I am a Political Science major at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH attempting to encourage involvement with political initiatives around campus and throughout the local community.

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Video footage of the ongoing rallies in Concord, New Hampshire organized to protest budget cuts for social programs recorded by NewHampshireWatchdog. 

Linda Quintanilha - Parent and Activist

After the presentation by Gordon DuBois on March 22nd, he introduced a woman by the name of Linda Quintanilha to the group of students and faculty remaining in Pierce Hall.

She told a story of an average childhood which blossomed into an average adulthood that included marriage, a home, a career, and eventually two delightful children. In 2005, however, the story of Mrs. Quintanilha’s life changed and she was confronted with challenges that for the first time set her apart from the other “normal” families she had been exposed to all her life. In 2005, Linda Quintanilha’s daughter was diagnosed with autism.

When Linda delved into the world of developmental disorder workshops, support groups, and community programs in order to assist her daughter and save her family, she soon realized how valuable they were to her life and to others experiencing similar circumstances and joined the activist group Able New Hampshire.

In her few moments before the audience, Linda Quintanilha balanced her time between sharing personal experiences and biting political criticism of the budget cuts soon to be voted on in Concord. She informed the crowd that there were over 600 families who testified with the New Hampshire state legislature to prevent the new budget from eliminating all state funded programs for disabled state residents, but even in the budget’s current incarnation all of the services in New Hampshire communities dedicated to caring for disabled citizens in existence today remain in jeopardy.

Quintanilha brought the message home by sharing the statistic that at least 50 families in the Monadnock region alone would be totally left without care for their disabled adult children. She said, “We’re looking at chaos. We’re looking at families with nowhere to turn… How are we going to live? How are we going to survive?”

Quintanilha implored all audience members, as well as friends, family, and concerned citizens to take a stand and help advocate and show support for the developmentally disabled by attending a rally on March 31st at noon on the statehouse lawn in Concord, NH.

For more information on Able New Hampshire, please visit their website.

For more information about the New Hampshire State budget cuts, please visit BusinessWeek.com or google New Hampshire State Budget.

For more information about the rally to be held in Concord and transportation options for getting to the rally, please contact Linda Quintanilha at Linda.Quintanilha@gmail.com.