The LGN Class of 2023 had an early start and a busy day learning about the Government and Politics in not just Nashua but the entire Granite State. We started off our busy morning getting bused to the NH State House in Concord, NH. Once we arrived at the State House, we were warmly greeted by Virginia Drew, Director of the State House Visitor Center. She was then shortly accompanied by Senator Kevin Avard. He currently represents district 12 in the State of NH. We learned that besides being a Senator and small business owner he is a musician. He plays the guitar and sings in a local rock act. He has made it his mission to keep the importance of arts in schools.
Next, we were on our way to the Executive Council Chambers. Governor Christopher Sununu then shortly joined us. He entered the room with a NH coffee mug like a typical new Englander and then began to talk about his life and how he came into politics. A little fun fact is that he was a Civil and Environmental engineer in California and then owned and directed a business in Exeter NH called Sununu Enterprises before coming into politics. After talking about his own person life Governor Sununu was open to answer any questions our LGN class would like to ask. Our LGN classed asked very important questions about issues facing NH and what the Governor thinks. It was extremely informative to hear things from his prospective and to learn what other in the LGN class thought were important issues.
After, talking with Governor Sununu we were joined by Secretary of State David Scanlan. Secretary of State Scanlan went on to describes his duties of overseeing all state elections, including the creation of official ballots, administering recounts, and certifying the results before the Senate and House of Representatives. The Secretary of State also talked about the important issue facing NH today which is keeping NH’s “first the nation primary status.” He went on to explain why it is important for NH to keep that status.
Next, we were off to the Senate Chambers. Virginia Drew, Director of the State House Visitor Center talked about each seat in the room, the history, and how Senate meetings are run. She said Senators are paid $100 a year as written in the New Hampshire Constitution. To be eligible to run for Senate each candidate must be at least 30 years old, have lived in NH for at least seven years, and reside in the district from which they are seeking election. Currently there are 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
After spending time in the Senate Chambers, we were off to tour the House of Representatives. We were joined by Representative Alicia Greg who serves district 7. Representative Latha Mangipudi from District 11 also stopped by to say hello before off to her next meeting, Representative Gregg went on to talk about why she was inspired to be a representative and what she does in her position. She also talked about what a typical meeting will look like and how each representative votes using their chairs. She also talked about her position on the committee for Children and Family Law.
After a quick lunch break, we were on our way back to Nashua! Our next stop is Nashua City Hall were we were greeted by Mayor Donchess. Mayor Donchess talked about his path to becoming Mayor as well as why he wanted to become Mayor. He served as Mayor in the 90’s and then was elected again after taking some time away from the position. We were also able to meet with former Mayor, Donnalee Lozeau, CEO of Southern NH Services where she talked about her experience as a former mayor. With lots of stories it was great to hear a perspective of a former and current Mayor. Both brought up challenges they faced in their positions. Lastly at City Hall we had the pleasure of talking with Peggy Gilmour from Preti Strategies- Former State Senator and lobbyist. We heard about her career as a former senator as well as her current job as a lobbyist. I was not too familiar with exactly what a lobbyist is or why it is an important job, so it was very informative to hear it firsthand. Overall, it was a great presentation to be part of!
Lastly, we ended our day off ay Jajabelles! It was a great way to end the day supporting a small business in the heart of downtown Nashua. While unwinding for the day we were greeted by G. Frank Teas, CEO of Millyard Bank and Andy Leach, political strategist and consultant. G. Frank Teas led the discussion with Andy Leach by asking him questions to learn more about his job. We learned about all the campaigns he has worked out and how his job is important.
February’s Government and Politics was overall a great day! It was fascinating to meet the Men and Women who serve in the government and political sectors of the city level as well as the state level to keep the Granite State running strong.
Bellwether Community Credit Union