Happy Presidents Day. On this day, our message to the next President – fix the root problem first.
We've compiled our official "Walk for Reform" report. You can download the full version as a PDF here, but here are some of the highlights from the report:
Over ten chilly days, nearly 500 registered walkers logged 12,081 miles carrying signs and American flags to raise awareness and demonstrate to the presidential candidates that the people demand reform of money in politics. The walkers held 34 public engagement events across New Hampshire involving over 2,000 citizens and caught the attention of thousands more Granite Staters and millions of Americans through 132 media reports in over 50 state and national publications. On January 21st, the four walks converged on the state capitol in Concord for an historic Rally for Democracy and “Granny D Gala: Walk the Talk” on the 5th anniversary of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision.
Building on the success of the inaugural 190-mile New Hampshire Rebellion walk from Dixville Notch to Nashua, NH in January 2014, the January 2015 walk added three additional routes totaling 300 miles. An estimated 500 walkers participated, including 441 registered walkers from 42 states and seven foreign countries; 132 individuals signed up to walk for multiple days. The walkers logged a combined 12,081 miles before arriving together in Concord for a State House rally and celebration on January 21st.
To maximize exposure and increase participation, the four simultaneous walks departed from four corners of the state in Dixville Notch, Keene, Portsmouth, and Nashua, NH. The walks covered between 40 and 150 miles each over 4 to 10 days, reaching 47 New Hampshire cities and towns home to 37 percent of the state’s population. Each walk featured daily outreach, educational, and/or theatrical events free and open to the public in libraries, churches, community centers, parks, etc.
The walks were organized by Open Democracy’s team of field managers and pro-bono partners, and supported by over 100 volunteer drivers, hosts, and community organizations. Volunteers provided meals and accommodation in churches, community centers, home-stays, and motels. Walkers wore safety vests and carried signs, American flags, and educational materials for general public distribution. Participation in the walks was open to the public and free of charge.
|NH Rebellion Walks Overview, 2014-15|
|Route Distance (mi.)||190||16||300||506|
|Distance Walked (mi.)||6,581||8,352||12,081||27,041|
|Total Walkers||207||520||500 (est)||1,227|
|NH Population Covered||29%||4%||37%||40%|
|Media Exposure (hits)||115||35||132||282|
|Temperature Range||-3°F to 40°F||65°F to 74°F||-37°F to 39°F||-37°F to 74°F|
Celebration marking the end of the second NHR walk across New Hampshire in January and the 105th birthday of Doris "Granny D" Haddock.
Message from Congressman Sarbanes to the NH Rebellion walkers.
Feb. 3 — To the Editor:
Last month nearly 100 residents of the Seacoast area helped complete the NH Rebellion’s Granny D Walk to end systemic corruption in elections. After marching through the ice and snow for 50 miles down Route 4 from Portsmouth to Concord, they arrived at the State House on Jan. 21 for a day of festivities, joining hundreds of other walkers who had traversed the state from Keene, Nashua, and Dixville Notch.
I had the distinct privilege of being part of our local walk from Portsmouth to Concord. This movement is about connecting with our local communities and empowering each other, and I was humbled by the participation of so many dedicated individuals and community-minded local businesses. Along the four-day walk, very many local organizations and businesses participated, either by assisting the walkers or cheering us on from the sidelines.
Many heartfelt thanks go out to all those organizations that opened their doors to the walkers as we passed by. Overnight housing for us was graciously provided by the Community Church of Durham, Epsom Public Library, and Northwood Congregational Church — and we were kept well-fed by South Church of Portsmouth, Newmarket Community Church, Bow Lake Baptist Church, and Northwood Advent Church. And amazingly, all of the students of the alternative school The Penn Program in Newmarket not only walked the whole way, but volunteered in many other roles. Other local business partners along Route 4 between Portsmouth and Concord include Susty’s Restaurant, Mary’s Dogs Rescue, Country Hills Gifts, Cole Gardens, Emery Farm, Camping World, JW Precision Co Inc, Purdy Funeral Home, and Happy Homes for Dogs.
We walked to give a voice to everyday people in our communities — so, without the cooperation of the small businesses and organizations in our communities, the walk would not only have been impossible, but meaningless. Thank you to all of you, for caring about your community, and standing with us!
A remix on our Thunderclap ad which ran during last year's Super Bowl halftime cc: the great @davidcascino
The following blog post was created from a email sent by Lawrence Lessig to all NH Rebellion supporters on January 29th, 2015.
Updated February 15th, 2015: Please take a look at coverage of the walk on CNN's Hambycast.
People called me “crazy” when I first proposed to walk across New Hampshire in the blistering cold of winter over a year ago. But one year and over 300 miles later, the NH Rebellion walks for democracy have been some of the most exciting times of my life — and the first steps to reclaiming our Republic.
On the morning of January 11, 35 citizen rebels joined me in Dixville Notch to start the 2015 NH Rebellion walk. Over the next 10 days, over 500 souls covering 27 million steps braved the icy winds of New Hampshire just to make this point: We want an end to corruption. We want a government that works for US.
Despite the ice and wind, we were greeted warmly everywhere we went. People are hungry for a solution. People know that the way our elections are funded guarantees that only special interests are heard. Motorists honked and waved while driving by. Supporters came out of their homes in their pajamas to cheer us on. Neighbors invited us inside for hot chocolate and soup. With their encouragement, the miles melted away.
And on top of Granite Staters’ support, our walkers from all corners of the country (and beyond!) were dedicated and inspiring. But more than anyone, we were all moved by 15-year-old Ella McGrail who spoke at the Rally for Democracy in Concord. Take a few minutes to watch her incredible speech. She has wisdom beyond her years, and that inspired us all.
We have also complied the walk photos on our Flickr site to view or download. Take a look and share what you like.
To each of you who have supported us — whether by walking, volunteering, donating, spreading the word, giving us soup or a place to sleep, or sending us words of encouragement — thank you. This movement is about all of us together. With your help, New Hampshire will lead politicians to answer this fundamental question: What specific reforms will you advance to end the corrupting influence of money in politics?
2015 is going to be a big year. Presidential candidates will be making announcements before we know it. Little do they know what we have in store for them. Send us your ideas, and stay tuned.
About 2 hours after I posted my last report from the road, my wife called to tell me my five year old daughter, Tess, had a severe fever (>105ª). She (my wife, Bettina) had been up much of the night before (after I had left to drive back to NH) with Tess; they had spent the morning in the hospital because she had the same fever that morning. But the hospital had cleared her of the terrifying conditions, and sent them home.
The fear in Bettina’s voice that night urged me to come home, and I drove back, arriving around midnight. We battled the fever through the night, and I spent the next day with her to comfort her. She was stable and happy by the end of the day, so I drove back to NH.
Which means I missed Tamworth to Center Harbor. Ugh.When these walks began, I was certain I wouldn’t miss any of them. When I got that call, all certainties melted. Tess is fine.
Day 8 was to be Center Harbor to Laconia. The day began perfectly, with a clear and not too cold walk through Meredith, and then up the hill to RT 106 on the way to Laconia. But then 7 miles out, black ice brought the walk to a halt. After an hour or so waiting for the roads to be salted, our fearless leader, Xanni, ordered the walk stopped. The lecture I was to give that night in Laconia was cancelled. (As this was to be my only real lecture on the walk, I had given it many many hours of preparation. I’m sorry now for the time away from my fellow walkers that all that required.)
To cover the gap between where we stopped and where we were to start on Monday, a team of 5 started off early, racing to walk the 7 miles and catch up to the Day 9 walkers. I passed the team as I drove to the start of day 9.
We had a fantastically large group walking on the MLK day walk — a bunch from Cambridge, including Safra Center friends, and Ron and Cornelia Suskind, as well as Bettina with the (healthier) Tess. We ended in one of the most beautiful Shaker Villages I’ve seen, and wonderful return to simplicity after too many days of complexity.
In forty hours, on Wednesday the 21st, we will converge on the State House for the NH Rebellion's Rally for Democracy. We will hear from state and national reform leaders from across the political spectrum and deliver petitions to our elected leaders. In the evening, we will celebrate Granny D’s legacy at the “Walk the Talk” Gala at the Capitol Center for the Arts. All events are free and open to the public.
Now all we need is YOU! Please take a moment to RSVP and share this invitation with your family and friends in New Hampshire. Can’t attend but want to lend support? You can still submit videos of encouragement at our "cheer us on" page and read the growing list of state and national press on our media page.
Concord, here we come!
Portsmouth and Nashua's groups launched today, and we couldn't be happier to have them on the march. Unfortunately, we had to suspend the Dixville Notch route between Center Harbor and Laconia, and cancel tonight's event which was to be held at Lakes Region Community College.
While there is a certain amount of risk inherent to walking in these chilling temperatures, our Dixville organizers made a determination that the icy conditions were simply too poor to continue. The Dixville Notch walk will pick up (weather permitting) tomorrow from Laconia.
Of course, the Dixville Notch team kept themselves busy:
In the meantime, we're starting to get some great videos via the Questionr.org application. Really, this is a miracle of modern technology - you simply browse to questionr.org on your phone, make your recording, and it uploads automatically to the NHRebellion YouTube account. Not only are people using it now to document their experiences on the walk, but when the NH Primary does roll around, we can get political candidates on the record about what they plan to do to address corruption - and get it on film. Well, digital bits, really, but you get the idea.
This was a great one from Ellen McGrail, who wrote that great article in the Portsmouth Herald.
Remember, you can make videos too - just go to Questionr.org!