So many issues. So little time!
Here are what I see as some of the major issues facing New Hampshire.
Energy, Environment and Inflation
At the beginning of the pandemic, the residents of Salem were concerned about what was happening in our town. Our local officials and our State Reps weren’t answering our questions, so I started digging, and began doing daily COVID updates, never realizing that it would last for months. The updates were posted daily for 440 days in from April 2020 to June 2021, and then weekly until February 2022. In all there were 477 reports.
The reports were posted in a blog, Bits from Bonnie, which is on this website. From the website, they were then shared on my campaign Facebook page and a number of Salem residents Facebook groups. I have been able to force the State to be more transparent, and have forced some info to be released.
While I spend a lot of time compiling the statistics, there is far more about COVID than just those daily numbers. This disease has impacted every one of us in one way or another. As we move forward, addiction and mental health issues will be more visible. Victims of child and domestic violence will be coming forward. Unemployment, underemployment, and closed businesses will have impacts on NH residents far beyond the loss of income. The rising costs of food will have some people eating poorly, and a loss of health insurance tied to employment will have people skipping medical appointments. Some people will have to choose between buying food to feed their families, purchasing medicine to stay healthy, paying for utilities to keep their home warm over the winter, or paying their rent or mortgages, or their property taxes. All of these, and more, will need to be addressed in upcoming months, and possibly years.
While the COVID pandemic isn’t as severe as it was, it is still active, and people are still dying in New Hampshire. Because many people are using the rapid test, numbers cannot be considered reliable. Cases over the winter are predicted to increase.
Opioid Crisis & Mental Health
These issues affect families and friends, employers, co-workers, police and fire resources. If it can happen in my family, it can happen anywhere. From prevention to treatment, we need to find more solutions. We need to treat addiction as an illness, not a crime. I believe that there may be a connection between these issues and some of the others I’ve mentioned below. We need more hope for the future.
Environment & Water, Climate Change, Agriculture, Food Security
There is a connection. We are making ourselves sick from the chemicals in our water, on our foods and in the air we breathe. We are experiencing unusual weather patterns, which affect our farms and food. Droughts and contaminated water are putting us at risk. NH has the highest pediatric cancer rate in the country. “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” And we are not leaving them with a very good inheritance.
Voter Issues – Gerrymandering & Money In Politics
I believe that these impact every aspect of our political lives. We need nonpartisan districting: The voters need to pick the legislators, and not allow the legislators to pick the voters. The legislators need to represent the people, and not the special interest groups. We need to make it easier for citizens to vote, not discourage them from turning up at the polls. We need to know that our votes are properly recorded and counted, without interference from outside influences. I’ve been talking about this for years … way before the redistricting issues NH (and many other states) experienced in the spring of 2022.
Issues that Impact Living & Working in New Hampshire – Workforce, Education, Living Wage, Unions, Affordable Healthcare, Paid Family Leave, Affordable Housing, Infrastructure, & Affordable Clean Energy
While, at first glance, they don’t seem to be connected, they ARE related. Currently, NH has the third oldest median population in the country, and experts believe our population will continue to get older than most of the other states. 19.3% of NH’s population is older than 65 years. Older populations spend their money differently than younger people; NH businesses will suffer if we cannot maintain a balanced age amongst our residents. Our high school students go away to college and don’t return. We need to make NH a desirable place to live, work, play, and to raise a family. We need to make NH more attractive to young adults, by making in-state college tuition more affordable and providing good schools for their children. We need to offer living wages, and decent benefits such as affordable healthcare and voluntary paid family leave programs. We need to find a way to make housing more affordable, including property taxes. We need to attract and keep both large and small businesses by providing an educated workforce, sound infrastructure, and affordable, clean energy. We need to protect the unions, because the benefits that they help arrange for the union members — wages, insurance, vacations and more — keep non-union businesses competititve, and that is good for ALL workers.
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“Always feel free to contact me!” ~ Bonnie