Open Letter: ‘Dear low-wage workers of New Hampshire…’

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Dear low-wage workers of New Hampshire: 

We write to you today because we want to say “thank you” for all your hard work, especially over the last two years.  

When COVID-19 broke out, you stepped up for your community at risk of your own health and well-being. Your numbers included teenagers, senior citizens, working moms, disabled individuals, and others who put themselves at risk to go to work. Many of you, even seniors and those with serious medical conditions, didn’t quit your jobs. You never had that luxury because you work paycheck to next paycheck and couldn’t afford to miss any time. So while others sheltered in place, you kept our grocery stores stocked, you cleaned buildings still open to the public, you kept desperate retailers and restaurant owners in business, and you continued to serve our seniors in long-term care facilities at great risk to yourselves and your families. 

For your selfless sacrifices during a time of great personal and community peril, you deserve our thanks—and much more. 

Temporary bonuses and pizza parties were nice gestures. But we know that a few extra dollars, a slice or two of pizza, and a “Heroes” T-shirt don’t fix the fact that there has been no minimum wage increase in 14 years. They also don’t fix the lack of childcare, the absence of affordable housing, or the fact that when it came time for vaccinations in New Hampshire, your needs weren’t prioritized despite the reality that without your courage during the shutdown, our entire economy could have very well collapsed.  

Eighteen months after the start of the pandemic, you are still not receiving a fair wage for the valuable work you do. Your courage and your sacrifices—which in some cases included the lives of family members and coworkers—have been taken for granted.  

You rescued us when we needed you most. Now we believe that it’s past time to rescue you—the people who operate our grocery stores, take care of our seniors, keep our hospitals clean, and keep our businesses both large and small, thriving and viable. 

We think about all of you every day. We are Democrats because we believe that poor and working-class folks​ need a fair chance, and they won’t get that chance without the opportunity to catch your breath to build a better life. To that end, we will work hard this term in the New Hampshire House to finally get you the increase in New Hampshire’s minimum wage that you deserve. While it’s far from a complete solution to the many challenges you face, it is a start. It’s also a way to say “thank you” for all the hard work you do and the sacrifices you made for others when we needed you most. 

We see you, we hear you, we thank you, and we’re working for you.  

The Undersigned Democratic Members of the NH House

  • Josh Adjutant 
  • Ellen Read
  • Linda Harriet Gathright
  • Josh Query
  • Christy Bartlett
  • David Meuse 
  • Laura Telerski 
  • Sherry Frost 
  • David Cote 
  • Rosemarie Rung 
  • Tony Caplan 
  • Joe Schapiro 
  • Eric Gallager 
  • Matt Wilhelm 
  • Lucius Parshall 
  • Lawrence Welkowitz 
  • Tim Horrigan 
  • Ivy Vann 
  • Art Ellison 
  • Pat Long 
  • Gerry Ward 
  • Dru Fox 
  • Gerri Cannon 
  • Peter Bixby 
  • Donald Bouchard 
  • Charlotte DiLorenzo 
  • Jennie Gomarlo 
  • Safiya Wazir 
  • Anita Burroughs 
  • John Cloutier 
  • Rebecca McWilliams 
  • Wendy Chase 
  • Beth Richards 
  • Chuck Grassie 
  • Jackie Chretien 
  • Jerry Knirk 
  • Fran Nutter-Upham 
  • Stacie Marie Laughton 
  • Kris Schultz 
  • Renny Cushing 
  • Rod Pimentel 
  • Sparky Von Plinsky 
  • Lee Oxenham 
  • Roger Dontonville 
  • Tim Egan 
  • Brian Sullivan 
  • Casey Connley 
  • Cassie Levesque
  • Debra Altschiller 
  • Suzanne Vail 
  • Efstathia Booras 
  • Peter Schmidt 
  • Nicole Knight 
  • Jan Schmidt 
  • Manny Espitia

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Undersigned Members of the NH House