Dedication to the protection of the First Amendment freedoms is not accomplished in a day's work, but rather a lifetime. Recognizing the efforts taken to preserve free speech and press, the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications established the First Amendment Award in 2003. The award honors New Hampshire residents who exemplify freedoms granted in the First Amendment. From a lawyer's closing remarks, to a professor's lecture, to concerned citizens' participation in town governance, New Hampshire residents uphold the First Amendment liberties daily.
Two citizen activists who spoke out for open government share the 2016
Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award.
The recipients are Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green of
Sandown and the late David Pearl of Hooksett. They were recognized at the 14th
Annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards Event on Nov. 17 at the Palace
Donna Green has been has been
involved in several First Amendment and open government issues, including pushing
back against “School Board Rules” that all members had to publicly support
board decisions. This year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in Green’s
favor in a case in which she challenged her own school district for refusing to
release documents in electronic or digital form, when available. She is a
member of Right to Know New Hampshire and continues to advocate for more robust
Right to Know laws and a mechanism outside of court for their enforcement.
Pearl was an
outspoken advocate for the Right to Know Law and open government in his town
and in neighboring Pembroke. He also worked tirelessly to shine light on local
government, being instrumental in updating Hooksett’s online system to stream
public meetings and creating an online group in Hooksett for residents to post
their own articles about town happenings. Pearl
died in June.
“He would be touched and honored by this award,” said Pearl’s widow, Joanne.