Lend Your Voice to Support Municipal Issues

We recognize you are a very busy person. With work, family and other commitments, who has time for legislative advocacy, right? Recognizing time as a formidable challenge, the New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) has developed the 15 Minute Advocate Program to fit into the busy lives of our members. The goal is to provide information that members can quickly read, consider and take action on in 15 minutes or less.

Legislators Need to Hear from You!
Legislators need to hear from both elected and appointed local government officials during the legislative session. Your personal involvement in the legislative process adds a “local voice” to the discussion and provides reinforcement and support to NHMA’s Government Affairs staff efforts. You can do all this from home, without the need to make a trip to Concord.  

Case Study: Pole Tax Success
For years, NHMA advocated to end the property tax exemption for telephone poles and conduits, but efforts were always thwarted by the telecommunications industry and its many lobbyists. In the last two years, however, hundreds of local officials have lobbied their legislators and NHMA finally prevailed.

In 2010, the Democratic-controlled legislature ended the pole exemption; many legislators from both parties who had previously supported the exemption changed their minds after hearing from their selectmen, councilors, town administrators and others. In 2011, the telecommunications industry seemed primed to get the exemption reinstated under the now-Republican-controlled legislature; but local officials again rallied and converted still more legislators to oppose the exemption. The bill was tabled on a strongly bipartisan vote.

When an NHMA lobbyist asked one senator whether she had heard from any of her towns about the pole exemption, she replied, “All of them.” She voted with her towns to oppose the exemption. Another senator said he had heard from only one of his 17 towns, so he voted to support the exemption. Fortunately, that was the exception, but the two stories demonstrate the huge difference that local officials can make.

Become a 15 Minute Advocate
The 15 Minute Advocate Program supports legislative policies adopted by cities and towns for cities and towns. From time to time during the legislative session, you will be asked to take action as a 15 Minute Advocate for NHMA. We will send information that contains all the key ingredients for effective advocacy. Our format will be easy-to-understand, easy-to-implement, and easy-to-accomplish. Our commitment to you is simple. We promise it will not take more than 15 minutes of your busy day to advocate on behalf of your municipality and for the benefit of all municipal interests. Your voice will make a difference!

Simply complete the 15 Minute Advocate Formto provide us with your contact information and topics of greatest interest. This information will enable us to better involve you in NHMA’s legislative advocacy efforts. We will contact you when your voice is needed to protect or improve the interests of New Hampshire municipalities.

Visit the NHMA “Advocacy Services” page of the LGC website to download the 15 Minute Advocate Form, or contact the Government Affairs staff at 800.852.3358, ext. 384, or at governmentaffairs@nhlgc.org.

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