Today is the birthday of Doris Haddock, otherwise known as Granny D, who, at the age of 89, walked across the country to press for an overhaul of our nation’s campaign finance system. When she set out from California, she did not have any grand plan as to how she would do this. She just started to walk, 10 miles a day. Random strangers came out of their homes. They fed her. They housed her. They walked with her for part of the way. She walked through the rain, through the wind, through the snow. She cross-country skied in places. Fourteen months later, 3200 miles later, turning 90 in the process, she reached Washington, DC, to be greeted by Senator John McCain, then-Senator Russ Feingold, and hundreds of other people that day. I was honored to be among those cheering her that day, and I was honored to know her and to have worked with her. She was an American heroine.
Doris Haddock died in March 2010, at the age of 100. When the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United ruling in January 2010, she thought about walking across the country again. Thanks to Barbara Simons and Jeff Sebens and their inspirational Go Granny D! production, we are reminded of how this remarkable woman touched the lives of people throughout the nation and around the world. As Doris said: “Democracy is a running game. You huddle and you go back in. You keep going.”
Watch this short video with Doris and with Pete Seeger and get ready to go back in!