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Working to Ensure NH Progressive Voices are Heard

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May 18, 2012

CONCORD, N. H. – Healthcare, housing, and women's issues - those topics are just a taste of what's on the agenda at this weekend's 2012 New Hampshire Progressive Summit.

Zandra Rice-Hawkins, executive director of summit co-sponsor Granite State Progress, believes many policies of the past few years – at both the federal and state levels – have been damaging to families and small businesses. This weekend's summit will raise attention for these issues, she says, and teach local progressives new ways to take action.

"We don't want people waking up a year from now with the same problems we have, from the extreme policies and personalities that are shaping our state. We need to fight back, and we need to move forward."

The Progressive Summit will include a forum with the Democratic candidates for Governor.

Sarah Chaisson Warner heads the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action, another summit co-sponsor. She says it's no secret that many lawmakers in Concord are not in tune with progressives, and the summit will offer new tactics to help locals ensure that their voices are heard.

"We'll have a workshop about how to keep candidates accountable on the issues that you care about, and how to interact with candidates in various settings to get your question heard, and your question answered."

There will be discussions on a wide range of concerns, adds Rice-Hawkins.

"We have 'The Rent Is Too Damn High,' talking about affordable housing and homelessness; we have people from Occupy New Hampshire coming to explain a little bit about how that movement formed and what it's doing in communities."

Richard Parker, the co-founder of Mother Jones and chair of the editorial board of The Nation, will close the summit with a keynote address on Saturday evening.

The summit takes place Sat., May 19, at New England College, 98 Bridge St., Henniker. Information is online at

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH