Huffington Post: Montgomery Revisited

Restoring Democracy: The Unfinished Business of Civil Rights 60 Years Later

huffington-post-logoGeorge doesn’t talk much about politics but he is sure of at least one thing: “Politics rules and everybody’s not equal in politics.” To make sure I’ve captured the point, he concludes our interview by adding, “I don’t believe we’re equal, never have. George’s sentiments are not surprising to me given the circumstances of our meeting. We have just completed lunch for homeless people, a hearty paper plate of southern comfort food served with bug juice in a homey, church-run shelter presided over by the peerless “Momma Donna…”

Read the full article at Huffington Post

NHPR: Monadnock Lyceum Lecture and Book Launch

NHPRPoor (in) Democracy: How America is Defaulting on Democracy, and the Long Walk to Get it Back

Lecture: Sunday, July 19th, 11am
Rebroadcast: Sunday, August 3rd, 9pm


Daniel Weeks, the executive director of Open Democracy (a non-partisan advocacy organization founded by Doris “Granny D” Haddock), maintains that democracy is in default. According to Weeks, American government no longer works for the American people, because special interest money has infected the political process. On issue after issue of national concern, ordinary people are paying the price for systemic corruption in Washington. Nowhere are the effects of America’s democracy deficit more strongly felt than among the 50 million people living below the poverty line. From voting to lobbying to funding political campaigns, these “second-class citizens” are systematically excluded from politics by a host of formal and informal means.

Listen to the full lecture here.

Read more at or

Ledger-Transcript: Is poverty tied to political corruption?

Lyceum hosts campaign finance reform activist during N.H. Rebellion Campaign

MonadnockLedgerTranscriptPETERBOROUGH — Daniel Weeks knows he’s not an expert on poverty. But, a two-year, 10,000-mile journey across the country on a Greyhound bus showed the campaign finance reform activist that the U.S. poverty gap has as much to do with elections as it does with social inequality. “We must start recognizing that poverty is a democracy problem. Our democracy is impoverished,” said Weeks at the Monadnock Summer Lyceum Sunday.

Full story at Monadnock Ledger Transcript 

Announcing: “Democracy in Poverty: A View from Below”

Cover50 Years After Voting Rights Act, New Book Exposes Gaping Holes in Voting and Representation

Harvard Safra Center ebook available on Amazon

What is the connection between poverty and politics today? Does money determine a person’s political voice? Is poverty a democracy problem? To tackle these thorny questions, political reformer Daniel Weeks traveled 10,000 miles through thirty states by Greyhound bus, speaking with hundreds of fellow citizens living in poverty and recording his experiences on a poverty-line budget of $16 a day. From benches on Capitol Hill to the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, from the desert colonias of New Mexico to Skid Row in L.A., his profiles and careful analysis put a human face on poverty and political inequality in the 21st century.

Continue reading

Telegraph: Bus tour of poor America on $16 a day

Nashua Telegraphdt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls / OCT 22, 2014

NASHUA – “Richard,” a 28-year-old Montgomery, Ala., man, is the first to admit he “did some stupid stuff” that led to him to drop out of school then drop in to a federal penitentiary to serve time for some armed robberies. Now 28 and out of prison, Richard is nevertheless saddled with the “felon” label, a red flag for potential employers, an automatic banishment from public housing and food stamps. Given all that, it might seem incidental that Richard’s felon status also means he cannot vote.

But to well-known writer and activist Daniel Weeks, Richard’s case is an example of a far greater problem, and illustrates quite clearly the complex relationship between institutional poverty and political power that leaves people like Richard with little if any hope for a political voice.

Continue reading

WMUR: 1 in 5 working families in NH is low-income

NH’s Business on WMUR TVWMUR / JUN 8, 2014
A new analysis of New Hampshire’s working poor in the June issue of Business NH Magazine shows that 1 in 5 families is low-income and 4 in 10 jobs pay wages that are below or near the poverty federal line, even as the cost of housing and other basic needs continue to soar. Author Daniel Weeks and Business NH editor Matt Mowry discuss the findings with Fred Kocher, host of “NH’s Business” on WMUR TV (ABC) in Manchester, NH. [Watch the interview]