Walking and Rolling for Democracy
"The mission is everything," Doris "Granny D" Haddock told reporters in 1999 as she trekked through Weatherford, Texas, en route to Washington, D.C. Haddock's mission would have been a rare feat for anyone, but the then-90-year-old woman logged 3,200 miles on foot as she walked from Los Angeles to Washington, all in the name of campaign finance reform.
Haddock will be in Austin this weekend to continue promoting her quest. Clean Campaigns for Austin will host a "Meet & Greet With Granny D" from 5:30-7:30pm Friday at Mother Egan's Irish Pub, 715 W. Sixth. The fundraiser (a $25 per-person donation is suggested) will benefit Clean Campaigns' efforts to pass the Austin Fair Elections Act in May. Haddock will also sign copies of her book, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year.
Haddock's second appearance this weekend will occur at Jim Hightower's history-making Rolling Thunder Down-Home Democracy Tour, which kicks off its traveling festival in Austin at noon Saturday at the Travis County Expo Center.
The daylong festival is billed as an extravaganza of grassroots political activism, music, national speakers and training workshops. In addition to Haddock and Hightower, media muckraker Michael Moore, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream founder Ben Cohen, and Molly Ivins will also speak. Singer/songwriter Michelle Shocked tops the musical bill. Tickets ($5 in advance, $10 at the door, free for kids under 12) can be bought online at www.rollingthundertour.org . For more info, call 970-9328.