As a senior citizen, I have a personal interest in policy affecting New Hampshire’s older adults and citizens with disabilities. For many reasons, this population can oftentimes find it impossible to testify and attend legislative sessions or committee meetings.
In 2021, virtual access to public meetings and sessions helped to lessen longstanding civic engagement barriers for older adults, people with disabilities, people with limited access to transportation, people with work and family obligations, among others. Attending and testifying via Zoom significantly helped me and so many others engage in legislative discussions that directly affect us, in real time, rather than waiting days for the information.
Just like sidewalk curb cuts, elevators, closed captioning and other accessibility features that help to include all Granite Staters, with remote access to the Legislature we can all participate in our state government.
This upcoming legislative session, in-person-only meetings will close newly opened doors to civic engagement and many elder and disabled Granite Staters will be shut out again from the Legislature. To stop giving voters virtual access is a step backward in government and voter relations.
I urge the N.H. Legislature to continue to allow for remote access to public meetings and sessions.