New Hampshire Citizens Alliance
New Hampshire Citizens Alliance (formerly the North Country Institute) was founded in 1978 in Haverhill, NH by a group of citizens concerned about their schools, the fairness of their taxes and the quality of their local environment. Meeting in living rooms, the group discussed these problems and how they could work together with others to solve them. They wrote letters to town officials, organized events to demonstrate their concerns, and reached out to inform others about issues affecting all of their families. With each person that joined their efforts came new energy, new ideas and new problems to solve. Members of this new “organization” began to see a broader purpose for their group - to ensure a role for citizens in all important policy decisions.
In moving to Concord to pursue a statewide agenda, NH Citizens Alliance partnered with another grassroots organization called NH Citizen Action. Working in concert, the two groups developed a network of over 5,000 citizen members who, over the past two decades, have provided a consumer voice on issues of health care, campaign finance reform, utility deregulation, voting rights, fair taxation, and issues related to low-wage workers, education, welfare reform, and the environment.
New Hampshire Citizens Alliance envisions a New Hampshire in which an informed citizenry is actively involved in policy decisions through open processes which allow all NH residents an equal voice. It’s a New Hampshire in which elected officials and government agents listen to the voices of all citizens - not just those with money or influence - and incorporate their concerns into sound public policy.
Throughout its 30 year history, NHCA has paid particular attention to ensure a voice for citizens whose voices often go unheard - children, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, women, people with chronic illnesses or mental illnesses, and those living in poverty. To that end, NHCA seeks to inform consumers on key issues and build strong community leadership to ensure that citizens are heard in the State House and government offices. With consumers participating in decisions, policies and programs are much more likely to meet the needs of all the residents of our state.
Unlike organizations which serve the needs of a specific target population, NHCA seeks to ensure a role for all NH residents. Because of its broad constituency, NHCA’s policy focus and organizing goals cross many boundaries. NHCA is the one organization in NH that can quickly bring together all of the appropriate individuals and organizations to address key issues in a timely and effective manner. With the support of its members and donors, NHCA will continue to build on 30 years of achievement in pursuing its vision of the future.