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Faith coalition hopes to bring a new 'moral and ethical voice' to N.H. policy debates

Some members of the Granite State Organizing Project Clergy Caucus gather outside of the State House
Casey McDermott
/
NHPR
Speakers at the rally didn’t highlight specific pieces of legislation they planned to support or oppose. Rather, they underscored a broad set of priorities, with an emphasis on housing and racial justice.

A new coalition of local faith leaders plans to press New Hampshire lawmakers to take action on housing and racial justice issues.

The Granite State Organizing Project's Clergy Caucus launched Tuesday with a rally outside the State House, attended by more than three dozen people representing a mix of faith communities across New Hampshire.

“Too often, we have heard one particular narrative claim a monopoly on the moral and ethical voice of New Hampshire, and today we are here to say: No more,” said Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath, executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches. “Today, we join together to advocate for the lost, the last, the least and those who have been left behind by our policy.”

Speakers at the rally didn’t highlight specific pieces of legislation they planned to support or oppose. Rather, they underscored a broad set of priorities: providing safe and affordable housing for all New Hampshire residents; eliminating white supremacy embedded within policy structures; and ensuring that all people are treated with dignity regardless of their background or circumstances.

Rev. Sara M. Holland, from Plymouth Congregational Church of Christ, said she saw this new effort as a way to put her faith into practice and hold elected officials accountable for how they support those who are most vulnerable.

“In my local congregation, we pray each week for an end to racist policies, so that white supremacy might be stamped out of our state and our nation. And we pray for people who live outside and in shelters,” Holland told fellow coalition members on Tuesday. “And so I am here with all of you, hoping that we can propel this effort to have our policies meet our prayers.”

After the rally, the group went inside the State House to lobby their local lawmakers face-to-face, and they plan to return throughout the legislative session.

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