Throughout April, communities across New Hampshire will be treated to performances of “Granny D: The Power of One” a play which portrays the efforts of one woman to draw attention to the need for campaign finance reform and her contention that money in politics had betrayed our representative democracy.
The play chronicles the 1998 cross country walk, at age 89, by Doris ‘Granny D’ Haddock, a lifelong New Hampshire activist, from Santa Monica, CA to Washington, D.C. The trek included crossing more than 1,000 miles of desert, climbing the Appalachian Range in blizzard conditions, and even skiing 100 miles after an historic snowfall made roadside walking impossible.
Actress and playwright Dixie Tymitz brings Haddock and her legendary feat to life. Tymitz, who received Haddock’s blessing for the project, quickly worked to study her subject’s mannerisms. Reflecting on what inspired her she joked, “Doris ruined my life as it was, because I never could say again that I was too old to make a difference. She was as willing to give her life as any soldier. I feel compelled to tell her story.”
The performance is sponsored Concord-based Open Democracy. Open Democracy, initially founded by Haddock, is a non-partisan organization working to reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics to ensure an equal voice for all. Olivia Zink, Executive Director, said “The Power of One project is a legacy of ‘Granny D.’ We are continuing her work to restore democracy and ‘escort the bullhorns of big money from the room.’”
Zink added, “Our democracy is in the middle of an historic upheaval. Last year, political donors spent more than $62 million on New Hampshire elections -- and that’s not even counting the presidential race. Never before has it been more clear that ‘the ends of government are perverted and public liberty manifestly endangered.’ With billionaires and special interests controlling our elections, a hostile foreign power meddling in our elections, it’s time for a solution.”
Haddock has also inspired justice advocates nationwide. “Across the country people have come together in cities, counties, and states to show that we can limit the power of big money. When we pass bold, smart solutions like small-donor public financing we give everyday people a voice,”said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Every Voice Center. “If Washington DC won’t act to safeguard our democracy from the billions of dollars big donors and powerful interests are spending to drown out the voices of everyday Americans, then the rest of the country can take action to put political power into the hands of the people.”
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