Our Mission

The mission of the New Hampshre Alliance for Retired Americans is to strive for social and economic justice, and civil rights for all citizens to enjoy lives with dignity, personal and family fulfillment, and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Does cutting ServiceLink make any sense?

New Hampshire Alliance President Lucy Edwards at the NH State House

The Nashua Telegraph has an excellent editorial questioning the choice of cutting all the funds for  ServiceLink by the Republican majority in the NH House of Representatives.  At the 2015 Conference of the NH Senior Center Association we heard from the NH Department of Health and Human Services about their plans to expand their use of ServiceLink as a gateway to more services for New Hampshire residents.  If this cut ends up in the final budget, those plans will have to be scrapped.  As the Telegraph says:
Because it doesn’t really matter how good those the state’s human services network is if the elderly and disabled can’t access those services because they first have to traverse hill and dale and jump through all manner of hoops.
Slamming shut the ServiceLink gate will save about $1.3 million in the budget, but the state will probably lose that much in federal funding if is eliminated.
That right there is a pretty good working definition of short-sightedness.
Call your State Senator.  Tell the State Senate that this is definitely penny wise and pound foolish budgeting.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Great presentation at the NH Senior Center Association's Conference



Our President, Lucy Edwards, and Executive Vice-President, Jane Lang, attended the NH Senior Center Association's 2015 Conference recently, and enjoyed this presentation from the NH Center for Public Policy Studies. We learned a great deal about population trends: NH's population median age is getting older, as the people who moved here in the 1970-2000 decades age in place, and the in-migration of younger people has slowed way down.

We talked about the disconnect between our housing stock, workforce, and transportation networks and the population trends in the future, among many other interesting facts and figures.  We have chosen to focus on housing and transportation over the next year, along with our perennial support for retirement security for all NH citizens.

We suggest that those interested in learning a great deal more about our state bookmark the NHCPPS website.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Hampshire Alliance Board at the great visibility at the State House April 1, 2015



The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans' board had a great representation at the State House today, but some of us never saw others of us! Board President Lucy Edwards, and Executive VP Jane Lang, Treasurer Jerry Conner (with his wife Mary Ann), and board members Ronna Hamelin, Steve Kloppenburg, Betty Ann Abbott and Lew Henry, and the Honorable Larry Converse, State Representative from Claremont, all were part of this enormous turnout. For Lucy Edwards, the highlight may have been the group of school children who got the best lesson in real democracy at work on their field trip to the State House. Wonder if they will compare their trip with the 4th graders who had to endure the red-tailed hawk debacle?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Letter to the Editor - Shocked and Dismayed

The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans was shocked and dismayed to see the cuts to senior services in the proposed NH House budget, as well as the other massive reductions in state spending all across the spectrum of services!  As many of us know, NH has one of the oldest populations in the country. It makes no sense to make such cuts: it hurts our communities and our economy. We call on the full House to reject this budget proposal and do what the citizens of NH elected them to do, pass a responsible, balanced budget.

Among the cuts were some that particularly targeted retirees in our state. The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute called attention to a “$10.5 million reduction in social services for the elderly – These services are currently provided through the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services and include home-delivered meals, transportation, and caregiver supports. This cut amounts to a 50 percent reduction relative to the amount included in Governor Hassan’s proposed budget.” - [More at: http://www.nhfpi.org/commoncents/house-budget-writers-cut-services.html#sthash.XNwnBo15.dpuf]

Another painful cut is to ServiceLinkNH, a wonderful organization that helps seniors and the disabled with their long term care needs, making it possible for them to stay in the community.  These cuts will also mean the loss of matching federal funds.
We urge all to call your representatives before they vote on April 1st. You can find them at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx

Lucy Edwards, President, New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sign the petition and come to Concord on April 1!



From the NH Labor News! a petition and an invitation.

Right-wing activists in the New Hampshire House and Senate want to pay for generous corporate tax cuts by slashing health and safety programs that protect Granite State communities. The proposed cuts are politically-motivated and far exceed the moderate cost reductions needed to balance the state’s biennial budget. The deepest cuts would hurt the sick, the elderly, and the homeless, but it gets worse: the latest plan would force the Department of Transportation to lay-off over one-third the workforce that plows our highways and maintains our aging roads and bridges. 
Why? It’s not because these reckless politicians care about creating jobs or reviving the “New Hampshire Advantage.” It’s not because they value New Hampshire families and communities. No: these hard-core ideologues are trying to score political points with their tea-party supporters and the shady special interest groups they hope will fund their next election campaign. And they are willing to gut critical health and safety programs and downshift costs onto homeowners and towns to make it happen. 
“This backward proposal includes drastic cuts to the Department of Transportation, to critical services for seniors like Meals on Wheals, to substance misuse, to mental health, to developmental disabilities, to higher education, to travel and tourism promotion, to municipalities and more, all of which will hurt our economic future and lead to downshifting to local property-tax payers,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. 
Please take action to STOP the reckless and unnecessary budget cuts proposed by the New Hampshire House & Senate by adding your name to our petition. 
Petition text:
We call on members of the state House & Senate to pass a responsible, balanced budget that protects taxpayers without sacrificing the essential programs and services New Hampshire families and communities depend on for our health, safety, and quality of life. 
Click here to add your name to the list
Visibility To Protest Reckless Budget Cuts 
It is expected that the New Hampshire House will vote on this disastrous budget on April 1st.  That is why we are planning being there to talk to them before they go to vote.
Join labor activists and community partners as we stand in opposition to these reckless budget cuts.
April 1st
9:00AM
Outside Reps Hall
State House, Concord
Please bring your own signs or use one of ours.  We want to line the hallways of the State House to show all of the Legislators that we are against these reckless budget cuts.
Join our new Facebook page!  
The American Friends Service Committee NH and the NH Council of Churches invite you to join them for a Prayer Breakfast before they host a Vigil inside the State House:
Prayer Breakfast at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,
8:00 Am
21 Centre Street, Concord
State House Vigil,
State House second floor
9:30 Am
You can RSVP to their Facebook Event

Thursday, March 19, 2015

ALERT!

CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE!  STOP CUTS TO SENIOR PROGRAMS, TRANSPORTATION, MENTAL HEALTH, OUR SAFETY NET! 

Read our latest news alert and please let the NH legislature know this is unacceptable.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NH House Budget Slashes Programs for Seniors and Their Families

Here's a good synopsis of the cuts proposed so far to programs for seniors and their families.
Late last week, Representative Dick Barry, Chairman of Division III of the House Finance Committee, which has responsibility for those portions of the state budget supporting health and human services, indicated that the Division would seek to reduce spending in those areas by a total of more than $280 million relative to Governor Hassan’s recommended FY 2016-2017 budget. The Division began to move toward that goal on Sunday and Monday of this week, adopting changes to the Governor’s proposal that would reduce General Fund spending by more than $95 million, affecting programs vital to thousands of low-income and vulnerable Granite Staters and resulting in the loss of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal funds. 
It is urgent that we all get in touch with our representatives and let them know that this is unacceptable. As Governor Hassan said:
“As our economy continues to strengthen, it is no longer necessary to govern as though we are responding to an economic crisis, but Republicans on the House Finance Committee continue to do just that, making draconian cuts to health and human services, transportation, education, and aid to local communities. Not only would these reductions downshift responsibility to local governments, but they have a significant impact on our people, businesses and economic future, affecting areas that are critical to the health and well-being of our people, the safety of our roads and priorities that help spur economic development. Moving forward in this budget process, I continue to urge legislators from both parties to work together to support the shared priorities that are critical to the success of our people, businesses and economy.” 
Find your legislator here.

Note: many of these cuts would result in the loss of possibly $35 million in federal matching funds.  A double whammy to many services.  Those are tax dollars we have sent to the federal government and if we refuse to receive them, they will go to other states.