About Us

Educate. Celebrate. Motivate. And elect a great City Council.

One Portsmouth is a local grassroots effort driven to preserve and strengthen our community by increasing civic engagement in local governance. Founded by former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, we want to celebrate what makes Portsmouth a special place to live, work, visit, innovate, and raise a family.

This “virtuous triangle” of characteristics that embody what has made Portsmouth successful — excellent public services, respect for local taxpayers, and a dynamic local economy — have fostered an outstanding quality of life and culture that makes Portsmouth one of the best small cities in America.

Understanding how all these pieces fit together, and how our collective civic engagement is essential to remaining a special place, is at the heart of what One Portsmouth is all about.

Our Story

The story of Portsmouth over the past generation is one of remarkable success.

Portsmouth has gained recognition as one of the best communities in the country in which to work, live, visit, raise a family, create, and innovate. Our economy, culture, quality of life, education, public safety, infrastructure, and sound governance are all healthy and strong.

In the last few years, however, two factors have entered into our civic life which threaten our community’s vitality:

  • a culture of divisiveness and polarization that has coarsened our civic discourse (at all levels of government, frankly), and
  • a narrative that our quality of life, role as the cultural center of the state, high quality public services, and restrained tax increases are in spite of our economic growth, rather than strengthened by our economic growth.

Led by Portsmouth resident and former mayor Steve Marchand, a growing group of residents has decided to work together to encourage and support outstanding leadership that understands we are a stronger community when we reject the polarization, embrace smart public policy, and come together as One Portsmouth.

Our Mission

Our mission is to strengthen our community’s civic culture by educating, celebrating, and motivating citizens, and electing outstanding local leaders.

We will accomplish this mission by:

Educating citizens on local issues and opportunities to serve in civic life, and how these issues and opportunities are all interrelated parts that make Portsmouth one of the best places in America to live, work, create, recreate, and raise a family. When one part of our community is harmed, or one set of challenges is left unaddressed, it eventually hurts all of us.

Celebrating strong leadership in all its forms, across our community — from elected officials, municipal employees, non-profits, the private sector, artists, entrepreneurs, and volunteers. Leadership is about focusing on the outcomes that matter most, defining success, listening, learning, deciding, and then leading for the benefit of the community.

Motivating highly competent, collaborative, common-sense people from different walks of life to serve in elected office. Portsmouth is fortunate to have tremendous, diverse talent, but only those who participate in civic life get to decide. Motivating people to vote, to run, to volunteer, to organize, to support — engaging more people in Portsmouth civic life is what we’re all about!

Electing great candidates who may have diverse backgrounds and positions, but who share the values of courtesy, collaboration, competence, consistency, and a focus on the common good. A great council doesn’t always agree — but a great council knows how to disagree productively.


Our Supporters

There's a growing number of community members who want to strengthen our civic culture by electing outstanding local leaders using the values described above. Take a look at a list of some of our community supporters, and express your desire for strong, common-sense, collaborative leadership by adding your name, too!

Meet Our Supporters