Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ACORN, part 1 - The Beginning

The remainder of this week will be devoted to talking about a group known as ACORN - The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. If you get your news from ABC, NBC, or CBS you probably have not heard much about ACORN if anything at all. However, if you watch Fox News you've heard plenty about them.

ACORN was founded by Wade Rathke in 1970. Originally, it was known as the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now when the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) sent Rathke to Little Rock as an organizer. He had previously worked for Students for a Democratic Society promoting draft dodging before founding ACORN to aid welfare recipients. By 1975, ACORN began expanding out of Arkansas and growing into a national organization.

Since its inception, ACORN has been involved in a number of "social justice issues" including neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, and improving housing for low income individuals. Their primary means for improving housing has been through demanding enforcement of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act which was signed into law by Jimmy Carter. We'll talk more about that later. They've also worked to improve wages, for better schools and education, more community investment from banks and developers, and gun control. Generally, they pursue their goals through demonstrations and community organizing, lobbying, negotiation, and other methods.

Now you know the basics about ACORN. It started from humble beginnings with a basic goal - helping the poor. However, through the years ACORN has grown into a massive machine with with an annual budget of over $100 Million and its hands in a number of social issues championing liberal causes. Many would say the organization is now out of control. In recent months, a number of controversies have arisen involving ACORN from its radical leftist affiliations to allegations of criminal activity to receiving taxpayer funding. Tomorrow, I tell you about some of the affiliations.

source : Wikipedia
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