Many factors affect the public health concerns identified by members of the Upper Valley community. These may include:
- Access to Services (e.g. cost, location, or capacity);
- Environmental Factors (e.g., safe and affordable housing, physical environment); and, among others,
- Public Policy at the local, state, and national levels.
For a Local Spotlight, read about Windsor, Vermont’s Smoke and Vape Free Policy, which took effect in September 2020.
Recognizing that public policies can advance or inhibit our efforts to adress the priority health concerns of our region, the Public Health Council has a three-part plan to increase local policy action:
- Educate local policymakers about the priority health concerns of the region and how public policy affects the work we are doing with our partners.
- Provide training to our partners and members of our communities in how to advocate for public policy change.
- Link partners and members of our communities to respected organizations with a specific focus on advocacy around the issues of concern to our region.
Educate Local Policymakers
Host Bi-State Legislative events every two years to:
- Educate legislators about the health issues of greatest concern to Upper Valley residents.
- Share ways public policy affects Upper Valley residents access to high quality, affordable, coordinated, and consistent services.
- Promote conversations to increase policy coordination between New Hampshire and Vermont.
Our first event was held on September 16, 2019. READ MORE
Provide training opportunities each year for partners and other residents who want to learn about the legislative process and how to engage with legislators. We work closely with organizations like New Futures to ensure high-quality speakers and resources. New Futures also provides a regular schedule of training opportunities you can participate in at any time.
On March 4th, 2020, the PHC hosted our first bi-state advocacy training at Kilton Library in West Lebanon. The training was facilitated by two of New Futures’ Community Engagement Coordinators (Jess Wojenski and Pedro Altagracia), as well as Bi-State Primary Care’s Director of Vermont Public Policy, Helen Labun. READ MORE
Link Partners to Respected Advocacy Organizations
The table below provides links to a number of Vermont and New Hampshire organizations that work diligently to influence public policy to benefit the residents of our states. The list also includes a few regional or national organizations. Some work on the state-level and some work on the national level. You can follow the links to these organizations’ webpages and explore their policy priorities.
We encourage members of the Upper Valley community to engage with policymakers on the topics that they are passionate about. Please note that the Public Health Council does not lobby and we will never attempt to influence any person’s actions on behalf of or against legislation. We only provide education about the issues of concern to our region. If you choose to engage in direct advocacy by communicating with policymakers about specific legislation, you do so on your own behalf and should not speak for the Public Health Council. That being said, we hope to enjoy exercising your democratic right to act politically.