The election is upon us; absentee voters received ballots this past week. Our team of interns and volunteers has been hard at work to reach District-10 voters. We’ve been at Winchester’s Farmers Market having socially distanced conversations with voters and distributing yard signs to supporters. This past weekend we were in Walpole with Representative Lucy Weber (and her dog), talking with voters and getting out signs. You may have even seen us the past few Thursdays at Central Square in Keene holding signs and waving to you. If you want to plan or join a similar event, please contact me at [email protected] or 381-2930.
Literature drops begin this weekend. Training for voter contact will begin this week. Please register for a training at
https://www.mobilize.us/organizenh/event/329423/ We need all hands on deck.
We will continue to do pop-up events, this Thursday, October 1, we are going to be in Swanzey. at the Route 12 roundabout from 4:45-6:00. Please join our traveling show and share your enthusiasm to elect Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.
I am proud to have earned the endorsements of both state employees, SEA / SEIU 1984 and the National Education Association-NH. The NEA-NH released a statement: “His efforts helped secure one of the largest increases in school funding in state history, and his continued work on the school funding commission will be critical in the next legislature to make further progress on this critical issue for students and property tax payers.” I am honored to have received the endorsements of these organizations representing state workers and educators who have been on the front-lines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other recent endorsements include: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England PAC, Humane Society Legislative Fund and a national environmental group that will announce next week.
Term in Review
This past legislative term ended on September 16th with none of Governor Sununu’s 22 vetoes being overturned. In the end, I had 12 bills signed into law this year and for the 2019-20 term, I had 26 bills become law. Recently highlighted in NH press are my efforts broadening access to healthcare via telemedicine, introducing a career ready credential for high school students, and ensuring that all students learn about the Holocaust and other genocides and understand their role in a Democratic society to stand against prejudice and discrimination. I encourage you to click this link to see my full term in review.
NH Democratic legislators don’t support tax increases. Democrats passed a budget that included property taxpayer relief in the form of school funding and municipal aid. The Governor pushed for more business tax cuts at a time when NH already had the lowest rates in New England. Gov. Sununu’s budgets have pushed state obligations down to towns, thereby raising local property taxes. It’s hard to see how his claims of holding taxes down relate with your property taxes.
The attack ads on Dan Feltes, unsupported by any candidate, are dark money trying to confuse voters and deflect from Governor Sununu’s record. Sununu has vetoed women’s reproductive rights, vetoed sustainable energy, given himself a pay raise while vetoing a NH minimum wage, vetoed an independent redistricting commission, and given to Waterville Valley -- home of the family’s ski resort – preferential tax benefits designed for property poor towns. This is why the “I’m a Trump guy through and through,” label is undeniable, there are parallels.
The legislative session will begin very shortly after the election. To prepare legislation responsive to Cheshire County needs, I’ve been working with NH Department of Justice-Charitable Trust division, Legislative Budget Office, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Insurance and Department of Transportation. Their help in crafting legislation is invaluable.
The Commission on School Funding is reaching its final stages. We continue to search for ways NH can equalize educational opportunities and outcomes across towns with differing capacity to pay and vastly unequal taxation rates. The Commission’s report is due December 1. Public input sessions are being arranged for October and early November.
Finally, I’m wrapping up meetings with each select board in District 10-all 15 towns. As I review the outcomes of the past legislative session, we talk about issues for town ballots next March and May and other issue on which we can work together. We’re all elected officials trying to do good for our communities.
You have been so supportive with financial contributions and placement of lawn signs. Demonstrating broad support is key especially in the current campaign climate. Please continue to step up for me and other Democratic candidates. Contact me at [email protected], for lawns signs and to volunteer, or to contribute to Friends of Jay Kahn at PO Box 433, Keene, 03431.
I really fear that the frenzy of last-day election attacks will discourage voter turnout. Perhaps early voting will help people exercise their fundamental role in our republic. We’re in trouble as a nation, our divisions and disregard for truth and civility, and where fictions prevail over science and evidence. These dynamics reduce US as a beacon for democracy internally and globally. We need to rise up and find what unites us: equal opportunities to education and economic success, equal access to healthcare, racial justice, and global partnerships on climate change and human rights. Voter engagement rather than voter suppression will define our direction as a state and a nation. November 3rd can’t come soon enough. Be well and stay engaged.