Friday, September 18, 2009


"I've had better weeks during my years with ACORN."

Bertha Lewis, CEO and Chief Organizer, ACORN, ACORN Newsletter, September 17, 2009

As the House and Senate take bold votes and investors and allies hide in the weeds, we ought to at least acknowledge what ACORN has done really well.

1) ACORN has reached a lot of people that other so-called community organizations neglect.
2) ACORN has taken on a lot of tough issues and has been relentless in spreading good ideas across the country -- like living wage.
4) ACORN has delivered a lot of good services -- in a timely way.
5) ACORN has mobilized while others have dawdled -- post-Katrina New Orleans
6) ACORN has taken on banks and insurance companies that disinvested in low-income communities of color.

That's my beginning list. Nothing on this list excuses mismanagement. We should also acknowledge that while certainly being targetted, ACORN is responsible for a good deal of its current problems. But let's also remember that ACORN has been an extremely valuable community organizing resource.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You could add 1) A):

"Acorn has engaged the people most affected in leading and carrying out their work - unlike most other so-called community organizations."

Still, like I commented the last time they faced a scandal - those of us in activist work have an obligation to those we mobilize to keep it clean. Otherwise we make ourselves an easy target - not for the right, but for their attacks to be accepted by the general population.

And I don't count the voter registration flare-up as a scandal. But misuse of funds for personal reasons, and poorly surpervised staff on a federally funded program - those are potential scandals. And they make the group hard to defend, even for their freinds and allies.

Bob B.