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The Monetary Impact of ACORN Campaigns: A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004

The Monetary Impact of ACORN Campaigns: A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004

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Published by Matthew Vadum
This self-explanatory ACORN document is The Monetary Impact of ACORN Campaigns: A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004, by Lisa Ranghelli. It is dated November 2006.

Matthew Vadum (matthewvadum.com) is the author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011).
This self-explanatory ACORN document is The Monetary Impact of ACORN Campaigns: A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004, by Lisa Ranghelli. It is dated November 2006.

Matthew Vadum (matthewvadum.com) is the author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011).

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Matthew Vadum on Jun 25, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain

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06/25/2012

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THE MONETARY IMPACTOF ACORN CAMPAIGNS:
 A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004
By Lisa Ranghelli
ACORN
N
OVEMBER 
2006
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
www.acorn.org
 
THE MONETARY IMPACT OF ACORN CAMPAIGNS:
 A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004
About ACORN (
www.acorn.org)
ACORN – the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – is thenation’s largest community organization of low and moderate income families, withmore than 300,000 families organized into neighborhood chapters in over 110 citiesaround the country. Since 1970, ACORN has been taking action and winning victorieson issues of concern to our members. Our priorities include better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investmentin our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. ACORNachieves these goals by building community organizations that have the power to winchanges – through direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation. For more information, go to www.acorn.org.
About the Author
A draft of this report was written by Lisa Ranghelli in consultation with key ACORNstaff. Camellia Phillips and Piper Stannard completed and edited the final version.
Lisa Ranghelli is a consultant to foundations and social justice organizations and conductsresearch, documentation, planning and evaluation of social and economic change strategiesfrom her home office in Western Massachusetts. Prior to becoming a consultant, Ms.Ranghelli was Deputy Director of Public Policy at the Center for Community Change. Shecan be reached at lisa@ranghelli.com.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1NOTE ON METHODOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3TEAM EFFORTS – CREDITING CAMPAIGN ALLIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3CAMPAIGNS TO INCREASE WAGES OF LOW-INCOME WORKERS . . . . . . . . . . .4PREDATORY LENDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC) AND TAX PREPARATION . . . . . . . . . . .11LOAN COUNSELING AND CRA AGREEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12HOUSING DEVELOPMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND PUBLIC SERVICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14BUDGET CUTBACKS AVERTED OR RESTORED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15METHODOLOGIES APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Table of Contents
ii
 
1
THE MONETARY IMPACT OF ACORN CAMPAIGNS:
 A Ten Year Retrospective, 1995-2004
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has been building organizations anddeveloping leadership among low and moderate income residents in neighborhoods throughout the United Statesfor thirty-five years. During that time, ACORN chapters have worked individually and collectively to organizeinnovative grassroots campaigns on a number of critical issues. While these victories have been documented in variouspublications, they have rarely been quantified in a way that demonstrates the scale of wealth redistribution ACORNhas achieved. Whether getting more cops on the street, putting more money into the pockets of workers, or reducingcrippling debt for homeowners, ACORN has and continues to redirect resources from public and private institutions to families and communities across the country.
PUTTING A DOLLAR VALUE ON COMMUNITY ORGANIZING
This report attempts to document and quantify ACORN victories for a recent ten year period, from 1995-2004. By no means exhaustive, it does convey a real sense of the breadth of ACORN victories, as well as the monetary impactof some of ACORN’s most ambitious and groundbreaking campaigns, such as its work on predatory lending and livingwages. Examining just this ten-year slice of ACORN’s activism yields impressive numbers.
OUTCOMES
Using a range of issue-specific methodologies, a conservative estimate puts the total monetary value of ACORNvictories for the last decade at $15 billion, or an average of $1.5 billion per year since 1995. In some instances, theseare one-time gains, but in many cases – as with long-term systemic changes to lending practices and wage structures – benefits will accrue to homeowners, workers and their families for years to come.
IssueMonetary Benets
Living and Minimum Wage Increases
$ 2,237,645,466
Predatory Lending 
$ 6,265,776,423
EITC and Tax Preparation
$ 8,036,546
Loan Counseling and CRA
$ 6,099,012,514
Housing Development 
$ 33,559,000
Local infrastructure and public services
$ 350,254,300
Budget cutbacks averted/restored 
$ 226,230,000
TOTAL$15,220,514,249
Categorized by issue area, these totals encompass the estimated monetary benefits of some of ACORN’s major campaigns between 1995 and 2004, including:Passage of 11 living wage ordinances, and minimum wage increases in Illinois, Massachusetts,Florida, New York, and the City of San Francisco.Legislation limiting predatory lending in Massachusetts, New Mexico, California, New York andNew Jersey, and improvements in federal regulations.Agreements negotiated with some of the nation’s largest subprime lenders, including HouseholdFinance, Wells Fargo Financial, and CitiFinancial, to change abusive practices and provide directfinancial assistance to borrowers trapped in harmful loans.Fee reductions on high-cost tax Refund Anticipation Loans sold by H&R Block, the biggestcommercial tax preparation company in the country.Helping 5,000 low-income households claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and receivefree tax preparation in 2004 alone.
Executive Summary

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