healthy, safe, and productive lives. Public policy and perception play a key role in strengthening those programs and initiatives. Presenter: MaryLou Beaver – State Director of Every Child Matters in NH and the Chair of the NH Family Assistance Advisory Council

Workshop: Voting Rights Matter:  The Landscape & Need to Create a System That Works for All

America Votes-New Hampshire, along with Rep. Marcia Moody, will discuss voting rights and election administration landscape nationally and a path to creating a more inclusive system in New Hampshire.  This session will examine recent trends in state based rollbacks and important court precedent, and then move into case studies of other states that have moved progressive election reform packages. There are many stakeholders in this work including the state legislature, secretary of state, town clerks and moderators who need to be engaged around a long term plan for change.  The session will wrap up with specific steps activists and allied organizations can take to help develop and promote this work at home and in Concord. Presenters: Paula Hodges, State Director of America Votes; Michael O’Brien, Political and Field Director of America Votes; Hon. Marcia Moody

Workshop: Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Review of the FY 2016-2017 Budget Debate

This session aims to improve attendees understanding of the key details and themes of the FY 2016-2017 budget, the problems it fails to address and the new ones it creates, and longer-term policies designed to strengthen New Hampshire’s ability to invest in vital public services. New Hampshire’s budget is among the most critical pieces of legislation considered each session, allocating billions of dollars to public priorities such as health care and education and touching the life of every Granite Stater in some fashion. “Looking Back, Looking Forward” will examine the key elements of the FY 2016-2017 budget, its potential consequences, and the root cause of New Hampshire’s ongoing fiscal troubles. Presenter: Jeff McLynch, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI)

Workshop: Creating Legislative Report Cards

This workshop will help to build the progressive movement by focusing on the performance of NH legislators by the only tool that counts: their voting records. Report cards were invaluable during the 2014 election. This is a great opportunity to involve more progressive people in this project. Presenter: Bill Duncan, founder of Advancing New Hampshire Public Education

Workshop: Using Social Media To Push Your Message

Matt Murray, TrainerDo you use social media but want to take it to the next level? Join two of New Hampshire’s premier progressive bloggers as they teach you how to optimize your website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Tumblr, and more to reach a larger audience and drive a progressive narrative. This workshop will include real-life examples of how NH social media users have repeatedly created national news stories to highlight progressive wins and expose right-wing rhetoric, and how you can do the same. Everything from how to create popular images to pushing a specific meme will be covered, with audience questions in between. Presenters: Matt Murray, NH Labor News @NhlaborNews; Susan Bruce, Susan the Bruce Blogspot @Susanthe

Workshop: Holding Conservative Electeds & Candidates Accountable at the Federal Level (We’re Looking at You, Senator Ayotte and GOP Presidential Field!)

This interactive workshop introduces attendees to accountability actions and the importance of calling out conservative elected officials for not standing with the progressive values and priorities of voters. Learn what People for the American Way and other groups are doing to hold conservative electeds and candidates like U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and the GOP Presidential field accountable, among other things. Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in a brief accountability action at the end of the session. Presenter: Lindsay Jakows, Political Campaign Consultant for People for the American Way

Workshop: Bird-dog Training

Given New Hampshire traditions of participatory democracy and the special role of the nation’s first Presidential Primary election, New Hampshire voters have an unusual opportunity to interact directly with people who seek public office on the state and federal level. With good preparation, we can use those interactions not only to find out where candidates stand on crucial issues but also to drive the political discourse in the direction of more justice, more peace, and more democracy. “Bird Dogging” is a term that describes techniques to get public officials or candidates to address issues out in the open, for all to see and hear. The purpose of this workshop is to help you hone your birddogging skills while learning about local campaigns that will utilize the tactic over the coming year. In New Hampshire an election is always just around the corner; it’s time to get ready! Presenters: Olivia Zink, Grassroots Engagement Coordinator of American Friends Service Committee’s Governing Under the Influence project; Eric Zulaski, Grassroots Education Coordinator of American Friends Service Committee’s Governing Under the Influence project

Workshop: Fight for $15 Economics Workshop

This 90 minute interactive workshop expands the Fight for $15 frame beyond fast food workers and connects the Fight for $15 to our broader work as a union. We’ll discuss how the economy doesn’t work for us or our communities, gain a shared understanding of how jobs in our country are becoming increasingly low wage and part time, and that to turn the economy around we must lift standards and wages, and discuss how to expand the Fight for $15 beyond fast food worker strikes, to include airport workers, hospital workers, homecare workers, citizens, and demonstrate how it impacts most workers in the country. Presenters: Jeremy Dupuis, State Employee, Fight for $15.00 Committee, and Steward, State Employees Association (SEA, SEIU Local 1984); Judith Brideau, State Employee, Fight for $15.00 Committee, and Board Member, SEA 1984

Workshop: Measuring Democracy: Hard Facts about the State of Representation in New Hampshire

No matter what progressive issue you most care about, you cannot expect to create reform without a responsive government. Right now, candidates have to turn constantly to the same tiny fraction of a percentage of the population for campaign donations. They need that money to exist politically, but it doesn’t come from the population at large. Candidates become completely dependent on these funders, and their decision-making becomes conditioned to please their funders, not their constituents. As long as every politician participates in this same system, becoming indebted to an elite funder class, they will not implement true progressive reforms. What percentage of the population would need to vote for a country to truly be a democracy? Would it take 100%, or is the estimated 15% who voted in New Hampshire’s 2013 local elections sufficient? If only a few thousand donors buy into funding campaigns, whom do those candidates speak for? Over the last several months, Open Democracy has carefully assembled a comprehensive measure of New Hampshire’s civic health in the first-ever Open Democracy Index. The forthcoming Index addresses key progressive issues like voting rights, gender equity, and economic justice by comprehensively examining six dimensions of democratic practice: voting, civic participation, election funding, lobbying, electoral competition, and diversity of representation. To truly invest in a progressive future, we have to first build a government that’s responsive to the all Americans, not just wealthy individuals and corporations. Presenters: Dan Weeks, Executive Director of Open Democracy and Xanni Brown, Communications and Outreach Manager of Open Democracy

Workshop: A Pizza Legislation: Public Engagement and Issue Advocacy

Laurel ReddenOur advocacy workshop will have the group engage in “A Pizza Legislation.” This activity will center around a piece of legislation that has been submitted by a state representative as House Bill 12345. The legislation calls for all providers in the state who serve meals to their clients, to serve pizza 3 days a week for lunch. The group will be split into 6 groups – 3 groups supporting the legislation and 3 groups opposing the legislation. Each group will have a particular task that they must undertake as they advocate for or against the bill: Writing a Letter to the Editor, Visiting their Legislator, Forming a grassroots group of community members. Developing and framing their message, engaging others, including research and data will all be requirements to completing their task. Presenters: MaryLou Beaver, State Director for Every Child Matters in NH, MacKenzie Flessas, Field Director for Every Child Matters in NH

Workshop: Crafting Progressive Messaging for Successful Electoral Campaigns

 

Several co-facilitators will provide a framework and invite full participation in this Roundtable Discussion designed to shift Electoral Priorities to focus “from the bottom of the ticket up” and to craft succinct messages that Progressive Candidates can utilize to achieve success in their campaigns. Based on our belief that NH voters and their families are more directly affected by who they elect to the State House in Concord than who they send to Washington, we seek to build and strengthen the network of Progressive Candidates who will in turn work to increase the influence of Progressives in NH politics and policies. Presenters: Hon. Sylvia Gale, Hon. Jan Schmidt

Workshop: Move The Money: THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!!!

The United States spends about 45% of the world’s military dollars, and spends more than four times what the next largest spender does on our military.  Pentagon contractors spend big bucks lobbying and funding elections to ensure their contracts; sometimes that means that equipment the Pentagon doesn’t even want get funded to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.  Come learn just how much fat there is to trim from the pentagon budget, and what we could do if we weren’t wasting our tax dollars on pentagon projects that don’t contribute to our safety and security. Advocates working in infrastructure, homelessness, children, poverty, workers rights, social programs, and education all fight for federal dollars; becoming conversant in Pentagon waste helps us all advocate for the big piece of the pie to become more reasonable, leading to the world we are trying to build! Presenter: Will Hopkins, Executive Director for NH Peace Action Education Fund

Workshop: Changing the Political Debate: Bird Dog Tactics in Action

Workshop, OliviaBird dogs with AFSC’s Governing Under the Influence project (GUI) bring the issue of corporate domination over our political process directly to presidential candidates. GUI activists have persistently called out the profit motive of Pentagon contractors and the private prison industry that drives war and incarceration policies. What has this effort accomplished so far? Is bird-dogging an effective tactic in political change? How can we refine our approach in the 6 months remaining before the primary? This presentation will highlight some key encounters with presidential candidates this election cycle and demonstrate how we are changing the way candidates talk about peace and justice. Presenters: Olivia Zink, Grassroots Engagement Coordinator of American Friends Service Committee’s Governing Under the Influence project; Eric Zulaski, Grassroots Education Coordinator of American Friends Service Committee’s Governing Under the Influence project

Workshop: Building a Safe and Sustainable Power System with Offshore Wind

Despite its tiny coastline, NH is in a unique place (both geographically and politically) to take a leadership role in the development of floating offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine. Thousands of megawatts of power (more than the whole state uses) is available off our shores, and it is more reliable, efficient and environmentally sound than onshore sources. This would involve the construction of hundreds of huge floating wind turbine platforms, towed out to appropriate sites far offshore, moored to the ocean bottom and connected by undersea cables to bring the power onshore. This may sound like science fiction, but the future is now – there are full-scale prototype turbines operating off European shores, and most recently off Fukushima, Japan. A recent NH Legislature study committee concluded that this concept is worth pursuing further, and recommended that Gov. Hassan request a state/federal Task Force as a necessary first step in designating suitable offshore sites, as a dozen other states have already done. A petition to the governor to implement this task force is being circulated around the state, to initiate this multi-year process. This presentation will cover the rationale and basics of offshore wind development, its place in the context of overall NH energy policy and economic development, as well as its potential role in a transition away from our state’s dependence on the military-industrial complex. Presenters: Doug Bogen, Director of the Seacoast Anti-Pollution League

Jackie Cilley

Jackie Cilley

Workshop: A $15 Liveable Wage in NH

A $15 liveable wage in NH – dispelling myths by reviewing the impact of the $15 per hour around the country. An overview of the real impacts that significant increases in minimum wages have had on place like Seattle, WA, a discussion of Rep. Cilley’s proposal this session to increase the minimum wage and competing proposals, and a discussion of strategy going forward. Presenter: State Rep. Jackie Cilley

Workshop: Talk Poverty to Fight Poverty: How to Speak Powerfully on Big Issues AND Causes, Consequences and Solutions to Poverty in NH –Findings from 2014 public opinion research

What is advocacy, why do we do it, and HOW do we do it? Can we really change things? YES! We’ll talk about the landscape of advocacy, explore effective tools and tactics, learn about poverty in the United States, and develop a customizable “laser talk”- a short and compelling talk that can be used in a variety of scenarios, to motivate and educate an audience in less than two minutes. We’ll also learn how to put it all into practice, moving from passive bystanders to change makers. There will be plenty of opportunities to share, role play, and inspire. We have to talk poverty to fight poverty; creating the political will to end poverty. This session will also include a briefing on public opinion research on poverty in New Hampshire. The Investing in Communities Initiative conducted research on public and legislator perception of the level of poverty, as well as causes of poverty and ways to reduce poverty in New Hampshire.  The research was conducted to benefit public policy advocacy groups serving low income and vulnerable people. Presenters: Kristy Martino, U.S. Poverty Grassroots Organizer at RESULTS; Melissa Bernardin, Director of the Investing in Communities Initiative

Workshop: Stand with Women for Better NH Legislation – Civil Rights as it Relates to Pregnancy and Breastfeeding and the Intersection of Transgender and Racial Discrimination

This interactive, fun and hands-on workshop will introduce the Stand with Women platform. NH’s Pregnancy and Breastfeeding proposed legislation, authored and submitted by the presenters, will be examined. Two Federal bills, the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act and Support Working Mother’s Act, will also be discussed along with several Sex Discrimination Lawsuits such as the recently won pregnancy discrimination suit at SCOTUS, Young V UPS. Breastfeeding rights and enforcement via the EEOC will be highlighted. Relevant questions will be asked such as: Is it really true, such as it is in the IOWA courts, that since men can breastfeed too, lactation discrimination is not sex discrimination? How does this relate to the transgender lactating community? Why are Black and Latina women breastfeeding at much lower rates than White women in the US? Articles such as, “Why Ferguson Has Everything to Do with Black Breastfeeding Week,” and “Dear White Women, Top 5 Reasons We Need a Black Breastfeeding Week will be discussed. Will the NH government apply for the $250,000 grant to research paid family leave? Lastly, Kate Frederick’s own experiences with sex discrimination and ensuing backlash will be briefly summarized. Presenter: Kate Frederick, Founder of The Rustik Baby Project

Workshop: Why Youth? By Youth

This workshop intended to help older, more experienced community organizers engage with youth organizers effectively. Based on our experiences organizing at the high school and college levels, we will demonstrate how to build solidarity with young people who are already taking action on progressive issues. We will present techniques to approach groups and create lasting, working relationships and also share what issues young people care about currently. This is a dynamic workshop that will incorporate elements of storytelling, role-playing, and more structured presenting. Presenters: Lisa Demaine, Caitlin Lasher, Kelsey Lozier, and Laura Xiao, Fellows with NextGen Climate

Workshop: REAL Retirement Security NOW!

2015 marks the 80th anniversary of Social Security and the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid as well as the decennial White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA). This forum and discussion will focus on what real retirement security means to you and how you can help to make sure the President and the White House protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Pensions and ensure ALL Americans enjoy a secure retirement. Presentation to be followed by discussion, and will include how to ask candidates in 2016 the right questions about this issue. Presenters: Lucy Edwards, President of the NH Alliance for Retired Americans; and Jennifer Kenny, Senior Field Organizer for New England for the national Alliance for Retired Americans

Breaking through the Silence Door: The State of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Our Country

YWCA NH is one of 13 crisis services programs in New Hampshire providing crisis service programs in one of the state’s largest and diverse urban areas. Join us for a thought provoking discussion about the troubling trends in domestic and sexual violence in our country and how silence about violence against women, children and men keeps the number of intimate partner and stranger violence on the rise in our nation. This session will think about progressive strategies to address violence in your community and build capacity among survivors and victims to break the cycle of abuse, all amidst a culture that embraces violence both institutionally and structurally. Presenters: Jessica Sugrue, President & CEO, YWCA Manchester; Mariah Cahill, Community Education Advocate, YWCA Manchester

Long Game Planning: The Progressive Roadmap through 2020

This session will review critical steps leading up to the 2020 elections and subsequent census and redistricting process.  Planning incrementally for elections in 2016, 2018 and 2020 will be critical as we prepare for the reapportionment of Congressional and State Legislative maps.   This session will review what we’ve seen in past redistricting attempts, what we should expect in 2020 and how to consider nonpartisan reforms to ensure competitive maps in the future.   The session will also highlight why election modernization and the fight to protect voting rights is critically tied to maintaining progressive power.  Presenters: Mike O’Brien, AV-NH Political & Field Director and Zach Jonas, AV-NH Data Manager

Why We Still Need to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Think the danger of nuclear war is past?   Think again.  Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the US and Russia still deploy enough nuclear weapons to wreak horrifying damage on humans and nature. Disarmament is stalled and the US and Russia are undertaking massive upgrades to their arsenals. But a new movement to abolish nuclear weapons is fighting worldwide to confront this menace. This workshop is a primer for people who never knew much about nuclear weapons, as well as an update for those whose knowledge is rusty.  We’ll focus on the US and Russia but also look quickly at other nuclear weapons states and possible terrorism by non-state actors. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of local and global organizing for nuclear weapons abolition, drawing links to movements confronting climate change and corporate political power.  You will leave with information about how to get involved. Presenter: Judy Elliott, Lead Volunteer, American Friends Service Committee and NH Peace Action

The State of Our State: How We Can Save the American Dream for New Hampshire’s Working Families

PS 2012New Hampshire families have been working harder and putting in longer hours, yet they are still struggling to make ends meet. While wages are flat, costs have continued to climb, stretching family budgets too thin. With all eyes on the Granite State this election cycle, we need to show the nation that our state puts working families first. The Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy is fighting for smart policies that create an economy that works for New Hampshire’s working families. When families are able to provide for themselves and trust that their children are well cared for, they are more likely to stay in the workforce, are more productive in their jobs, and more loyal to their employer. We are partnering with organizations, business owners and hard working families across the state to encourage our elected officials to support policies that will build a family-friendly economy.  Learn compelling data and testimonials from real Granite Staters on how our current system isn’t working, as well as our vision to create a family-friendly future. Presenter: Dustin Branch & Sarah Sadowski, NH Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy; Sen. Dan Feltes (D-Concord)

Raise the Wage: Fight for $15

Find out what is happening with the Fight for $15 in New Hampshire.  Presentation will include an overview of wages in New Hampshire, including data on who in our state earns less than $15 per hour.  Hear from Manchester and Nashua Fast Food workers involved in the Fight for 15 and a Union who have gone out on strike for higher wages. Find out how you can get involved in supporting low wage workers and the campaign to raise the state’s minimum wage. Presenters: Sarah Jane Knoy, Executive Director Granite State Organizing Project; Wesley McEnany, Lead Organizer Fight For $15; Local Leaders from the Fight for $15 Campaign

A Deeper Look At the Islamic State

There seems to be a severe lack of significant thought by federal politicians around what our response to the Islamic State should be; in particular from the Presidential Primary candidates who were vying to be the decision-maker who will have to see us through this crisis.  Here in New Hampshire we heard a uniform message, “As President, I will crush ISIS!” This conclusion about how to deal with ISIS would perhaps begin to shift if we asked a few pointed questions. Iraq War Veteran and Director of NH Peace Action Will Hopkins will ask those questions in this workshop and suggest a more complex and nuanced approach to dealing with the Islamic State.  Hopkins bases his work on the work of Phyllis Bennis, Generals David Patreaus and James Amos, and Win Without War. Presenter: Will Hopkins, Executive Director, NH Peace Action

Leverage Point: How State, County, and Local Budgets Form

Public budgets are where we fund some of our most important shared priorities. In New Hampshire, like many other places, advocacy around those priorities needs to start long before the final roll call vote. Learn the ins and outs of the New Hampshire state, county, and local budget processes and the influence points where you can help shape what our budgets look like here in New Hampshire. Presenters: Jeff McLynch, Executive Director, NH Fiscal Policy Institute; Brian Hawkins, Government Relations Coordinator, State Employees Association, SEIU Local 1984; Sara Pereschino, Hopkinton Selectwoman

Advancing Health & Equity in NH

Health inequities – the difference in health status, outcomes, and care services for various population groups in our state – are unnecessary, avoidable, and unjust.  Come discuss healthy inequity in New Hampshire, followed by a dive into how health is produced in our communities.  We will discuss the impact of health inequities on all of us, including: evidence of health inequities in New Hampshire; how health disparities impact Granite Staters; how health is produced in our communities; and what we can do to advance health equity by making changes to policies, systems and environments. We will specifically look at state-level bills that went before our legislature this year, viewing them from an equity frame. Presenters: Rebecca Sky, Health & Equity Partnership Project Director, Foundation for Healthy Communities; Dottie Morris, Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism, Keene State College

Economic Security – A Discussion of Current Legislation & How It Impacts Granite State Families

Child poverty in the Granite State increased by 75% between 2007 and 2013. Too many New Hampshire families are struggling to meet their basic needs. Two study committees will be meeting this summer in Concord that will directly impact children and their families. And in Washington, legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could raise workers in New Hampshire out of poverty but this legislation has stalled. Join us for information and a discussion about Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, car title loans, and living on the minimum wage. Presenters: MaryLou Beaver, New England Director, Every Child Matters in NH; MacKenzie Flessas, Field Director, Every Child Matters in NH; Sarah Mattson, Policy Director, NH Legal Assistance

Workshop: LGBT Community – Where We Stand and How to Move Forward
States across the country are recognizing marriage equality. Communities in New Hampshire and elsewhere are advancing equal rights for transgender people. This workshop will outline the current status of the LGBT community in New Hampshire and the nation and the work that lies ahead. Presenters: Honorable Mo Baxley, former Executive Director of N.H. Freedom to Marry; Jamie Capach, former Steering Committee member of TransGender New Hampshire

The Future of Energy and Our Environment

This workshop will focus on what we can do to support a clean energy future for New Hampshire by highlighting three major campaigns underway. The first section will focus on the newly presented carbon rules for existing power plants from the Environmental Protection Agency, outlining what the reductions nationwide will do and expectations for climate action at the existing power plants in NH. The second section will highlight the IBEW clean energy apprenticeship program that is training workers in green energy technology and partnering with environmentalists to build a workforce for the 21st century. The third section will provide an update on wind energy in New Hampshire and nationally. Presenters: Cathy Corkery, State Club Director, NH Sierra Club; Huck Montgomery, Special Projects for IBEW Local 490; Moderator: Karen Kelly, NH Citizens Alliance and former Environmental Organizer

“Who Am I Going To Be?” African Youth Building New Lives in NH

What challenges do you think you would face if you suddenly found yourself starting over in a new culture?  What in your cultural heritage could you draw on for strength in challenging circumstances? The film “Who Am I Going To Be?” explores the constellation of challenges that African youth face as they build new lives in New Hampshire.  Learning to navigate school and community expectations, adjusting to shifting family roles, and coping with the aftermath of conflict and trauma are parts of their path.  They are made to feel “other” at school. They naturally learn English faster than their parents, ushering in issues of respect, relationship, and family authority. This film, produced in 2014 in New Hampshire, explores the formation of identity and belonging among teens who have immigrated to New Hampshire, and asks viewers to think about their own cultural identities, perspectives, and prerogatives. Presenter: Lynn Clowes, Community Advocate and Cultural Competencies Trainer

The High Cost of Privatization

Join us for an in-depth presentation and robust discussion on the broad implications of privatizing public services in New Hampshire and the United States. From the impact on worker protections and benefits, to lessened transparency and accountability for government funds, we will discuss the short and long term implications for the progressive movement in the age of privatization. Presenters: Diana Lacey, President, State Employees Association, SEIU Local 1984; Janice Kelble, Legislative Director, NH Postal Workers Union

The Free State Project

The Free State Project’s stated purpose is to move to New Hampshire, take over state government, and create a libertarian ideal of utopia. Nearly 15,000 libertarians have already signed a letter of intent to move, and are expected to do so when FSP hits the target goal of 20,000 signers. Granite State Progress tracks the influence and structure of the Free State Project over the years, from their attempts to slash public services to their vast social network that helps identify housing, jobs, and political opportunities for early movers. Come learn what it is about, how they operate, and what you can do to protect your community. Presenter: Caitlin Rollo, Political and Research Director, Granite State Progress

 

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