Why the Granite State needs Guinta

Heroin addiction can happen to anyone, of any age, race, religion or social status. It happened to my daughter Courtney, who lost her life to an overdose at just 20 years old, although our family tried desperately to find her help.

As many families do, we struggled with our insurance company, which denied Courtney the treatment she needed to recover from addiction. We struggled with our pain in silence, waging our fight to save Courtney’s life in private.

Because of the stigma attached to addiction, we kept her condition a secret from friends and relatives. Few outside our immediate family knew of her plight, or ours, when Courtney left us. Could they have helped?

After that horrible day, my wife and I dedicated our lives to removing the stigma of addiction to help more people get the treatment they need. Here in New Hampshire, at the epicenter of a nationwide drug epidemic, those people are plentiful.

In Frank Guinta, who represents New Hampshire’s First District in Congress, they and their families have a strong advocate. In Congress, he founded the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic with over 80 Republican and Democrat members, working together to solve a growing public health crisis.

Like my wife and I, [Guinta] understands the need to raise public awareness. Knowledge of the personal toll heroin takes is especially crucial to generating momentum toward solutions, such as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, major legislation whose passage Guinta led in Congress.

This spring, I visited him in Washington to urge House and Senate members to support the bill, which improves federal prevention, treatment and recovery programs, mainly in the form of state grants, and it strengthens law enforcement.

He had invited our family and dozens of others to appear before his Task Force in Washington to speak with lawmakers. We shared heartfelt stories, solutions, and were successful in our mission: Congress appropriated new money to better programs, and the president signed CARA into law.

Guinta has pledged to work even harder in the next Congress to secure additional funding, as well as to prevent deadly drugs from reaching New Hampshire neighborhoods in the first place. Organized gangs are spreading deadly substances to children and adults alike. Without a truly comprehensive solution including border security, many more will lose their lives.

Guinta’s empathy for Granite Staters struggling with addiction must spring from the kindness he shows to a close family member with a mental health diagnosis. Addiction frequently coincides with mental health issues and requires the same kind of careful, professional attention.

New Hampshire is lucky to have a representative paying the same kind of attention to our state’s biggest problem. I urge Wildcats and Granite Staters to return Guinta to Congress, where he can continue his good work and prevent more tragedies like Courtney’s.

-Doug Griffin UNH parent

Further down the ballot

On Nov. 8 it is important that we vote for the three federal offices on the ballot – President, US Senator and US House of Representatives. But our lives are immediately affected by decisions of  those elected to positions further down the ballot – NH Governor, Executive Council, NH Senate and NH House, as well as county offices. Recently I had occasion to ask a group of students how decisions in Concord had anything to do with their lives.  I was met with silence. 

Not only were they unclear on the three branches of government, they had no idea of the role of state government in their lives.I asked if they had drivers’ licenses.  Yes, they responded, but had no idea that the state issued them, or paved the roads they drove on to get to school, or operated the courts they would confront if they violated state laws. They had no idea how the state funds public education- from pre-school through university. 

We were standing outside a school building at the time and they had no idea of the state’s role in capital funding of university construction.We talked about drug use and they were unaware of the state role in prevention, treatment or penalty assessment when state law is violated. We did not have time to talk about the environment, water quality, foster care, public health and civil and criminal law.  We did not talk about domestic violence, or reproductive rights.  We did not talk about campaign financing, nor did we talk about tax policy.  We did not talk about background checks before gun sales are completed.  All these and more will be decided by the state officials on the ballot on Nov. 8. 

To vote for the candidates on the top of the ballot and not for those further down is not in your best interest, nor in the best interest of your community, county or the state. I am not suggesting who you should vote for, but only that you vote, and that you do the homework in advance to inform your decisions.  That is the obligation and the opportunity of a democratic society.  

– Representative
Marjorie Smith

Durham resident

Voting on Nov. 8: what you need to know

Are you a UNH student who lives in a UNH dorm or rents a house or apartment in Durham? If so and you will be at least 18 years old on Nov. 8 and a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to vote in Durham. If you have not already registered, you can register at the polls on Election Day. Here’s a FAQ to help make voting go smoothly.

What you need to bring with you:

– A valid photo ID (be sure to bring one even if you have already registered), such as a UNH ID, a driver’s license or passport.

– Proof of age, such as driver’s license, passport, birth certificate.

– Proof of domicile (where you are living as of Nov. 8, such as your dorm room or apartment), such as a letter from your hall director, postal mail sent to you at your Durham street address or a copy of your lease.

– Proof of citizenship, such as passport, if you were not born in the United States (unless a parent—either birth or adoptive—is a U.S. citizen). If you immigrated from another country and became a U.S. citizen, be ready to provide the date and city of your naturalization.

However, if you are missing any of the above, you will still be able to register and vote. Just be ready to sign a legal affidavit.

What you need to know about the polls:

– Where: Oyster River High School, 55 Coe Drive (about one mile from Thompson Hall).

– When: Nov. 8, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Arrive early and allow plenty of time both to register and to vote. Voter turnout for Presidential elections is high.

– Transportation: Vans will pickup at MUB Circle, Philbrook  and the SERCs and will make return trips from polls operating on a continuous cycle all day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There may be shuttles from other areas of campus as well.

Registration and voting take place in two different rooms. Look for the signs.

You may bring voter guide materials to assist you at the polls, you may not use those materials to influence anyone else and you may not leave such material inside a voting booth.

You may not wear or bring into the polls any campaign materials such as buttons, badges and articles of clothing.

Other key facts:

Questions? Call the Durham Town Clerk’s Office at (603) 868-5578.

The official Election ballot for Durham is posted on the Town’s website at: <https://www.ci.durham.nh.us/clerk/official-ballot-durham-general-election-november-8-2016-0>

– Susan Roman

Chair of the Durham 
Democratic Committee and Durham resident

Executive Editor