O P I N O N
Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.
For months, students and other young people across the state have been gearing up for the midterm elections. New Hampshire Youth Movement Action (NHYM Action) members are on track to knock over 7,000 doors and have had hundreds of conversations with the goal of electing local candidates that will champion the interests of young people.
In 2020, members of NHYM Action helped Biden carry New Hampshire and secure wins for Democrats at the senate and congressional level. Unfortunately, that success didn’t trickle down to the state level, where Republicans won control of the State House, State Senate, and the governorship.
Over the next two years, NHYM Action members saw the things they cared about attacked during NH legislative sessions. This led students and other young people across the state to take action on issues that mattered to them most.
Abby is a high school senior in Bedford. She got involved with NHYM Action after she saw her teachers forced to change their curriculum when Republicans passed the “Divisive Concepts Ban,” a bill that functionally restricts teaching about things like racism and sexism in depth in public schools. Abby spent the summer knocking doors in Manchester and central New Hampshire, spreading the word about the Divisive Concepts Ban and campaigning for NHYM Action candidates Josh Query and Alissandra Murray.
Nick is an Outdoor Education major at the University of New Hampshire. He got involved with NHYMA in a fight to bring green jobs to the state, an initiative that was killed by Republicans. In addition to knocking doors, Nick leads an NHYM Action chapter with other students at UNH. The hub has pledged 10 percent of the student body to vote in the midterms.
Polling of young voters in swing states like New Hampshire found that “the overwhelming majority of young people in these key states say they plan to get involved in the 2022 elections with 86 percent saying they will turn out to vote.” The poll also found that abortion and inflation/cost of living were the most important issues to young voters, and that most young people would prefer to vote for a candidate that directly shares their values.
This lines up with NHYM Action’s down-ballot focus. Young people want bold, progressive leadership; candidates that won’t shy away from important issues. We endorse precisely those candidates: everyday people running for seats who are going to fight to protect abortion rights and public education. These are people who know what it’s like to struggle to afford housing or have to deal with high prices at the grocery store. They are candidates that young people are genuinely excited about. A list of NHYM Action’s endorsed candidates can be found on our website.
No matter how the election goes, our members are going to keep fighting for the rights of young people both at the State House and at the ballot box. It may be true that lots of young people are leaving the state, but NHYM and NHYM Action are here to stay and fighting to make NH a place where young people can thrive. Whether we’re at the polls or we’re advocating online, our concerns and our passions surpass the 8 of November.
New Hampshire Youth Movement is calling for young people across the state to show up to the polls on November 8 and tell New Hampshire what kind of state they deserve to live in.