Here on the Stay Work Play NH blog, we’re celebrating young leaders all over the state — and we have a lot to celebrate! Last fall, New Hampshire saw a boost in young people taking office at the state level. In fact, 42 of our representatives are under 40 years old. You’ll get to meet all of them on this space, but we also want to shine a spotlight on the young people leading their communities at the local level!
Meet Chris Rice!
Chris has deep roots in New Hampshire. He was born and raised in Newton before moving to Barrington and graduated from Dover High School. Since high school, Chris served in the United States Army for nearly a decade and lived in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Maine before returning to the Granite State. Today he works as an emergency communicator in the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and lives in Rochester. This fall, Chris challenged an incumbent for a Ward 5 City Council seat — and won! I reached out to the City Councilor-Elect to find out more about his “Path to Politics”!
Tell us about your “Path to Politics” — what made you decide to get involved?
I believe in the City of Rochester; I believe that we are on the cusp of doing wonderful things for the city. I wanted to run for Rochester City Council to provide a fresh energetic voice to the City of Rochester. I believe that I’m enthusiastic, passionate and an effective listener. This is my first public office.
What’s the number one thing you hope to accomplish while in office?
I hope to be part of the team that re-energizes Rochester’s downtown. I would like to see more local business in the downtown.
What advice would you give to another young person interested in getting involved in local politics in NH?
Do it! I learned so much about running a local campaign. I believe that I have always been a good public speaker, however this experience has challenged what I thought was comfortable with. I would advise anyone, youth or not, to get a sponsor or a sounding board that you can practice with.
What advice do you have for citizen advocates?
Never stop speaking up!
Finally, just for fun, tell us something about yourself that will surprise people.
I enjoy riding my Harley Davidson through the Lakes Region and into the mountains of New Hampshire! My goal each year is to do 7,000 miles of traveling and I would recommend it to anyone who has thought about trying it.