‘Granny D’ to walk for worthy cause at the University

We need to face the truth: Money runs the world. Money in itself is not a bad thing, but simply a tool to forward certain agendas. It is how we, the populace of the planet, decide to use our money that makes the difference. While the storm clouds of greed and corruption seem to be everywhere in the world these days, there is a silver lining: politically progressive citizens who are working for change.

One such progressive is a woman named Doris “Granny D” Haddock. This amazing woman has spent her life trying to improve the world, and she has been succeeding. In 1960, she and her husband, James Haddock, helped stop hydrogen-bomb testing in the atmosphere above Alaska, and in the 1990s, she got interested in campaign finance reform.

On Jan. 1, 1999, she started out from Pasadena, Calif., on a trek to raise awareness about campaign finance reform. She finished on Feb. 29, 2000 in Washington – a distance of 3,200 miles. Granny D braved blizzard conditions in the Appalachian Mountains, at one point cross-country skiing 100 miles when the weather threatened to delay her arrival in Washington. She was hospitalized in Arizona because of dehydration and pneumonia. She has emphysema and arthritis. None of this stopped her. She is a shining beacon to the rest of us. She demonstrates that people still do care about progress, and that they can make a difference.

Granny D realized how important campaign contributions are to the political situation in the country and in the world – that money runs the world. And because money runs the world, we, the citizens, better make a damn good effort to keep an eye on those who have it, make sure they use it responsibly for the benefit of society and hold those who misuse it accountable.

If elections are publicly funded, as has been proposed for Minnesota, those to whom we give our hard-earned money – politicians – will be held accountable to the

people who are affected by their decisions and who fund their campaigns. The kickbacks large corporations receive once candidates they support are elected could be a thing of the past; something we tell our grandchildren: “Back when I was young, politics was very different. People cared about money, not about their neighbors. Gladly, that is all behind us now.” This could be our future, but not unless we make it happen.

Granny D is coming to Minneapolis to talk about (and walk about) campaign finance reform Wednesday. The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action and Democracy Matters are co-sponsoring the event.

Granny D is planning to walk from the University to Minneapolis City Hall, and everyone is invited. The march will start at 5 p.m. on Williamson Plaza (in front of the old bookstore, near the circle), so get there a little early and enjoy some food and soda. The march should reach City Hall about 6 p.m., where Granny D will talk about campaign finance reform at a rally. There will be a bus to bring people back to

campus afterward.

I am a junior at the University and every day, I see bright, young people ready to make an impact. I implore all who care about their world to join us at the University to show everyone that we are taking back democracy. Together, and only together, we can make the world a better place.

For details about the march, visit www.mpirg.org/grannyd.htm

Noah Feiler-Poethke is a University junior. Send comments to [email protected]