Thomas planning walk to Washington
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER Managing editor
Lisa Thomas is walking again, only this time she's taking her issues to the White House. With a letter in her hand, Thomas is hoping to gain national attention for the plight of the elderly, tax laws in Alabama, hunger and hopes to acquire a two-year moratorium on the death penalty.
This year, Thomas is adding two new issues to her walk, and will address the issues to the governor. She hopes to acquire a moratorium on the death penalty for the state of Alabama and she wants the tax laws to change for the state as well.
Last year, Thomas walked from Brewton to the governor's office in Montgomery, but was unsuccessful in meeting with him. This year, she has made an appointment after she received an open invitation from last year.
Thomas will begin her walk from Brewton to Montgomery on March 21 and hopes to arrive at the Capitol on March 28. She has a set appointment with Gov. Bob Riley at 10 a.m. that Monday.
Joining her will be students from Montgomery who are on Spring Break vacation. They will be coming to Brewton to walk with her. Also accompanying Thomas to the Capitol is Zack Carter, who is an organizer from Montgomery.
Anyone else interested in joining her is welcome to join her, too. From her walk to Montgomery she will go on a hunger strike to show how serious she is about the issues.
After she meets with the governor, Thomas will trek across the country and arrive at the White House. From Brewton to Washington D.C. it is 924 miles and should take Thomas at least 50 days.
Thomas hopes that if she can get at least 20 percent of the people to agree with her about adding a moratorium, maybe she can make a difference. Reform has to happen in the legal system, she said.
Following alongside Thomas will be a van displaying signs and inside will be two cots. She said that hotels cost too much. She is hoping that her friend from California, Linda Smith will drive the van but finding someone to drive the van has been a task all by itself.
Thomas also hopes to gain local and national funding for her walk to Washington. For every mile she walks, she hopes to gain at least one person, who in return will donate $25 in order for her to do what she is doing. The funding is open to the public, private and personal sector.
In order to prepare for this year's walk, Thomas has just been walking a little every day. She knows that the kids joining her will build a momentum, and the walk to Montgomery will prepare her for the big walk to Washington.
After this year's walk, Thomas is not promising to walk anywhere else. However, she hopes to make an annual event out of walking to Montgomery. She knows that an annual walk would be great because there is always some type of issue that needs to be addressed.
Along the way to Washington, Thomas will carry with her warm clothes, snacks, a cell phone, beverages and materials to pass out to interested people, which addresses the issues she's taking a stance on.
Friday morning, Thomas got in touch with a field representative for Congressman Jo Bonner. He told her he would give her name to the secretary, and would try to set up a meeting with Bonner. In order for the letter to arrive directly to President Bush, Bonner will attach a personal letter to Thomas' which should ensure the president receives the letter.