Call to Action: Volunteers Needed

What Happens in Concord…
Unlike the slogan tied forever to the city of Las Vegas, what happens in Concord usually doesn't stay in Concord. In fact, what happens in Concord tends to trickle down to the local level; for better or worse, local officials have to live with all the laws passed by their state legislature.

In 2011, for example, nearly 990 bills or resolutions were introduced and had at least one public hearing. Of these, close to 300 would have affected New Hampshire cities and towns. In the end, nearly 270 bills or resolutions were signed into law, of which about 80 will affect municipalities.

The legislative workload for 2012 is looking to be just as great. So far, nearly 800 legislative service requests have been filed, and that is only for House bills; the Senate bill filing begins on October 10.

During the legislative session, the New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) makes every effort to promote good legislation and defeat the not-so-good. But we can't do it without you.

A Call for Committee Members: Get Involved Now!
As a municipal leader, you are the most important voice a legislator can hear. When legislators don't hear from you, they may assume that you really don't care—that it's an "NHMA issue," not a local one. It is very important that you get involved and speak out. Your voice in the process adds support and validity to the NHMA's advocacy efforts.

We need your help. We are looking for municipal leaders to participate on our Municipal Advocacy Committee (MAC) and Committee on Government Affairs (CGA). If you are an elected or appointed municipal official and are interested in legislative policy affecting cities and towns, this is an excellent opportunity for you to get involved.

MAC oversees NHMA's legislative advocacy activities. The committee consists of 31 members, including 12 municipal members of the New Hampshire Local Government Center's Board of Directors and 19 other local officials elected by the NHMA membership. MAC typically meets once a month during the legislative session (January through June) to review legislative developments, establish policy positions on new issues and provide further guidance to NHMA's Government Affairs staff.

CGA is responsible for recommending legislative policy positions to the NHMA membership at the Legislative Policy Conference, and for serving as an advisory board to MAC. CGA consists of 75 elected and appointed local officials, including the 31 members of MAC, who represent all regions of the state and all sizes of towns and cities.

In the spring of each even-numbered year, before the new legislative biennium, CGA solicits legislative policy proposals from member municipalities. Three CGA policy sub-committees review these proposals and make recommendations to NHMA's Legislative Policy Conference, which takes place in September of the same year.

NHMA is your Association. It speaks on your behalf but, to be truly effective, it needs your active voice and participation. So please consider getting involved with NHMA's advocacy efforts.

Remember, what happens in Concord has a direct bearing on your city or town and your responsibilities.

The MAC nominating committee will meet in September to nominate candidates for membership on both MAC and CGA. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Government Affairs staff as soon as possible at 800.852.3358, ext. 384.