Portsmouth Love, Not Hate Candlelight Vigil

I met so many wonderful people across the state during my congressional campaign. I elevated and advanced discussion on the importance of climate change, drinking water protection, money in politics, and the highest in the nation cancer rates in New Hampshire. Looking back, I wouldn’t change my decision to run for Congress.

Moving forward, in 2019 my work will continue on these important issues in different ways. It’s so important for people to feel empowered to make change. I will continue to help people understand how they can effectively use their voice to make the change they want.

The evening of the primary so many said let’s continue to work on elevating important issues that I raised in my congressional campaign. As a result, we formed NH Progressives for Justice. We meet every other week and are formulating our plans. Follow our Facebook page, @NHProgressives4Justice, for information and ask to join our effort by messaging us. The primary focus of this group is to advance issues like climate change in the political narrative.

New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance (NHSWA), a non-profit group that I founded with 8 others a few years ago and now has over 600 national and international members in our Facebook group will now become more formalized. We’ve started a Facebook page @NHSafeWater.

I’ve joined the board of 350-NH, an organization devoted to climate change issues. I’ve also started working for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

With so much turmoil in our federal government, it is more important for all of us to be engaged in our communities and with our state government. We have all worked hard and turned out to vote for our representation, but the work doesn’t stop there. Lots of change can happen but we each have to continue to do what we can to help to get it done by supporting our representatives and telling them what we want them to do. NHSWA, 350-NH, and Union of Concerned Scientists will be active participants in our communities and in the legislature this session.


An example of this is a coordinated effort to revolutionize the way NH assesses drinking water standards for perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS). In a time where the Trump Administration has impeded the transparency of the chemical approval process in EPA, Conservation Law Foundation, along with NHSWA and other community members signed on to petition the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) to become more proactive to prevent cancer in NH. Rather than waiting for the EPA and CDC to evaluate each of them one by one, a process likely to take decades, we have enough information to say we don’t want these chemicals in our water and our petition asks the NHDES to take action now.

According to the National Cancer Institute, only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are inherited and even so, a large percentage of genetic cancers are preventable and a result of gene sequencing changes in response to lifestyle or environmental exposures (epigenetic). As Bill Couzens, founder of Less Cancer, said recently “cancer should never be an expected stage of life.” We must act now to prevent and reduce the rates of children and adults dying of cancer in NH right now.

We will need help from the public, towns and organizations to let the NHDES know that we want them to take this step. Ask you town select board to write a letter in support of this effort.

I’m also working with Congressional representatives to make some changes at the federal level.

NHSWA and 350-NH will be working out legislative priorities in the next few weeks. Ask to join the Facebook groups for 350-NH and NH Safe Water Alliance and/or follow the pages of these organizations to play an active role in making sure your voice is heard.

Onward to 2019 was originally published in Less Cancer Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.