As a state representative, I have witnessed how the lack of money is a recurrent obstacle to much of the proposed legislation that is designed to address the needs of New Hampshire citizens, be they students in local schools or our state colleges, or elders on fixed incomes struggling to pay rising property taxes.
Sadly, the Democratic Party establishment has once again underestimated the wisdom of the voters and endorsed candidates who “take the pledge” of no new taxes if they are elected. Why run for an office with your hands already tied behind your back? Here are two candidates who are open to considering all funding options when it comes to equitably addressing the needs of our state and its citizens.
Andru Volinsky is an extraordinary candidate for governor. He was the lead attorney for the Claremont case, where the court ordered the state to pay adequate per student costs to all public schools — a judgment that has not been met or enforced. He has teamed with others to educate citizens around the state about the shameful inequities in the funding of our schools, where property-rich towns pay less and get more for their schools than property-poor towns. He has committed to assembling a team to study and recommend how to redress this imbalance. Andru is not accepting contributions from big businesses and PACs and is, therefore, not beholden to them, unlike the current governor.
Craig Thompson of Harrisville and a first-term state representative is also running a grassroots campaign fueled by small individual donations, lots of postcard writing and his energetic determination to address climate change, New Hampshire’s shamefully low minimum wage, and other progressive values. He is running for the seat on the Executive Council being vacated by Volinsky.
Where the council is responsible to approve contracts, he will evaluate contracts in light of those values. Craig has also worked to bring broadband to rural regions, have Medicaid cover dental care and for criminal justice reform.
If we are to make meaningful progress on the critical issues of this time such as the equitable and adequate funding of public schools, the climate crisis, growing income inequality, and the role of wealth in our political process, we need to elect people who are not already pledged to uphold that income inequality.
50 Pleasant St.
(This writer, a Democrat, represents Cheshire District 10 in the N.H. House.)