New Hampshire 2011
Join our thriving grassroots campaign in New Hampshire as we work towards healthcare for all, green job investment, workers rights, affordable housing and economic policies that build a strong and sustainable economy! Working Families Win hosts monthly educational events, house meetings and community get-togethers with elected officials. You can make a difference by volunteering your time and energy today!
In 2006, Working Families Win started our grassroots campaign in NH. With the help of many dedicated volunteers we contacted thousands of voters in the 2nd Congressional District in New Hampshire about the differences between House candidates Paul Hodes and Charlie Bass on issues that impact the daily lives of working people.
Nationwide and here in New Hampshire people voted for candidates that supported fair trade policy, putting human rights, environmental protection and democratic process at the core of our economic development, increasing the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years, and calling for health care reform so that all people in the United States can have quality affordable healthcare. Much of the electoral energy came through voters educating themselves on the candidates’ views and voting history on important issues like: universal health care, increasing the minimum wage, fair trade, the right to organize and corporate accountability.
In 2007, we monitored elected officials and how their votes impacted working people on issues like: children’s health care funding, trade agreements, the minimum wage increase, the right to organize and Medicare reform. Our volunteers helped plan educational rallies, wrote letters to the editor on important policies impacting our community, communicated with our Members of Congress, and attended Presidential Candidate events to ask important questions.
In the weeks leading up to the NH Presidential Primary on January 8th, 2008, 25 volunteers worked together with our volunteer leaders to make over 1,000 calls to voters! Our continued goal to build a strong grassroots campaign for working people here in NH was a great success! We created a website for undecided voters to find information comparing the presidential candidates' postions on healthcare reform, job investment, trade policy and retirement security issues. We made sure voters knew their polling location, how to register to vote and had rides to the polls. We also dropped off voter guides door to door!
The 2008 general election was another example of success! Our work grew to 149 Working Families Win Volunteers contacting nearly 10,000 voters in Cheshire and Sullivan Counties alone. We researched the positions of the House, Senate and Presidential candidates running for office and created side by side comparisons on issues impacting families in our state. Candidates that support healthcare for all, green job investment, affordable housing and sound energy policy won the election because of your efforts.
In 2009, Working Families Win Members expanded their visibility on healthcare reform by attending town hall meetings, writing letters to the editor, meeting with national elected officials, holding weekly vigils on the downtown greens of several communities around NH and attending educational workshops.
Fair trade policy moved ahead with the TRADE ACT, the first legislation of its kind in the United States Congress, co-sponsored by both Congressman Hodes and Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter. The legislation creates a positive trade agenda that puts worker and environmental protection, human rights and democratic economic process at the forefront of building a stronger international trade agenda. The legislation allows Congress to create positive critieria for trading partners and replaces the outdated FAST TRACK legislation with a new model of fair trade.
The most recent increase in the federal minimum wage occurred in July of 2009 and discussions about improving wages and looking toward a living wage continue even in spite of the economic downturn. As full-time and part-time working families are hit with the economic reality that their wages cannot afford them a roof over their head, access to healthcare, food and other key services, the need for economic reforms increases in urgency.
Highlights from 2009 include: a public workshop at Keene State College that featured 18 young adults speaking about the need for quality, affordable healthcare for 18-30 year olds, nearly 100 NH residents travelling to Washington D.C. to speak with House and Senate Members about the need for a strong public option in healthcare reform legislation, over 35 weekly vigils, a record turnout for Homeless Memorial Day Service of Remembrance on December 21st and finally, a dozen visits, thousands of calls and hundreds of letters to our congressional offices about health and economic policy that impacts each of us as individuals and our families.
In 2010, Working Families Win Members advocated for a strong public option in healthcare reform - to create choice in plans and increased affordability of those plans. With health insurance and pharmacutical companies spending millions every week to defeat critical health care reform, it was due to the tireless efforts of everyday women and men who volunteered their time that we saw the first step in needed reforms pass the United States Congress and get signed by the US President.
The historic passage of the new health care law (The Affordable Care Act, ACA) in March of 2010 was due to the hard work and efforts of a generation working towards policy change in America. This step forward prevents insurance companies from discriminating and denying people with pre-existing conditions coverage, it creates affordability and has a historic expansion of healthcare for low income people in America. Young adults can now stay on their parents plans which offers a leg up when searching for jobs with health insurance, people can access the national Pre-existing Condition Health Insurance Plan, plan are including free preventative care and seniors have better choices for free screenings and testing under Medicare. Each month new provisions are made available to people in the United States as the four year plan for full implementation of the ACA goes into effect. To learn more about the new health care law go to Healthcare.gov
Even with these historic changes in health insurance reform and efforts to pass the first jobs legislation in America to address record unemployment, we saw record corporate influence in elections and the passage of public policy. WFW NH volunteers worked in the US Senate and US House races in 2010 to compare candidate positions on working families issues but saw the election of candidates that support: free trade, an elimination of the minimum wage, free market health insurance system, the elimination of unions and workers rights, the elimination of civil rights for students, same sex couples, and low income people. 2010 ushered into the NH State House and the US Congress a slate of officials that have put tax cuts for millionaires before continuing successful programs in America like Social Security, Medicaid (health care for low income people and the disabled) and Medicare (healthcare for people over 65 years).
In spite of these challenges citizen advocates for sound public policy continue to organize and raise their voices collectively.
Highlights from 2010/2011: House Parties through Sullivan and Cheshire County; outreach to thousands of voters about candidate positions before the 2010 election; celebration with nationally renowed artist Robert Shetterly who showed his series Americans Who Tell the Truth at our Awards Dinner for the Progressive Leaders; had over 100 attendees at our One Year Anniversary Party of the Affordable Care Act; citizens provide written and verbal testimony at public hearings at the NH State House on healthcare, workers rights, budget and civil rights policy; Organized 3 buses of people from Sullivan and Cheshire County to attend the largest NH State House Rally in over 25 years (calling on the NH House and Senate Leadership to continue critical funding for services and protect workers rights); coalition partner of the Protect NH Families in the fight to protect the middle class, defending collective bargaining, keeping NH from becoming a Right to Work for Less state and protecting critical services in the NH State Budget.
As low and middle income people continue to be under attack and public policy is being written to protect the interests of millionaires and billionaires your time and energy is needed more than ever!
Join our statewide education and action campaign in 2011 to help continue building a strong voice for working people here in NH! Our state and national network provide a place where you can help make real change for working families in America!