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Is ACORN Bullet-Proof? Radical Community Organizers Re-Organize, by Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, September 2011)

Is ACORN Bullet-Proof? Radical Community Organizers Re-Organize, by Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, September 2011)

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Published by Matthew Vadum
This article, published by Capital Research Center, is Is ACORN Bullet-Proof? Radical Community Organizers Re-Organize, by Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, September 2011).

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 article, published by Capital Research Center, is Is ACORN Bullet-Proof? Radical Community Organizers Re-Organize, by Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, September 2011).

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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Published by: Matthew Vadum on Jun 29, 2012


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Is ACORN Bullet-Proof?
Radical Community Organizers Re-Organize
Supporters of ACORN makelong faces, lamenting the collapse of their sainted organization. Don’t believe them. It’s all for show. In 2009 Congress banned further federal funding for ACORN and last November thegroup declared bankruptcy. But ACORN operatives are rebuilding their organizingand fundraising apparatus, and ACORN isspawning new progeny. The groups have newnames, but the faces behind them are famil-iar. They are roaming through government agencies in search of more federal grants. Inthis issue Matthew Vadum explores ACORN’slatest reinvention since the May publicationof his book 
Subversion Inc.
September 2011
Is ACORN Bullet-Proof?
Page 1
y Noted
Page 6 
ertha Lewis chuckles about the col-lapse of ACORN, which
led forbankruptcy in November. “I think theRight is going be sorry,” she says, laughing.“What doesn’t kill you makes you strongerand they didn’t really kill us. They just madeus stronger.”Lewis, who succeeded longtime ACORN“chief organizer” Wade Rathke, con
rmedinformation revealed in leaked emailssent to supporters by ACORN spokesmanNathan Henderson-James: the dissolutionof ACORN as a national organization is acomplete fraud.In September 2009 ACORN was rocked byvideos showing undercover conservativeactivists receiving helpful advice from vari-ous ACORN employees on how to establisha brothel catering to pedophiles. The videoswent viral, talk shows had a
eld day, andACORN’s already-tarnished reputation wasdestroyed. The group lost its governmentgrants and previously generous charitablefoundations suddenly discovered they hadbetter things to do with their money.Unable to reclaim its reputation, ACORNtried to run away from it. As I report in mynew book,
Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and  Ripping Off American Taxpayers
(WNDBooks, May 2011), the group instructed itsstate chapters to reincorporate themselves asseparate entities under assumed names.Last June Bertha Lewis explained the up-sideof the undercover video saga to New Yorkradio host Roy Paul:
By Matthew Vadum
Stinking up the banks: members of one of ACORN’s many new front groups,Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), dump garbageat a branch of Wells Fargo in San Jose.
(screen grab from local TV)
Page 2 
2September 2011
Matthew Vadum
Terrence Scanlon
Organization Trends 
is published by Capital ResearchCenter, a non-partisan education andresearch organization, classi
ed bythe IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
1513 16th Street, N.W.Washington, DC 20036-1480
(202) 483-6900
(800) 459-3950
E-mail Address:
Web Site:
Organization Trends 
welcomes let-ters to the editor.
are available for $2.50 pre-paid to Capital Research Center.
[It] really got us to thinking abouthow to reorganize ourselves, howto run our chapters because weknew that these kind of attackswould never stop. So we had toregroup, reorganize, rebrand. Butfolks across the country in 25states, former ACORN chaptersand former ACORN members arestill organizing on a local level, herein New York City ... Our chaptersregrouped. People renamed them-selves, reorganized themselves,so that they could have very goodstructures, and the
ght continues.I think in a way the Right made amistake when they attacked us vi-ciously. Because now what they didwas [they] actually helped us focus[on] how to make ourselves bulletproof as we move forward.The chapters followed orders. And now these“new” groups are everywhere, gearing upto help reelect President Obama, a formerACORN employee.
Different Names, Same Faces: ACORN’sFront Groups
Take a look at the new names that ACORNstate-level chapters are using. Incorporatedas new nonpro
ts, they celebrate diversityand the cause of social justice for all. Insome states, there is more than one ACORNfront group.Here are the 21 ACORN front groups weknow about. An asterisk (*) indicates anewly discovered front group not previouslyidenti
ed in
Subversion Inc.
Living United for Change inArizona
* (LUCHA)Arkansas:
Arkansas Community Orga-nizations
Alliance of Californians forCommunity Empowerment
(ACCE)Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Is-land:
New England United for Justice
Delawareans for Social andEconomic Justice
*District of Columbia and Maryland:
Com-munities United
Communities UnitedTraining and Education Fund
Organize Now
A Community Voice
Alli-ance Institute
Minnesota NeighborhoodsOrganizing for Change
Missourians Organizing forReform & Empowerment
 New Mexico:
Organizers in the Land of Enchantment
New York:
New York Communities forChange
and the
Black Institute
North Carolina:
Action North Carolina
(Action NC)
Pennsylvania Neighbor-hoods for Social Justice
Pennsylvania Communities Organizingfor Change
. PCOC does businessunder the name
Action United
Texas Organizing Project
TexasOrganizing Project Education Fund
Organization United forReform
These groups are typically staffed by formerACORN of 
cials, and in many cases oper-ate out of their former ACORN of 
ces. Forexample:
Alliance of Californians for CommunityEmpowerment is run by executive directorAmy Schur, a 20+ year ACORN employee.To keep things legal ACCE paid $9,000 topurchase ACORN California computers andof 
ce equipment. It also bought the rights toACORN’s donor databases.
In Florida, Organize Now is run byTamecka Pierce, former president of FloridaACORN.
Living United for Change in Arizonais run by former ACORN of 
cial MonicaSandschafer.
Action North Carolina is run by AlexanderP. “Pat” McCoy, former head organizer forNorth Carolina ACORN.
The executive director of New York Com-munities for Change is Jon Kest, a longtimeACORN of 
cial and brother of formerACORN national director Steve Kest.
Matthew Henderson, former New MexicoACORN head organizer, now runs OLÉ,Organizers in the Land of Enchantment.
Darlene Battle, former state director of Delaware ACORN, heads Delawareans forSocial and Economic Justice. The new grouphas close ties to Delaware Gov. Jack Markell,a Democrat sworn into of 
ce in 2009.
Show Us the Money!
Many of the new front groups intend to seekfunding from the federal government, if theyhaven’t received funds already. Half haveobtained “DUNS” numbers from Dun andBradstreet, which enables them to apply forfederal grants. Since 2003 the federal govern-ment’s Of 
ce of Management and Budget(OMB) has required federal grant applicants
Due to a printer’s error, the inside pages of last month’s
Organization Trends
were inad-vertently reversed. We regret the error.
3September 2011
to obtain DUNS numbers. DUNS stands forData Universal Numbering System.Because the ACORN front groups are newlyincorporated and
nancial tracking lags, it isdif 
cult to
nd funding information. How-ever, some grants data from philanthropicfoundations are available from the variousfoundations’ websites.Alliance of Californians for CommunityEmpowerment has received funding fromthe William and Flora Hewlett Founda-tion ($200,000), Abelard Foundation West($10,000), Friedman Family Foundation($10,000), Y&H Soda Foundation ($30,000),Liberty Hill ($50,000), United Way SiliconValley ($7,500), and the Edward W. HazenFoundation ($30,000).New England United for Justice received agrant from the Hyams Foundation ($50,000).Pennsylvania Neighborhoods for SocialJustice received a grant from United Way(amount unknown).New York Communities for Change re-ceived funds from the New York Founda-tion ($42,500), Mertz Gilmore Foundation($50,000 for a project called “LeadershipCenter for the Common Good”), RockefellerBrothers Fund ($25,000 for the “LeadershipCenter”), Long Island Community Founda-tion ($15,000), and the Edward W. HazenFoundation ($30,000).Labor unions gave about $300,000 to NYCClast year. The group also took in more than$200,000 from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). (
 New York Post 
, Jan. 24,2011) UFT previously paid ACORN ap-proximately $500,000 to campaign againstcharter schools in New York.NYCC also held a glittering fund-raiserfeaturing “Sex in the City” actress CynthiaNixon and U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano (D.-N.Y.),both longtime ACORN supporters.
Launching a Nationwide Homeowners’Mortgage Strike
New York Communities for Change, theAlliance of Californians for CommunityEmpowerment, Missourians Organizing forReform and Empowerment, and Washingtonstate’s Organization United for Reform areamong the groups that are participating in afrightening plan that aims to undermine thenation’s
nancial system. It is an economicsabotage campaign hatched by union orga-nizer Stephen Lerner, an international boardmember of the Service Employees Inter-national Union (SEIU) and a
gure highlyregarded on the Left for thinking big. Lerneris planning a campaign of disruption thatcalls for mortgage and student loan strikes,crippling bank boycotts, and intimidation of corporate executives and board members.(For more information see
, July 2011.)Lerner recently told a conference of left-wingactivists that his strategy addresses the fol-lowing questions: “How do we bring downthe stock market, how do we bring downtheir bonuses, how do we interfere with theirability … to be rich?” It is important “topolitically isolate them, economically isolatethem and disrupt them,” he said. “Them” toLerner is “the folks that control this country.”After Greeks rioted over austerity measuresand the stock market fell, Lerner explainedthat the folks who run this country “careabout one thing: how the stock market does;how the bond market does; and what theirbonus is.”Lerner’s
rst target of opportunity is JPMor-gan Chase, which he calls “a really goodcompany to hate.” Lerner advises activiststhat if they really believe capitalism is ina “transformative stage,” they “need toconfront this in a serious way and developa real ability to put a boot in the wheel.”Said Lerner:… we really are trying to disruptand create uncertainty for capital,for how corporations operate …there are actually extraordinarythings that we could do right nowthat would start to destabilize thefolks that are in power and start torebuild a movement.Echoing the infamous Cloward-Piven Strat-egy of orchestrated crisis, Lerner believesWall Street’s great nightmare is a nationwidemortgage strike. At the conference he notedthat 25 percent of homeowners now own ahome worth less than they paid for it. Of those homeowners “under water,” 10 per-cent “are now in strategic default, meaningthey’re refusing to pay but they’re staying intheir homes.” Because it often takes lendersa year to foreclose on mortgages and evicttheir owners, Lerner says homeowners indefault should be encouraged to refuse toleave their homes. “If you could double thatnumber, you would … put banks on the edgeof insolvency again.”Lerner wants to target banks that don’t paytheir “fair share” in taxes, refuse to slashinterest rates, and forgive mortgage principal.He calls on state and local governments tostop doing business with banks that refuse tosurrender to his campaign’s demands.The state ACORN front groups are tak-ing a lead role in spearheading the Lernercampaign.* New York Communities for Change ispressuring municipalities in the state to stopdoing business with big banks. NYCC takescredit for persuading the town of Hempsteadin Nassau County, N.Y. for “closing theChase Account and moving $12.5 millionsin tax payer dollars out of the pockets of thegreedy Wall Street Bankers who caused the
nancial crisis!” The group claims “NYCCmembers in almost 40 cities, villages andcounties have emailed their elected of 
cialsto demand the local government stop doingbusiness with Chase.”* Alliance of Californians for CommunityEmpowerment (ACCE) boasts that 22 activ-ists were arrested protesting foreclosuresoutside a Chase of 
ce in Los Angeles.“These banks are terrorists,” said one activ-ist. “They terrorize us by threatening to takeour homes.”In South Los Angeles, ACCE and SEIU helda mock trial outside a Chase of 
ce. ACCEorganizer Evelyn Gutierrez said her grouptargeted Chase because it lent money to poorpeople—exactly what ACORN previouslypressured Chase to do more of. ACCE wantsChase to “forgive”
borrowed principal,said JPMorgan Chase spokesman GaryKischner. “We’ve done over one millionloan modi
cations and we’ve had outreach

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