Civil Rights

Closeup of handcuffs

‘Qualified immunity’ amendment added to police reform bill

BY: - May 12, 2021

A Democratic state lawmaker is pushing to overhaul “qualified immunity” in New Hampshire in a last-minute amendment to a bipartisan police reform bill.  In an amendment released Tuesday, Rep. Paul Berch of Westmoreland proposed making New Hampshire public employers liable for any actions by their employees that are unconstitutional. The change would mean a town, […]

John Lewis

Commentary: Pass the For the People Act to fight voter suppression, root out corruption

BY: - May 6, 2021

The late congressman John Lewis once said: “The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy.” I couldn’t agree more. I’ve said before that voting is not just a right but it is our civic duty, and voting should be conducted safely, fairly, and […]

Closeup of handcuffs

Senate passes bill to release ‘Laurie List’ of police officers cited for bad conduct

BY: - April 29, 2021

The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill Thursday to gradually release one of New Hampshire’s most secretive documents: the list of police officers whose supervisors say they have credibility issues. In a rare unanimous vote, the body voted, 24-0, to approve a bill that would make the “Laurie List” public. The list, which was created […]

COMMENTARY
A police cruiser

Commentary: It’s time revoke law enforcement’s status as a ‘super constituent’

BY: - April 27, 2021

The most powerful player in electoral politics is the constituent, or so we are led to believe by every elected official ever.  Ask a state senator or a state representative and they’ll tell you that the people they want to hear from most are their constituents. They do not specify a particular type of constituent. […]

COMMENTARY
Medical workers protest in New York City following the death of George Floyd

Commentary: Declaring racism a public health crisis brings more attention to solving long-ignored racial gaps in health

BY: - April 26, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has joined hundreds of cities and counties across the country in declaring racism a public health threat. On April 8, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky called racism an epidemic that affects “the entire health of our nation.” Declaring racism a public health threat will create a sharper […]

COMMENTARY
Parched land under a blue sky

Commentary: Celebrating Earth Day with a gender justice lens

BY: and - April 20, 2021

As we look toward Earth Day 2021, we’re paying special attention to the intersection of climate and gender justice. We believe there is no gender justice without climate justice, and there is no climate justice without gender justice — yet not all feminists and environmentalists are aware of how interconnected our fights for justice are. […]

COMMENTARY
State House dome blocks out the sun

Commentary: State shouldn’t silence conversation on race and gender equity

BY: - April 19, 2021

We’ve seen it across the country, and now we’re seeing it here in New Hampshire: an attempt to silence important conversations about race and gender equity. Nearly identical in language to an executive order issued by former president Donald Trump in September 2020, the language from House Bill 544 was passed this month as part […]

A police vehicle

Agreement reached on law to release ‘Laurie List’ on police misconduct

BY: - April 16, 2021

This story was updated April 17, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.  Police unions, New Hampshire newspapers, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office say they have reached an agreement on a way to release the state’s “Laurie List” – a list compiled over decades of police officers with credible complaints of […]

COMMENTARY
Scales of justice

Commentary: Let’s normalize court reform

BY: - April 16, 2021

Government is not a stagnant entity. Over time, our government has evolved to meet history’s challenges. Today, there is a movement to make the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico states and to end the Senate filibuster. Books and a plethora of articles are being written about reforming the presidency in light of lessons learned […]

Sign in front of the Sununu Youth Services Center

Support for closing Sununu Center stops at jail as an alternative

BY: - April 15, 2021

State lawmakers and juvenile advocates have long wanted to close the Sununu Youth Services Center, believing a youth detention facility is the wrong place to hold and rehabilitate children. They also oppose spending the governor’s proposed $13 million a year for the approximately 17 children held there at any given time. They’re divided, however, on […]

COMMENTARY
A protest in Georgia against racial injustice.

Commentary: Denial doesn’t change the truth about racism in New Hampshire

BY: - April 15, 2021

“I don’t see race.” How many times have you heard this phrase from well-meaning white people?  It sounds ideal, doesn’t it? A person saying this generally means that when meeting and getting to know people, she ascribes no racial stereotypes to their characters. She takes only their personalities into account when forming friendships, assesses only […]

Exterior of the Concord, N.H., police department

Progress uneven as lawmakers work toward policing reform

BY: - April 14, 2021

Joseph Lascaze didn’t need to sit on a commission to become acquainted with racial discrimination in New Hampshire policing. The reality came to him uninvited. Last year, the smart justice organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire bought a white Mercedes. Since then, Lascaze, who is Black, has been pulled over at […]