For Those Who Have No Clue About What ACORN Is About
ACORN has been in the news these past days because of voters registration fraud. Meaning? There were some dishonest employees of ACORN who took advantage of their employer and decided to get a check for zero work. That is unfortunate. But this type of dishonesty goes further than ACORN. When was the last time you left work early but your check read different? When was the last time you arrived to work late and you didn’t acknowledge it on your time slip?
ACORN has helped thousands upon thousands of low income families for almost forty years with housing, rent, food, jobs and landlord disputes. However, this election is not about Joe Barely Making It, or Single Mom With Five Kids And Three Jobs To Equal One.
ACORN helps the forgotten class of Americans. Now, the organization that helps these people is getting a raw deal itself for campaign brownie points. If you have no clue as to what ACORN IS and what it is ALL ABOUT because you are a Soccer Mom or Middle Class Joe Six Pack or even Joe the Plummer, who makes $45,000 as an unlicensed working plummer, then the below info is for you.
You can locate more about ACORN at www.acorn.org:
ACORN is the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country. Since 1970, ACORN has been building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy and voter participation. ACORN helps those who have historically been locked out become powerful players in our democratic system.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) aims to organize a majority consituency of low- to moderate-income people across the United States. The members of ACORN take on issues of relevance to their communities, whether those issues are discrimination, affordable housing, a quality education, or better public services. ACORN believes that low- to moderate-income people are the best advocates for their communities, and so ACORN’s low- to moderate-income members act as leaders, spokespeople, and decision-makers within the organization.
ACORN Milestones Timeline
1970 – Wade Rathke begins organizing in Arkansas to unite welfare recipients and working people for shared needs and rights; forms ACORN (Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now)
1971 – ACORN leaders organize “Save the City” campaign in Little Rock, establishing ACORN as a force in Arkansas politics. ACORN establishes six regional offices in the state around issues of concern to rural and small town Arkansans, begins to tackle statewide issues
1972 – ACORN’s “Save the City Rally” in Little Rock marks first entrance into electoral politics
1974 – In Pulaski County, 250 ACORN members run for office, 195 win seats
1975 – ACORN expands to Texas and South Dakota; first associate Executive Board and first president (Steve McDonald) elected to handle issues of larger scope
1978 – First national convention, of 1,000 members in Memphis, marks beginning of multi-state campaigns
1978-1980 – Participation in 1980 presidential campaign leads entry into national politics
1980 – ACORN is in 20 states, having added at least 3 states each year since
1982 – ACORN reaches 30,000 member families
1980s – Reagan years very trying for low-income communities and organizing. ACORN launches squatting campaign to get low- and moderate-income people into vacant houses and fix them up, with neighborhood approval. Fifteen thousand ACORN members and allies establish “Reagan Ranches” in over 35 cities, building tent cities to symbolize the homelessness Reagan’s policies created. ACORN develops and strengthens ACORN Political Action Committees (APACs) and legislative office.
1985 – ACORN grows to 27 states, including significant chapters in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago
1990 – ACORN has more than 70,000 members in 28 states
1994 – ACORN participation has helped Project Vote register 147,000 voters in Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
2000 – ACORN is 125,000 members strong. ACORN registers 100,000 new voters nationwide.
2004 – Now 720 full-time staff working for ACORN and sister organizations, up from 490 just a year before. ACORN organized in 80 cities (up from 60 at the end of 2003) in 31 states. ACORN also expands internationally, with ACORN Canada opening its first offices in Toronto and Vancouver and ACORN Peru opening an office in Lima.
2005 – ACORN now includes chapters in over 100 U.S. cities in 37 states and in Canada, Peru and Mexico
2006 – More than 350,000 member families organized in over 110 cities in 40 states; added Argentina
2007 – ACORN organizes in India