The New England First Amendment Coalition is seeking nominations for its 2020 Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award.
The award is given to an individual from one of the six New England states who has fought for information crucial to the public’s understanding of its community or what its government is doing — or not doing — on its behalf. The candidate should have shown tenacity or bravery in the face of difficulty while obtaining information that the public has a right to know.
Nomination materials can be found here. The deadline for submissions is January 10, 2020.
The award will be presented at NEFAC’s 10th annual New England First Amendment Awards luncheon from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on February 7 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 606 Congress Street in Boston. The awards luncheon is part of the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s winter convention.
The following RTKNH members are past recipients of the Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award:
- 2019 David Saad | Saad co-founded Right to Know NH as a nonpartisan citizen coalition working to improve transparency of New Hampshire state, county, and local governments.
- 2017 Donna Green | Green won a public records battle in the New Hampshire Supreme Court which required the distribution of public, non-confidential information in commonly used electronic formats when available.
- 2015 Harriet Cady | Cady is a long-time open government activist, frequently speaking on freedom of information concerns, and a co-founder of Right to Know NH.
Representatives from RTKNH will be attending and have a display table at the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Annual Picnic Saturday July 6th from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. This event will be held at the Young-Richardson American Legion Post #59 at 538 W Main St., Hillsborough, New Hampshire 03244.
Emcee: Keith Hanson
For more information on this event and to purchase tickets click here.
On May 2, representatives of RTKNH met with a group of international visitors from a number of North and South American countries interested in learning about Transparency and Accountability in NH Government. The meeting was organized by the World Affairs Council of NH International Visitor Professional Development Leadership Exchange Program through the US Department of State. The International Visitor Professional Development Leadership Exchange Program helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States.
The meeting focus was on advocacy and coalition-building to garner support for strengthening open government laws, what successes RTKNH has had, and the obstacles RTKNH has faced – including efforts to implement an Ombudsman and the Citizens’ Right to Know Appeals Commission.
On Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 7 PM, Right to Know NH President David Saad will present a Right to Know training event at the Gilsum Public Library in Gilsum NH. A Powerpoint presentation covering an overview of the Right to Know Law (RSA 91-A) will be followed by a question and answer session. Officials from area towns as well as all interested citizens are encouraged to attend this free event. Light refreshments will be provided. The Gilsum Public Library is located at 650 Rte 10 in Gilsum. RSVP is encouraged for seating but not required by emailing Vicki Ayer at email@example.com
Recently, RTKNH conducted a Right-to-Know training session for public officials and residents from Goshen, Acworth, and Newport.
The training covered the Right-to-Know Law (RSA 91-A) including several recent updates to the law.
RTKNH is available to provide our presentation on the Right-to-Know Law. To schedule our training presentation for your organization or citizen’s group, please contact us by clicking ‘Send us a message’ on the right side of this page.
Robert Azzi to be honored at First Amendment Event
MANCHESTER – An Arab-American who crisscrosses New Hampshire to promote civility and public awareness about Muslims will be honored at the 2018 Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications’ First Amendment Awards event.
Robert Azzi of Exeter will be recognized at the 16th annual event on Nov. 15 at the Palace Theatre.
The featured speaker – a week after the important mid-term elections — will be Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former, and potentially future, presidential hopeful.
Azzi is a photo journalist, columnist, public speaker, education consultant and world traveler whose columns appear in many New Hampshire publications. He also has presented his program, “Ask a Muslim Anything,” at more than 50 public events and forums around the state, where he works to encourage tolerance, understanding and interfaith discussion.
“I want to open up new perspectives for my audiences, especially for those who don’t often agree with me, and expose them to points of view I believe are important and which they might not have previously considered,” he says.
The First Amendment Award judges said they admired Azzi’s courage and his “vocal, forthright and honest” presentations about what it’s like being Muslim in post-911 America.
Azzi was chosen from nominees submitted by the public.
The First Amendment Awards Event is the only fundraiser for the nonprofit school, which was founded in 1999 by Nackey S. Loeb, the late president and publisher of the Union Leader and Sunday News. Its free classes and low-cost workshops attract students from middle-schoolers to retirees. Instructors from media outlets and businesses around the state teach topics such as the First Amendment, journalism, photography, broadcasting, audio and video production, social media and public speaking.
Tickets for the First Amendment Event are available at www.palacetheatre.org or the Box Office at 603-668-5588.
Past recipients of the First Amendment Award are: former state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin, former Keene Sentinel Executive Editor Thomas Kearney, The Laconia Citizen, former legislator Daniel Hughes, former Dover City Councilor David Scott, Londonderry High School Journalism Adviser Mary Lukas, First Amendment attorney William Chapman, ConVal School Board member Gail Pierson Cromwell, The Portsmouth Herald, David Lang and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, The Telegraph of Nashua, slain journalist James Foley, former Portsmouth Police Officer John Connors, citizen activists Donna Green and the late David Pearl and Right to Know NH.
Previous recipients John Howe and Mary Lukas are First Amendment Award judges, along with retired New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Richard Galway, retired Foster’s Daily Democrat Editor Rod Doherty and First Amendment attorney Gregory Sullivan.
Led by Presenting Sponsor People’s United Bank, the growing list of
2018 First Amendment Event sponsors and supporters includes: EverSource Energy, The Brodsky Prize, AutoFair, AT&T, Brady Sullivan Properties, McLane Middleton, The Common Man Family of Restaurants and U.S. Trust.
Other sponsors are: Consolidated Communications; Elliot Health System; Joseph and Signe McQuaid, Silvertech; BAE; Citizens Bank, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Fidelity Investments, Daniel and Carol Hughes, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services University; Merchants Automotive Group; Amoskeag Beverages; Anagnost Investments; Bar Harbor Bank & Trust; Bellwether Community Credit Union; Joyce and Daniel Levesque; Sean and Kirsten Mahoney; NH Beverage Association; NH Healthy Families; Northeast Delta Dental; St. Mary’s Bank; Union Leader Corp.; AARP; Bernstein Shur Group; Business and Industry Association; Douglas, Leonard & Garvey; New Hampshire College and University Council; Howe, Riley and Howe; Keystone Press.
Media partners are the New Hampshire Union Leader, WMUR-TV and WGIR.
For other information about the event, visit http://www.loebschool.org or call 603 627-0005.
On Wednesday, September 26, at 7PM, Right to Know NH President David Saad will present a Right to Know training event at the Goshen Town Hall in Goshen NH. A Powerpoint presentation covering an overview of the Right to Know Law (RSA 91-A) will be followed by a question and answer session. Officials from area towns as well as all interested citizens are encouraged to attend this free event. Light refreshments will be provided. The Goshen Town Hall is located at 54 Mill Village Rd. North (Rt. 10) in Goshen. The Goshen Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) is sponsoring the event. Please RSVP by emailing Ray Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.