By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
NORTH HAVERHILL – Members of the Special Committee on Redistricting are headed to the Grafton County Superior Courthouse Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a public listening session on state redistricting with another to be held in Manchester on Thursday.
This is the county’s opportunity to tell lawmakers what the political boundary maps should look like for the next decade. Or not look like. Each county is getting a turn.
The maps to be redrawn are based on 2020 census data and by law have to be revised every decade.
Those who cannot attend the event in-person to provide testimony can listen in and submit their testimony and any maps they may have for consideration of both chambers. A link to provide written input is at the bottom of this story.
State Senate spokesman Carole Alfano, said there will be live streaming if onsite Wifi is available from this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeC6IKny_Pg.
Merrimack and Strafford county residents have already had their opportunity to provide input and other counties will have their turn later this month.
Many who attended last week’s session in Dover said they were hoping that the process would allow for a fair and open opportunity for the public to have input once maps are drawn.
They also said they were concerned that the current Executive Council District 2 is “gerrymandered” or “packed” and does not make sense.
On Thursday, the Special Committee on Redistricting will hold a work session at the Legislative Office Building, Room 210-211 at 10 a.m. and a public input session at 6 p.m. in Hillsborough County at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, 100 Saint Anselm Dr., Manchester.
The new maps will not impact current political districts but will in the 2022 general election.
The redistricting affects the state House and Senate, Congressional districts, Executive Council, and county commission districts.
The New Hampshire Press Association, of which InDepthNH.org is a member, has made a request for remote access to public hearings, due in part to the pandemic.
The press association sent the following letter to House Speaker Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, state Sen. President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, and copied House Minority Leader Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, and Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy, D-Manchester.
“We write you today to ask that you continue to allow remote access to legislative public hearings for the press and members of the public.
“COVID-19 and the Delta variant continue to be a cause for concern for many and anything you can do as legislative leaders to continue meaningful access to those unable to attend in person would be greatly appreciated.
“As members of the New Hampshire press, we remain committed to keeping our audience informed of all aspects of state government. Remote public hearing access will allow us to continue to provide this service,” it reads.
“We hope you will commit to keeping access available for all New Hampshire citizens.”
It was signed by Vice President: Mark Guerringue, publisher of the Conway Daily Sun; Secretary Melanie Plenda, Director of the Granite State News Collaborative; Treasurer Geoff Forester, photo editor for the Concord Monitor; and Assistant Treasurer David Brooks of the Concord Monitor. Board members also signed the letter:
Nancy West – Executive Editor, InDepthNH.org; Matt Burdette – Publisher/Editor, Nashua Telegraph; Dan Tuohy – Digital Engagement Producer, New Hampshire Public Radio; Keith Gentili – Publisher/Editor, The New Boston Beacon; Brendan McQuaid – President, New Hampshire Union Leader; Michael Casey – Associated Press; Sarah Pearson – Features Editor, Concord Monitor; Carol Robidoux – Publisher/Editor, Manchester Ink Link.
Board president Howard Altschiller, the executive editor of the Seacoast Media Group, whose wife Debra is a member of the House of Representatives, recused himself.
More information on the input sessions and ways to provide testimony to the General Court can be found here http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/
Attachments area Preview YouTube video Special Committee on Redistricting – Community Input Session (9/28/21)Special Committee on Redistricting – Community Input Session (9/28/21)