AARP Announces 2023 Community Grants

Granite State nonprofits and government entities looking to enhance their community impact may be eligible for AARP’s 2023 grants, the Purpose Prize Award and the Community Challenge Grant.  

The AARP Purpose Prize Award aims to support 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations in their community efforts. 

AARP will select five winners to receive $50,000 each and up to ten fellows who will receive $10,000 each. Winners and fellows will also receive a year of technical support to help expand the scope of their work. 

“The AARP Purpose Prize award recognizes applicants who go beyond individual volunteering to take on a specific social problem in a sustained, systematic, and measurable way that aims to make the world a better place for us all,� said Christina FitzPatrick, AARP NH State Director. “All across New Hampshire, people 50-plus are using their life experience to give back in ways that elevate their communities and the world. The AARP Purpose Prize award seeks to recognize these leaders.�

Nonprofit founders or co-founders must be 50 years or older to be eligible, learn more at AARP’s website. The deadline to apply is February 28, at www.aarp.org/apply

The 2023 AARP Community Challenge offers nonprofit organizations and government entities a variety of grants—ranging from $500 to $50,000—for quick-action community projects. 

These grants look to support permanent physical improvements in the community, new programming pilots or services, and temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change.

Since the program began in 2017, 18 NH organizations have been recipients of the Community Challenge Grant, according to AARP NH Associate State Director of Communications Pamela Dube.

In 2018, Manchester Connects received funding from the Community Challenge to develop more recreational space along the Merrimack River. 

“We were super excited to get the AARP grant because it allowed us to make this a place where people want to spend time. It can really now be a destination,â€� said Manchester Connects Co-Chair Sarah Jacobs. 

Unlike previous years, the 2023 Community Challenge offers three different grant opportunities including Flagship Grants, Capacity-Building Microgrants, and Demonstration Grants. 

Interested applicants can register for the Q&A webinar on February 8 at 2PM to learn more about the grant program and its application process. 

Applications are being accepted until March 15. Selected projects will begin late June and are expected to be completed by late November. 


Editor’s Notes: AARP New Hampshire and New Hampshire Latino News are partners in providing greater visibility and voice to local Hispanic-Latino communities. 

Proposed Bills Bring Affordable Housing and Tenants Rights to the Forefront

Legislation surrounding New Hampshire housing is pushed to the forefront in early 2023, with House Speaker Sherman Packard creating a temporary legislative committee specifically for housing-related bills. 

Tenant rights is a hot topic, with some proposed bills prohibiting discrimination against potential tenants using Section 8 vouchers and implementing rent control. 

According to New Hampshire Legal Aid, there is currently no law that regulates how much a landlord can increase the rent on a tenant. Without a written lease that legally binds the rent amount, landlords are free to change rent prices at their disclosure.

Census data showed that 47 percent of renters in the state are paying 30 percent or more of their household income toward rent. And affordability isn’t the only issue. Reports have found that there is a serious lack of available rental units. Five percent is considered a balanced rental market by New Hampshire Housing. New Hampshire’s vacancy rate is currently 0.5 percent.

“Rent control is a bad idea. It’s been proven over and over again that it worsens the problem it is trying to control. Any idea that is restricting business is going to end up causing more harm than they are fixing. If you aren’t creating more housing, then you are looking at the wrong place,� said Nick Norman, director of legislative affairs for the landlords group Apartment Association of NH.

In Manchester, officials recently held a meeting to discuss solutions to the homeless crisis after the city announced plans to clear 45 tents from an encampment formed around the Families in Transition shelter.

“The city faces a homelessness crisis, and the problem is the lack of shelter models of low barriers for people to access,� said Adrienne Beloin, Director of Homelessness Initiatives.

In response, the city added a temporary 40-bed warming station at William Cashin Senior Activity Center. 

A 2021 report by the NH Coalition to End Homelessness estimated that there were 4,682 houseless individuals that year. That same report found that nine percent of the state’s homeless population is Hispanic. According to their analysis, because only four percent of New Hampshire’s general population identifies as Hispanic, Hispanics in New Hampshire are over two times more likely to experience homelessness. 

Notable 2023 Housing Bills

  • HB95: Enables municipalities to limit rent increases and/or require a period of notice before increasing rent
  • HB 117: Allows for eviction of a tenant when a lease is up, and requires a 30 day’s notice
  • HB 283: Places a limit on application fees to prospective tenants to $35 or the cost of conducting a background check, whichever amount is less
  • HB 379: Provides attorneys for low-income evictees 

_________________________________________________________________________________Photo: RODNAE Productions, Pexels

U.S. Smoking Numbers Down, but New Hampshire Teen Vaping on the Rise

Unless you’re in a Las Vegas casino, smoke-free public spaces have become the norm. Gone are the days of Joe Camel and the Marlboro man. With seemingly less representation in advertisements and TV shows, smoking generally seems to be a thing of the past.

However, experts say this isn’t necessarily the case. While the number of cigarette smokers is down – from 20.9 percent of U.S. adults in 2005 to 12.5 percent in 2020 – smoking of e-cigarettes and vaping is trending upwards.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), 43 percent of New Hampshire twelfth grade males reported using electronic vapor products at least one day during the 30 days leading up to a 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

While nationally 27.5 percent of high school-aged youth said they used an electronic vapor product during the 30-day cycle, the number reached 34 percent for New Hampshire youth, according to DHHS.

Graphic courtesy of New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services

“The kids are getting into a vicious cycle,” said Kim Coronis, policy and program manager of Breathe New Hampshire, citing the addictive nature of nicotine existing in vape products. 

New Hampshire law prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes or e-liquids to anyone under the age of 21, although reporting by New Hampshire Public Radio showed that vaping is common even inside New Hampshire high school bathrooms. Students told NHPR that it’s easy to get vape products through older friends or stores that don’t ask for identification.

A national report by the Truth Initiative found that generally Black and Latino youth expressed higher levels of distrust for the tobacco industry. Only 3.8 percent of Hispanic-Latino high school students use cigarettes, but still, 23.2 percent use e-cigarettes.

Some groups cite the flashy design of e-cigarettes and the variety of candy-like, sweet flavors of vape liquids are what make the future of e-cigarette consumption dangerous.

“These are clearly being marketed towards a very specific demographic, and that demographic is youths,� said Dr. Jacob Kaslow, pediatric pulmonologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

And while youth’s distrust for big tobacco tends to deter them from smoking cigarettes, many teens are not aware that vapes contain nicotine.

“This is vastly different than their understanding of cigarettes, right? Every child knows that cigarettes are bad,â€� said Kaslow. “That’s just been sort of ingrained in our public health ethos now, but this has not been the case or currently is still not the case for e-cigarettes.â€�

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Cover photo: E-Liquids UK on Unsplash

Latino News Network Pivots Focus To Social Determinants Of Health

COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the United States Latino community. The pandemic devastated the community’s health primarily because of long-standing structural inequities. However, it also exacerbated those disparities by adding a socioeconomic crisis, strengthening barriers to education, and exhausting the quality of neighborhoods and built environments. In essence, COVID-19 negatively impacted the social determinants of health that will negatively impact Latinos for decades.

It is for that reason that the Latino News Network (LNN) is shifting its resources to solutions journalism coverage investigating the responses to social problems, providing insights by evaluating the evidence of what is working and not working, including what can be learned from the limitations (of a response).

New Hampshire Latino News (NHLN), and it’s five sister LNN newsrooms in New England and the Midwest will achieve this by:

  • Before making assumptions about what communities need to know, we commit to genuinely listening to them through surveys and in-person and virtual events to provide information that they’re missing.
  • We will partner with trusted organizations that help us increase accessibility to the public, broaden the reach of our coverage and prevent misinformation.
  • Generate “good conflictâ€� around divisive issues and problems, allowing people and teams to discuss and debate the responses.
  • Commit to the on going examination of issues that can help communities see — and work toward building a better society.

NHLN sees the public as more than just the audience; you are contributors. To that end, please take our brief survey to help shape our coverage in producing stories on the social determinants of health: healthcare and quality, neighborhood and built environment, education access and quality, social and community context, and economic stability.

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The Latino News Network (LNN) oversees five independent statewide coverage, Hispanic-Latino editorial focus English language news and information websites in New England and the Midwest.

LNN’s mission is to provide greater visibility and voice to Hispanics-Latinos, amplify the work of others in doing the same, give young journalists mentoring and real work experience, and apply the principles of solutions journalism in its investigative reporting.

Learn more about our work: https://latinonewsnetwork.com/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LatinoNewsNet_ / Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/latino-news-network/

Support Local Media

Please consider becoming an LNN member by clicking HERE or making a donation by clicking HERE. Your support helps us tell in-depth stories about a community seldom seen or heard in mainstream media.

Democracy in NHLN: Voter Access Across New England

Hispanic and Latino Americans are the fastest growing racial and ethnic group in the U.S. electorate since the last midterm elections, with about 34.5 million Hispanics and Latinos eligible to vote in 2022.

While the turnout for Hispanic and Latino voters nationwide has increased over the past decade, they still fall behind other groups. Hispanic and Latino voters face a variety of barriers, but efforts to limit voter access are increasing across the country.

Democracy doesn’t properly work when people and communities are blocked or prevented from participating within local, state, and national elections. 

Expanding voting access across the country ensures that communities are accurately and justly represented by its elected officials. 

Advocating for and increasing voting access includes expanding early voting, online voter registration, and same-day voter registration. 

In New Hampshire, early voting remains unavailable while residents must meet specific requirements to submit an absentee ballot. 

A 2022 report by the Election Law Journal ranked New Hampshire last in the country (50th place) for accessible voting in presidential elections. 

The study — Cost of Voting in the American States: 2022 — factored in the state’s lack of early voting, mail-in ballots, and for its voter ID law when determining how easy or hard it is for voters to cast their ballots. 

“Researchers noted that restrictions on voting or registration are usually justified by increasing security, but they said they saw no relationship between such restrictions and a drop in voter fraud,� WMUR reported

In 2020, non-traditional voting — all types of non-election day voting including vote-by-mail and absentee voting — accounted for about 69.4% of the vote, according to Deliver My Vote Executive Director Amanda Pohl.

“Vote-by-mail programs and any early-voting program does provide greater access to the ballot and that supports the basic foundation of our democracy,� Pohl said.

“We had the highest turnout election in modern history,� she added. “We had more people of color [and] young people voting…and more people accessing the ballot who otherwise,� would have not be able to.

Nonprofit leaders at the Vote Local Day discussion on Vote By Mail & Voter ID’s emphasized that the rate of vote-by-mail has increased over the years. They also spoke on how early-voting, vote-by-mail, and absentee ballots have led to greater and more diverse participation throughout the country. 

“Those accessible programs do increase access to voting for disenfranchised communities, especially, and we have some research that we released in February that also shows that young voters and especially voters of color are more likely to vote if they’re given vote-by-mail options,� Pohl said in the discussion.

Although data has found that expanding voter access results in higher participation rates among communities, officials across the U.S. are working to backtrack some of these laws.

“As soon as those things happened, we immediately saw states starting to clamp down on voting methodologies…We’re also seeing backlash from legislatures that don’t want to see that increased participation,â€� Pohl said. 

Since May, almost 400 restrictive bills have been introduced in legislatures across the nation. Some restrictions deny assistance to voters with limited English proficiency, according to the Brennan Center

“Over the past 18 months, there has been a wave of anti-voter bills introduced and passed across the country, many of them designed to undermine the growing political power of Latinos and other communities of color,â€� wrote the Brennan Center. 

Research by the Brennan Center would support the idea that the ongoing increase in voter restrictions are strongly motivated/influenced by “racial backlash�.

“Racial Backlash� is a theory that “describes how white Americans respond to a perceived erosion of power and status by undermining the political opportunities of minorities,� according to the Brennan Center.  


Important Reminders 

Registration: 

NH residents can register in person until Nov. 8 or by mail; online registration is not available. Mail voter registration is only avaible to residents that meet specific requirements; people who are unable to register in person because of physical disability, military service, religious beliefs, or temporary absence. 

Residents that meet these qualifications must directly contact their clerk for the form; the mail voter registration form is not available online. 

NH also does not offer early voting; learn about absentee ballots below. 

Learn about NH voting registration at: https://www.sos.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt561/files/documents/Election%20Documents/registering-to-vote-in-new-hampshire.pdf 

Not sure if you’re registered? Check your registration status at:

https://app.sos.nh.gov/voterinformation

Early Voting

Early voting is not available in New Hampshire.

Submitting an Absentee Ballot: 

NH residents must meet certain requirements to vote by mail. Those eligible include people who cannot vote in person because of:

  • Being absent from the voter’s city or town
  • Religious observance
  • Disability or illness
  • Employment commitments (including caregiving)

Absentee ballots may also be available when a weather emergency impacts an election, according to the Secretary of State’s website

Eligible NH residents must request an absentee or mail-in ballot by filling out and returning the application below by Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. 

https://www.sos.nh.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballots/request-absentee-ballot

The absentee ballot must be received by Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. in-person or through mail by Nov. at 5 p.m. EST.

Voting Day:

NH poll hours vary across the state. On Nov. 8, all polling places are open between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Some locations may open earlier, up to 6 a.m. Check your town/city’s official website or contact your local elections officials for specific hours. 

Locate a polling place near you at: 

https://app.sos.nh.gov/pollingplacesampleballot

Or 

https://gettothepolls.com


Additional Resources 

General

Be The Ones English Local Voter Guide 

Be The Ones Spanish Local Voter Guide 

Vote.org Poll Locator – https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/ 

New Hampshire 

NHLN & AARP NH Town Hall Panel Discussion –  https://nhlatinonews.com/enhancing-accessibility-in-nh-elections/ 

AARP NH Voter Guide – https://nhlatinonews.com/enhancing-accessibility-in-nh-elections/ 


Publisher’s note: NH Latino News, under the Latino News Network umbrella, has put together this informational guide with the help of our partner Be The Ones, to help voters make informed decisions not only at the polls, but in their engagement with democracy going forward. 

Book Bans Soar in U.S., Six Titles Challenged in NH

Over 1,600 book titles were banned during the 2021-2022 school year.

Over 1,600 book titles were banned during the 2021-2022 school year. According to PEN America, 41 percent of banned books center LGBTQ protagonists or themes and 40 percent contain protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color, leaving many feeling like identity censorship is the target in focus.

“What I want to be really clear about is the books are a pretext. (Book banning) is a proxy war on students who share the marginalized identities of the authors and characters in the books are under attack,� said Ashley Hope Perez, author of banned book Out of Darkness.

The PEN report claims that 50 groups, consisting of 300 chapters at the state, national and local level, participated in at least half the book bans implemented last school year. Many of these groups, including Moms of Liberty, a controversial, parental rights group, were newly founded during the school year.

“While we think of book bans as the work of individual concerned citizens, our report demonstrates that today’s wave of bans represents a coordinated campaign to banish books being waged by sophisticated, ideological and well-resourced advocacy organizations,” said Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer of PEN America.

Texas is the state with the most book bans, including 801 books across 22 school districts, according to the Texas Tribune. These include titles by Latino authors Ashley Hope Perez, Sandra Cisneros and Elizabeth Acevedo.

While numbers in other states are on the rise, New Hampshire has had 0 successful book bans last school year, according to PEN.

But challenges have rolled in.

Last year a Milford High School parent complained about Maia Kobabe’s memoir “Gender Queer� and although a formal request was never submitted, Superintendent Christi Michaud removed the book for around 30 days, due to unclear directions regarding book challenge requests.

In response, Milford administrators have established clearer guidelines for parents to file a complaint and stronger procedures against informal complaints.The new policy states that parents or legal guardians must now submit a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Media and Instructional Materials� form to formally question material. The principal of that school will then create a review committee who must review, vote and issue a decision within 10 days, according to Seacoast.

Last school year, 6 books were challenged in the Bedford School District although none were approved.

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Cover photo: Element5 Digital, Pexels

Enhancing Accessibility in NH Elections

The diverse panel of New Hampshire leaders at the “Community Conversation: Voting in the New Hampshire Midterms and General Electionâ€� event discussed the importance of staying informed and motivated to participate in local elections. They also shared ongoing efforts to make voting more accessible and explained how the NH elections will operate this year.  

The free virtual event was moderated by Latino News Network (LNN) Owner and Publisher Hugo Balta. The panel included AARP NH State Director Christina FitzPatrick, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, Director of the NH Alliance for Immigrant and Refugees Eva Castillo, and Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Neil Levesque. 

Watch the recorded in-depth panel discussion HERE:   

New Hampshire Latino News and AARP New Hampshire announced their collaboration earlier this month that would prepare New Hampshire residents for the upcoming 2022 NH primary elections on September 13 and the midterm elections on November 8. 

Tuesday evening, panelists addressed ongoing local efforts to increase accessibility so all New Hampshire residents can vote informed and with ease.

“I think it’s important for voters to know that the legislature has made some changes over the decade that have made it easier for individuals to vote,â€� NH Secretary of State Scanlan said. “So, there are opportunities that are being created for individuals that would otherwise have a difficult time getting to the polls or even accessing the material they need to be able to vote. I see that as a big move forward as well.â€� 

The Secretary of State’s Office is currently working to make its website ADA compliant so residents with disabilities can access election-related materials and information with ease, according to Scanlan. 

He also shared that they now offer multilingual resources on local elections in Spanish, French, and Mandarin; these materials are online and will also be available at the polls. 

“It really makes a big difference,� said Eva Castillo, Director of the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees. “This allows for a unified place to get information… I work really hard for immigrant integration in New Hampshire and it is disempowering to always have to use someone as an interpreter or an ambassador to find something that should be so simple to find. This is going to be really empowering to people.�

The Hispanic-Latino population within New Hampshire has greatly increased over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census. Although more election-related resources are available in Spanish now, Castillo explained that inclusive efforts must go beyond language. 

“If [candidates] don’t reach out to Latinos and immigrants in general they cannot expect us to feel like we’re going to be listened to [or] that it’s even worth voting,â€� she said. “But…New Hampshire is privileged in the fact that we have access to every single official here…you do not need to be anybody special to talk to your senators…and your congresspeople.â€� 

Although state primary and midterm elections typically have low voter turnouts, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Neil Levesque expects high voter participation across the state. 

“I think we have the highest voter turnouts in America, we’re very engaged. A lot of that is … that New Hampshire is such a small state you really can participate, you really can get to know these elected officials,â€� Levesque said. “A lot of the time, individual issues will motivate people. There’s a series of issues out there that’s motivating people and I expect that we will have very high voter turnouts.â€�  

As the New Hampshire primary elections are less than two weeks away, panelists pointed out the importance of preparing for election day ahead of time. 

“The most important thing that people need to do is to make a plan to vote,â€� AARP NH State Director FitzPatrick said. “They need to think about it ahead of time and make sure you know where you’re going, what you need to bring with you, and how you are going to get there.â€� 

AARP NH offers information on their website that could help residents make these plans; residents should visit AARP.org/nhvote (English) or AARP.org/nhvota (Español). 

Another free online resource available to voters is AARP New Hampshire’s Voters Guide, which outlines important deadlines, when to apply for an absentee ballot, and what’s new in this year’s elections. 

A brief survey was released two weeks before the community conversation to gather specific questions from the public regarding New Hampshire’s election and voting processes. The collected responses were integrated into the programming to help shape our event and tailor the panel discussion dedicated to residents. 

NHLN and its sibling digital outlets under the Latino News Network have taken a collaborative approach to regularly incorporate community feedback and solutions-focused reporting across our work. Our newsroom recognizes that the communities we serve are more than just our audience but our collaborators. 

Latino News Network’s coverage of democracy and upcoming elections incorporates important practices from the Democracy SOS fellowship. NHLN is one of 20 U.S.-based newsrooms elected to participate in the Hearken and the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) fellowship that is committed to building understanding, trust, and engagement. 

NHLN and AARP NH will continue to provide a variety of free informational resources to New Hampshire residents regarding local elections. Stay updated on future events by signing up for the NHLN Newsletter HERE and visiting AARP NH’s website HERE.


About New Hampshire Latino News NH Latino News is part of the Latino News Network (LNN). LNN oversees an independent group of local news and information, English language, digital outlets with a statewide, Hispanic-Latino community editorial focus in New Hampshire, Illinois, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

AARP New Hampshire AARP is thriving in New Hampshire with nearly 215,000 members. AARP serves as a one-stop resource for the age 50+ population in the Granite State. We provide information about the breadth of local offerings, community engagement, volunteer opportunities, advocacy, and community events. We are focused on advancing age-friendly communities, celebrating family caregivers, protecting financial security, and making your voice heard. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nh or follow @AARPNH on social media.

In the name of Democracy

Elections are instruments of democracy. Through voting, people can voice their opinions, express their hopes and aspirations, and ultimately influence the direction of their local, state, and national governments.

Voting in the United States can often be an inaccessible process preventing eligible voters, particularly in marginalized communities, from casting their ballot. This is especially true for Hispanic Latinos. Many of them are new to the electoral process, either because they just came of age or in the case of foreign-born members of the group – they just became naturalized citizens.

The New Hampshire state primary election (September 8) and midterm election (November 8) are coming up. New Hampshire Latino News (NHLN) is committed to providing Granite Staters with the information and coverage they need to perform their civic duty.

To that end, NHLN is partnering with AARP New Hampshire (AARP NH) in hosting: Community Conversation: Voting in the New Hampshire Midterms and General Election at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on August 30 at 7 p.m., which is open to the public.

This non-partisan event will feature a panel of industry experts who will explain the voting process in New Hampshire and share resources that can help residents engage and answer questions. Panelists include New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan and Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Neil Levesque.

NHLN and its sister digital news and information outlets under the Latino News Network are taking a collaborative approach to prioritize communities through solutions-focused reporting rather than problem-focused.

That change in newsroom culture begins with you helping shape the programming of the upcoming Community Conversation. A survey asking the public what questions they have about the elections is being shared ahead of the August 30 event. Our newsroom sees our communities as more than just our audience; they are collaborators. Please take the time to answer the short questionnaire at the end of this article.

NHLN is also working with Friends Vote Together, a grassroots organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout and civic action by rallying Americans to become more informed and educated citizens and voters. 

Friends will help the Latino News Network provide voters with resources and information to better understand which seats are up for election and the impact the outcome will have on reproduction rights and voter access.

Collaboration and inclusion are best practices our newsroom adopted from the Democracy SOS fellowship. NHLN is one of 20 U.S.-based newsrooms elected to participate in the Hearken and the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) fellowship, committed to building understanding, trust, and engagement.

New Hampshire Latino News’ mission in covering the election and democracy is dedicated to building trust with our audience through collaboration, inclusion, and transparency. We will achieve this by:

  • Before making assumptions about what communities need to know, we commit to genuinely listening to them through surveys and in-person and virtual events in order to provide information that they’re missing.
  • We will partner with trusted organizations, that help us increase accessibility to the public, broaden the reach of our coverage and prevent misinformation.
  • Our reporting will not just revolve around the candidates or one day (Election Day), but rather voters and year-round with a focus on the work of policymaking process.

Collaboration is integral to the health of news and the health of democracy. 


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About New Hampshire Latino News 

NH Latino News is part of the Latino News Network (LNN). LNN oversees an independent group of local news and information, English language, digital outlets with a statewide, Hispanic-Latino community editorial focus in New Hampshire, Illinois, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

About Hugo Balta

Hugo Balta is the Owner/Publisher of the Latino News Network. A 30-year news veteran, Balta’s experience includes leadership positions with NBC, Telemundo, CBS, and ABC News networks.

The twice-elected President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Balta has dedicated his career to championing the fair and accurate treatment of Hispanic Latinos and other marginalized communities in newsrooms and news coverage.

NHLN Opinion+: Sarah Robinson

Welcome to another episode of New Hampshire Latino News Opinion+, where we talk about major issues the Latinx and other underrepresented communities face in the state of New Hampshire.

This week we spoke with Sarah Robinson, the Education Justice Coordinator of Granite State Progress. Granite State Progress works to engage citizens around issues that are of immediate state or local concern.

“What I’ve always valued about this organization is that it finds the things that matter to local progressive communities and helps to shine a light in the places where a little boost is needed,� said Robinson, who says that reproductive rights, abortion access, education justice, and gun violence are the group’s top issues at the moment.

Through Granite State Progress’ collaboration with other local groups, they found that some advocacy for public education was needed, especially given all of the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re also focusing on keeping classrooms healthy. We had a real push against mask mandates in school boards this year, so we wanted to make sure that folks and communities had all of the information they needed to understand why having all the tools in your toolbox, including masking, was important to keep healthy classrooms,� she explained.

Robinson shared her concerns with people in power attempting to redistribute funds from public education and transfer them towards private and homeschooling, which she says takes resources away from the majority of New Hampshire’s students who attend public schools.

She also explained that specific concerns she has for public education come from outside parties stating that she’s always trusted that people in her community and elected officials had her children’s best interest at heart but that the pandemic highlighted the intensity of right-wing extremism infiltrated in local school boards. According to Robinson, often times these people are not even parents or community members and only travel to these events with the intention of spreading misinformation.

Robinson remains hopeful that building community and collaboration is the key to continuing to advocate for a fair and healthy education system.

“We get across the finish line together. We succeed when we build community on a micro and a macro level,� she said.

Resources: 

Granite State Progress: https://granitestateprogress.org

Granite State Progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/granitestateprogress

New Hampshire Latino News Opinion+: Josie Pinto, The Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire: https://nhlatinonews.com/nhln-opinion-josie-pinto/

Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ): https://surj.org

Concord NH SURJ: https://www.facebook.com/ConcordNHSURJ

Sarah Robinson’s email address: sarah@granitestateprogress.org

AARP NH and NHLN Host Community Conversation On New Hampshire Elections 

AARP New Hampshire (AARP NH) and New Hampshire Latino News (NHLN) announce a new partnership to give Granite Staters the tools and information they need to vote in the 2022 NH primary on September 13 and the midterm election on November 8.

The collaboration features a free, in-person event called Community Conversation: Voting in the New Hampshire Midterms and General Election at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on August 30  at 7 p.m. that is open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 pm for networking.

“We are excited to team up with New Hampshire Latino News for this unique event that will explain everything Granite Staters need to know about voting in the upcoming election,� said AARP NH Interim State Director Erin Mitchell. “The age 50+ voting bloc is the largest in New Hampshire, and we want to ensure everyone understands all they need to know to vote this year.�

This event will feature a panel of industry experts who will explain the voting process in New Hampshire and share resources that can help citizens engage and answer questions. Panelists include New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Neil Levesque, and AARP NH Associate State Director of Advocacy, Jennifer Delaney. This in-person event will also be live streamed on social media.

“The partnership is about helping people with the mechanics of voting,â€� said Hugo Balta, Publisher of NHLN. “Things like, do you know where to vote? How to vote? What you need to bring to the polling station, and much more.â€�

A survey asking the public what questions they have about the elections will be shared ahead of the community conversation and will be included in the programming. “It is a best practice our newsroom adopted from the Democracy SOS fellowship,â€� said Balta.

NHLN is one of 20 U.S.-based newsrooms elected to participate in the Hearken and the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) fellowship, committed to building understanding, trust, and engagement.

Another resource available to help voters is AARP New Hampshire’s Voters Guide. It includes information about what’s new in this year’s elections, important deadlines, and when to apply for an absentee ballot.

This event is FREE but you must register here: https://events.aarp.org/howtovote22


About New Hampshire Latino News NH Latino News is part of the Latino News Network (LNN). LNN oversees an independent group of local news and information, English language, digital outlets with a statewide, Hispanic-Latino community editorial focus in New Hampshire, Illinois, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

About AARP New Hampshire AARP is thriving in New Hampshire with nearly 215,000 members. AARP serves as a one-stop resource for the age 50+ population in the Granite State. We provide information about the breadth of local offerings, community engagement, volunteer opportunities, advocacy, and community events. We are focused on advancing age-friendly communities, celebrating family caregivers, protecting financial security, and making your voice heard. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nh or follow @AARPNH on social media.

NHLN’s mission is to provide greater visibility and voice to the Hispanic-Latino community, amplify the work of others doing the same, develop competencies of journalists, and produce investigative reporting based on the principles of solutions journalism.