Last Wednesday, supporters and advocates of Open Democracy gathered at the beautiful, politically-historic home of Arnie Arnesen to celebrate a year in review. For some, this was the first time meeting outside the virtual zoom box, and warm feelings of friendship filled the air.
The program began with Olivia Zink, Executive Director, sharing the challenge in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "a Republic, if you can keep it." The evening transitioned into stories about the negative effects of wealthy special interest lobbying on our everyday lives, from the gun lobby to big pharma, after which tears of frustration turned to laughter with the songs of the "Corruption Chorus."
Attendees listening to the closing speaker, Arnie Arnesen.
Pictured: Senator Perkins Kwoka, Democracy Champion award recipient. Senator Martha Fuller Clark received the Granny D award for her career-long dedication to protecting our democracy, and Dave Andrews received the Map Award for outstanding commitment to the Map-A-Thon project and fair redistricting.
The 2022 Annual Meeting was both humbling and inspiring, with attendees left feeling like we have our work laid out for us next year to defend our democracy. Whether registering voters, or educating about pro-democracy bills in the legislature, that work will only be successful with this wonderful community, done together.
Take part in public "listening sessions" by the NH House and NH Senate around the state. One hearing is being held before the maps are drawn, and we're advocating for a second round of hearings for the public to analyze the finished maps. Why? Because we're suspicious of anti-voter faction members within the committee who may be scheming a gerrymandered Congressional district map.
Get involved! Speak up!
Other important issues:
- 62 Towns which were eligible for their own NH House district did not get it in 2011
- NH Senate Districts ignored "communities of interest," crossing county lines, through regional high schools, and bisecting public health regions
- NH Executive Council districts include District 2, which packs Democratic-leaning towns into one district which snakes from Vermont to Maine.
- Some towns districted together are joined in lakes, in the middle of the woods, and in some cases force their legislators to drive out of the county to get to the other side.
We were so gratified by the 110 people who joined us on Sunday, Jan. 24 for Granny D Day! Great music, stories and calls to action by our generous speakers. A special thanks to Professor Larry Lessig and 350 founder Bill McKibben, who stepped in on short notice for the under-the-weather Bill Moyers, who sent his best to all of you by email.
If you missed the presentation, take few minutes this weekend to listen to this wonderful presentation.
Join us Aug. 8th for the annual Granny D Memorial Walk, celebrating "100 Years of Women Walking for Democracy" --
Walk - Rally - Ice Cream!Read more
New Hampshire's first in the national primary leads to a special opportunity for New Hampshire voters to influence political dialogue. By asking a variety of detailed questions, common citizens have an opportunity to get candidates on record giving their stance on key issues.
Doris "Granny D" Haddock and 31 other people were arrested on April 21, 2000, while Granny D was reading the Declaration of Independence in the Capitol Rotunda.
"We no longer have proper representation," Ms. Haddock, the 90-year-old woman who walked across the continent for campaign finance reform, told a press conference on the Senate lawn before she led the group into the Rotunda. "Our elected leaders are consumed by the need to raise election funds from special interests, and they no longer are able to represent the needs of the people or of our ravaged earth. We must declare our independence from the corrupting bonds of big money."
Granny D's statement at her sentencing still resonates, today.
6-mile NH Rebellion March to End Big Money in Politics.
Dublin --- Supporters of clean election reform will participate in a Granny D Memorial Walk from Dublin to Peterborough on Saturday, August 13th. Walkers will depart at 9:15 am from Cobb Meadow Road, near Granny D’s home, for a 6 mile walk ending in Depot Square Park in Peterborough. At the conclusion, food and entertainment will be provided. The public will be invited to share poems, stories and memories of Granny D.
Born in Laconia on January 24, 1910, Granny D began her political activism in 1960 when she and her husband, James Haddock, successfully campaigned against planned hydrogen bomb nuclear testing in Alaska, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. Granny D and her husband retired to Dublin, New Hampshire, in 1972 and there Granny D served on the Planning Board and was active in the community.
At noon, a program will take place at Depot Square (12 Depot Square, Peterborough NH 03458)
Program will include:
• Music by Tattoo (Fred Simmons & Leslie Vogel), Granny D's "personal band"
• Granny D Memories- Chuck Weed, Pat Westwater-Jong, Marsha Morrow, Dan Weeks
• Keynote Speaker- Virginia Rasmussen, Move to Amends’ National Leadership Team
Granny D achieved national fame when, at the age of 90, she walked over 3,200 miles across the United States to advocate for campaign finance reform. After initial efforts with Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold to regulate campaign finances, Granny D forged ahead, until her death in March 2010, helping to spearhead a nationwide movement that continues to the current day with numerous groups working to overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics.
“We are proud to continue the fight for clean elections,” said Olivia Zink, executive director of Open Democracy, the Concord, NH based election reform group that was started by Granny D more than 10 years ago and that leads the bipartisan NH Rebellion project. “Government must work for We The People,” she said.
The event is free and open to the general public. For more info: 661-8621 or go to nhrebellion.org
NH Rebellion is part of Open Democracy, the Concord-based nonpartisan reform organization founded by legendary NH hero Granny D. To learn more about the NH Rebellion, please visit: www.nhrebellion.org. To register for the walk please visit nhrebellion.org. To see details about the planned events, follow us on Twitter @nhrebellion and on Facebook at: facebook.com/nhrebellion.
On Saturday, July 9th, we took to the streets once again to end the corruption of big money in politics and demand the accountability that we need in our legislature.
100 rebels walked the 5 mile trek from Portsmouth to New Castle where we had sandwiches and our Rally to #EndBigMoney in Fort Constitution. There we enjoyed a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately, we were unable to have Betti Tamposi, the former assistant secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, join us this year so David Borden, state representative from New Castle, filled in her for by reading an op-ed that she co-drafted with Dan Weeks. In it she noted her continued support for this movement by stating, “When citizen-funded elections are paired with other bipartisan reforms like full transparency, independent redistricting, closing the revolving door and stopping super PACs, Congress will finally be able shift the balance of power away from special interests and back to the American people.”
We also enjoyed some remarks from our keynote speaker and NH Rebellion founder Lawrence Lessig. He said, “We can’t wait 20 or 30 years to solve the issues facing America. Climate change is not going to wait, and we cannot wait to solve the issue of inequality in America.” Other speakers included John Rauh, founder of Americans for Campaign Reform, and our Democracy Fellow Jazmine Langley who added a very unique perspective to the program by outlining how the issue of big money in politics stifles her demographic: young people, women, and people of color.Read more
Scanning through the hours and hours of newly-released video from our We the People Convention on Primary Weekend, I was reminded of this line:
"I came to New Hampshire looking for hope … and I got it!"
That was the actor Sam Waterston bidding farewell to the NH Rebels at the Convention. He had driven five hours through a wicked snowstorm to be with us, and he didn't waste any time speaking with Rebels, the media, and even leading our first march.
But Sam didn't come looking for publicity – he came in search of hope. And thanks to all of you, NH Rebellion has brought hope that democracy is possible to a lot more people than Sam.
As people of faith, we recognize the responsibility of government to seek justice for all people and to build the common good. Justice cannot be achieved unless the rules governing the democratic process are just and fair for all. Central to that process is a citizen’s vote—not limited by the powers of money, social class, and unequal access to public media.
Money has always played a role in electoral politics, but what kind of role it plays should be subject to regulations that reflect ethical and democratic values. Most important, it is necessary to have policy safeguards in place which ensure that more than just the wealthiest interest groups have a voice in the public sphere.Read more