This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
, with over 230,000 low and moderate - income members organized into 1200+ neighborhood chapters in 104 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has been building solidly rooted and powerful community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and have taken action and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy, and voter participation. Fundamentally, ACORN’s goal is to ensure that low and moderate income families have the power to act effectively on their own behalf in the struggle to build a more progressive America. ACORN helps those who have historically been locked out become powerful actors in our democratic system. Maryland ACORN opened its first office in 1999 in Baltimore. It has since grown to a statewide organization with 5500 members in 18 chapters located in 3 regions: Baltimore city, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County. At the neighborhood level ACORN members have fought for, and won, stronger code enforcement, better policing, trash clean-ups, and community control over vacant lots. Through legislation, civic participation, and negotiation, ACORN’s low-income members create long-lasting, concrete changes in their communities, cities, and state. Maryland ACORN’s 2006 Political Plan will: Register 100,000 people to vote Target and mobilize 105,000 drop off voters Political History Notable Accomplishments With over 5500 member families in 18 chapters and 3 cities, Maryland ACORN has had a number of successes: Maryland ACORN has worked to build relationships with other organizations that represent low and moderate-income people in the city, as well as numerous faith and community based organizations. One of Maryland ACORN’s significant achievements has been our leadership role in CLUB (Community and Labor United for Baltimore), along with AFSCME, SEIU the Baltimore Teacher’s Union, the City Union of Baltimore, the Coalition Against Global Exploitation, BRIDGE. In the fall of 2002, Maryland ACORN achieved one of the largest victories in Baltimore organizing history by changing the structure of the Baltimore City Council by creating smaller, single-member districts in a city that has been ruled by slate politics for nearly 100 years. In order to create the new 14 single member districts of the Baltimore City Council: Maryland ACORN organized a petition drive in cooperation with AFSMCE, The Baltimore Teachers Union, the City Union of Baltimore, and the League of Women to gather 20,000 signatures. The result of this collective action led to a strong neighborhood base within those districts. Baltimore ACORN has made financial justice one of our signature issues.
ACORN has published several groundbreaking studies on racial disparities in mortgage lending, and has worked educate the public and policy makers about predatory lending before the term was widely known. ACORN members and staff have educated virtually every public official about how to stop predatory lending, and have crafted anti-predatory lending legislation on the city and state level. ACORN members have created sustained pressure on predatory lending.
In 2001, Maryland ACORN launched the ACORN Environmental Justice Project to organize for stronger enforcement of lead paint laws and to train investigators to identify environmental hazards in homes such as lead based paint, asthma triggers and carbon dioxide, mold, and pest infestation. ACORN currently runs the largest scale lead testing program in the city as part of the AEJP, and is also one of the few groups that use dust wipe sampling, which is the most effective way of detecting residential lead hazards. Maryland ACORN also runs the only lead testing program that is community based and focuses on building the capacity of low income communities to assess and address their own lead hazards. We have trained 50 ACORN members, staff, and tenants to become certified lead testers with the MDE, and have conducted over 500 lead tests. In 2006 Maryland ACORN partnered with the Baltimore Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH) campaign to operate a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. In the first tax season in Baltimore City ACORN completed 1000 tax returns, and recovered over $500,000 in Earned Income Credit for low and moderate income families. Across the country, ACORN has secured a number of wins for low-income families: ACORN led and won the campaign to increase the minimum wage in Florida. ACORN built a coalition of organizations that took on the restaurant industry and other employer interests, qualified the constitutional amendment ballot initiative through a massive signature-gathering campaign that gathered over a million signatures, and educated and mobilized the public to give Floridians a dollar an hour raise, indexed for inflation. Registered 1.13 million voters to vote, and contacted 2.3 million voters to GOTV. The increase in turnout from 2000 in ACORN precincts was 20% higher than the increase in non-ACORN precincts. Geography Currently, Maryland ACORN has chapters in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County. We are opening field offices in the Eastern Shore, Our registration and mobilization efforts will be focused on the following geographies: Baltimore City Baltimore County Prince George’s County Campaign Issues A key component of ACORN’s voter engagement strategy is to connect issues that affect the lives of our constituency with the election. In Maryland, our number one issue utilities, but there are other
additional issues our program will be focusing on, in order to engage the broadest range of our constituency. With a 35-year history of fighting and winning for low-income families, ACORN is a trusted messenger on these issues. In Maryland, ACORN members are mobilizing to improve living conditions, increase affordable housing, fight for fair utilities policies, and increase the minimum wage. Lead: Lead poisoning is a particularly bad problem in Baltimore—Baltimore children are poisoned at a rate four times the national average. Lead poisoning results in permanent, irreversible brain and nerve damage. This can lead to increasing burdens on schools and neighborhoods as large populations of children are frustrated in school because of their lead poisoned status. Lead poisoning results from the occupation of aging housing stock that has not been maintained in the proper manner. Colleen Moore, a development psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in an article for the Winter edition of Rethinking Schools, stated that currently African American children under the age of 5 are poisoned at a rate 16 times that of a middle class or upper income white child. Lead poisonings tend to occur in neighborhood clusters—where large tracts of housing were built and have not been subsequently renovated. Within the next year Maryland ACORN will conduct 500 new lead tests for low and moderate - income renters and homeowners. Empowering communities to assess and address their own environmental problem is central to the mission of ACORN’s lead and Healthy Homes programs. Toward these ends, ACORN will train 75 new tenants and community leaders to become certified lead testers with the MDE. We have also worked to tie lead abatement work to job training opportunities through our partnerships with Community Resources and the Minority Contractors League. By the end of next year ACORN will have 20 new contractors certified in lead abatement. Housing: Working in collaboration with the city to redevelop vacant houses into decent affordable housing represents an important breakthrough for building ACORN Housing’s capacity to meet the housing needs of low income people in Baltimore City. Transforming the city’s 42,000 vacant houses into homes for low and moderate income families will not only address urban blight, but can also help avert the affordable housing crisis that looms on the horizon for low income families in Baltimore. Within the next year the ACORN Housing Corporation wants to acquire 200 vacant houses from the city that will be targeted for redevelopment. ACORN is also working to expand housing efforts to include developing financing programs for home repairs. Locally, our Edmondson Village ACORN chapter has worked in collaboration with the Baltimore City Housing Department to provide home repair grants to neighborhood residents. Within the next year ACORN wants to establish a city-wide program that will have the capacity to serve 600 families. Our experience in Florida has shown that minimum wage ballot initiative campaigns and similar campaigns on economic issues can appeal to voters, regardless of their party enrollment or income status, as well as serve as a vehicle for engaging voters outside of our traditional base in other issues. In Maryland, ACORN will be focusing on the minimum wage issue in lower-income white communities. Polls have also shown that the minimum wage issue can increase turnout of our base and, when the candidate identifies himself with the issue, can also impact a voter’s decision on a candidate. More people turnout to vote for an increase in the minimum wage than voted for any other single candidate or issue. In Florida, 1.2 million more people voted for an increase in the minimum wage than voted to re-elect George W. Bush; in Nevada, 127,314 more people voted to increase the minimum wage than for George W. Bush. Over half of Florida and Nevada voters responded to pollsters that candidates’ stances on the initiative had an impact on their decision to vote for the candidate. Democratic voters are more than three times more likely than Republicans (34% to 10%) to be motivated to vote by a minimum wage initiative. Over half of the voters polled reported that the candidate’s stances on the
initiatives impacted their decision on voting for the candidates. Notably, Kerry chose not to associate himself with the minimum wage campaign in Florida, while the down-ticket Democratic Senate candidate Betty Castor, who made the minimum wage a main issue of her campaign, received 7,000 more votes than Kerry. This evidence points directly to our strategy for Maryland – mobilize progressive, low-propensity voters and persuade swing voters by convincing candidates to identify themselves as proponents of the issue. Methodology and Voter Contact Program
Methodology There are 4 main strategies we will use in our both our base and persuasion programs: Registering new voters Mobilizing volunteers by building ACORN Precinct Action Leaders Building large paid canvasses of people from our targeted turf Running a comprehensive Election Administration Program
Voter Registration Goals City/County Total Baltimore City Baltimore County Prince George’s County
2006 Registration Goal 38,000 31,000 28,000
2004 Voters Registered 0 0 0 0
ACORN Precinct Action Leaders – Mobilizing Volunteers CHANGE TO APAL ACORN Precinct Action Leaders, or APALs, are an increasingly larger part of our strategy to build power and capacity for 2008. APALs are networks of trained community volunteers working year round to engage their friends and neighbors in politics. APAL’s are: More effective at persuading and mobilizing voters – APAL leaders are trusted messengers in their communities. Voters are more likely to listen to their friends and neighbors, who volunteer on these issues year-round. Sustainable – Year-round engagement in public issues is more effective at turning out voters than a mass blitz only around Election Day Building power for the community – When community members have the skills to conduct a power analysis of their district, register, educate, persuade, and turnout voters, they have the power to demand that their issues be addressed.
The APALs that ACORN launched in 2004 and continues to build for the 2006 election will continue to organize and engage community members up to and through the 2008 election and beyond. The networks built and expanded upon in 2006 then turn to keeping officials accountable to campaign promises on the community’s issues, as well as other legislative issue campaigns. Engaged year-round in issues that affect their communities, APAL members are aware of which decision makers are champions and opponents of lowincome families issues. Building their organizing skills through 2007 issue campaigns, APAL members then organize to reward champions and punish opponents in November 2008. APAL members are trained community leaders. APAL members: Research Elections – calculating the votes to win and the registration and turnout rates in their neighborhoods, and researching candidates and their stances on issues.
Conduct Candidate Interviews, both for educating voters and for considering endorsement of candidates Organize Candidate Forums – one of the most popular events, attended by around 50 community members at each event Organize their Precincts – contacting their friends and neighbors through phone calls, door-to-door precinct walks, and visits. Run Field Campaigns for endorsed candidates Pay Dues – In some neighborhoods, members pay dues into a APAC (ACORN Political Action Committee) account, and use APAC as a vehicle for endorsing candidates who are champions on community issues.
The process of building our ACORN Precinct Action Leaders is similar to our time-tested community organizing model. The result of a ACORN Precinct Action Leader program (APAL) is a network of skilled activists that can mobilize their personal networks and other community members around electoral campaigns – both candidates and ballot initiatives. ACORN does this through recruiting, identifying, training, and mobilizing members who are or have the potential to be electoral activists; connecting electoral campaigns to issues that affect our members’ daily lives; and working year-round on voter engagement efforts, such as voter registration and education. In our base turf existing ACORN chapters already have a large, active network of members from which to identify electoral activists to mobilize. ACORN chapters are continually recruiting new members. In Maryland, ACORN neighborhood organizing drives use a methodology that includes a APAL component that simultaneously (1) develops a political vision of building neighborhood power through electoral work and voter engagement, and (2) identifies and trains potential electoral activists as the drive organizes a chapter. In our persuasion turf, there often is not an existing organization that has build a network in these communities and there are very few options for people to become active is fighting for social change. Unlike building a APAL in base turf, we will be building a APAL in persuasion turf from scratch. Organizers and existing leaders train these new members in (1) the concept of building power for the neighborhood through electoral work and in (2) making a power analysis of the neighborhood. Using these skills, members identify what they must do in order to build power to forward their issues – what registration and turnout rate they must have among their community members, which races they must have an impact in, which candidates, if any, they should screen for endorsement. APAL members not only learn strategic thinking skills, but tactical skills as well – how to use a voter file for precinct walks, how to conduct phone banks to mobilize voters or volunteers for an event, how to register, identify, and persuade voters. Using these skills in an election, for the ballot issues or the candidates they endorse, APAL members make their force felt by elected officials, and decision-makers are therefore more responsive. Strategic Importance of the APAL The strengths of the ACORN Precinct Action Leader program include: 1. A culture of political action among members has a long-term sustainability, regardless of future available funding. It is not subject to the flux and flow of the election funding cycle. 2. ACORN is about our members, about low-income and moderate income people coming together to solve problems and build power for themselves. Political action is another tool, a powerful tool, for organizing for solutions to the issues of low-income families. The APAL increases our ability to win for our membership. 3. APAL leaders tap into their existing networks to register, identify, and persuade voters. The message is more reliable, persuasive, and effective when coming from an existing friend or neighbor. 4. Politicians look at one-time turnout operations differently from permanent, organized community networks – they recognize us as a force to be reckoned with, not dealt with once every two, four, or six years.
Goals of the APAL
In 2006 we will be moving 20%, 21,000 drop-off voters, through our program with APAL’s in Baltimore and Prince George’s County..
Paid Voter Registration and Mobilization Program Using a scientifically tested methodology, ACORN’s paid voter engagement program provides breadth beyond existing networks where the ACORN Precinct Action Leader program provides depth. Our methodology features: Trusted Messengers – Organizers are recruited from the communities they work in; they understand how to talk about the hot issues and make connections to community members and potential voters. Voter Registration at High-Volume Sites – By registering voters at high volume sites, we expand our reach. Techniques include partnering with local high schools to coordinate voter engagement assemblies, working outside of community clinics, which see new faces every day, and working outside of super markets, at bus stations, and other places with a large number of people coming and going. A High Number of Contacts – Our target voters receive at least three visits at their door and three phone calls, to keep them in an on-going conversation around the issues in play during this election Connections to the Issues – Both in registering voters and in turning out the vote, we connect the election with issues that concern people in their communities – low wages and the ballot campaign for a minimum wage, access to charity care at hospitals and a candidate’s stance on a bill to increase charity care. Voter Verification – Low-income voters disproportionately face barriers to getting on voter rolls after completing registration cards. Our voter verification program ensures that our voters are actually added to the rolls. Strategic Importance of Paid Voter Engagement Program Where ACORN Precinct Action Leaders provide the depth and long-term sustainability, ACORN’s paid voter engagement programs are well known for their ability to get to scale quickly and make a significant impact on voter registration rates and turnout in a finite amount of time. Where ACORN Precinct Action Leaders use existing community networks, the paid program expands our reach outside of these existing networks. Goals of the Door-to-Door Canvass
We will target 84,000 drop-off voters in Prince Georges County, Baltimore, and Balitmore County.
Election Administration In our 2000 and 2004 voter engagement work, we discovered that registering and mobilizing voters to the polls aren’t enough. People, particularly our constituency of low-income and minority voters, face barriers to voting, including being properly added to voter rolls, receiving timely notification of their polling place, and having their ballots counted. Our Election Administration Program works for fair laws, rules, and regulations for a more inclusive democracy. Working with our partner Project Vote, we research and recommend best policies and practices, and organize for the implementation of these practices. In Maryland, our goals are to: Build and maintain relationships with state and county election officials Administer surveys to state and county officials on voter registration, list maintenance, and election conduct. Monitor the promulgation of any new election rules, directives, or memoranda.
Identify election stakeholders and organize informal coalitions to share information and cooperate to resolve election problems Ensure the applications of our voter registration drives are becoming registered; identify and solve any problems. Work with field and political staff to resolve problems keeping low-income or minority citizens from registering and voting through negotiation, advocacy, or community organizing; be prepared to help with litigation as needed. Monitor election officials’ voter list maintenance activities, especially large-scale purges Obtain and review poll worker training materials Attend public testing of voting machinery Provide training to the quality control staff of our voter registration drives Provide oversight to the quality control program of our voter registration drives Ensure our voter registration verification work is occurring according to protocols Develop Election Day poll-monitoring program if needed; recruit, train, and supervise volunteer poll watchers. Attend hearings where determinations on provisional ballot eligibility are made. Help voters remedy deficient provisional ballots where possible.
In Maryland, our Election Administration Program has been particularly effective. In early 2005, the Maryland Board of Elections passed a regulation that would prohibit an organization from paying voter registration volunteers. ACORN filed suit and reached a settlement with the state that allowed organizations to pay voter registration staff. Voter Contact Program
Phase 1: Feb 1st – Oct 2nd Voter Registration
Face-to-face contact: In the first phase of our base vote program we will be doing voter registration to add “new” voters to the existing base. Mail and Phone: We will be sending a mailing to all new registered voters and then following up the mail piece with a robo call inviting new registrants to get involved with ACORN’s economic justice campaigns and letting them know about ACORN services.
Phase 2: June 1st – October 23rd Precinct Action Leader Development
Face-to-face contact: Through ACORN neighborhood organizing drives and door-to-door canvasses, we will knock on the doors and make contact with 20 % of our targeted base voters. Through this contact we will build ACORN Precinct Action Leaders (A-PAL’s).
Phase 3: September 11 – Oct 22nd Voter Identification
Face-to-face contact: We will make 1 contact with each targeted base voter in this period. This will be the 2nd contact that all “new” voters receive from phase 1 and the 2nd contact that all voters we contacted in Phase 2. In this 6-week period, we will make 3-4 passes through our targeted turf . We will seek to identify them as voters in the November election on a series of issues/candidates.
Phase 4: Oct 23rd – Nov 6th
Face-to-Face: We will make 1 contact with our targeted universe over this 2-week period. ???
Phase 5: Nov 7th Election Day
Districts of Interest – CUT THIS SECTION OUT FOR NOW, but save it somewhere, we’ll plug back in after we get vote counts. Baltimore -primary plan only District 40 – 2 open seats in 40 41 ACORN 43 ACORN 44 ACORN 45 ACORN 46 ACORN 12 people left 6 people 9 Anthony Mcarthy
-intelligence: who’s running time around +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Baltimore County 6 7 8 10 12A 42 ACORN ACORN white white white/black black white/black white Democratic controlled -primary plan Turner Station, Essex, Dundock Rep controlled, close in 02’ Middle River-, Bowley’s Quarter 2 R’s and D overly, parkville Democratic controlled woodlawn, millford mill, Real race Arbutis R controlled, but close Towson -primary
Precinct maps we have: Chris Miller will get Baltimore county precint maps +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PG 21 22 ACORN mixed Laurel 3 d’s solid Woodlawn, part of greenbelt, Hyatsville
3 d’s solid 24 25 26 47 ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN Bladensburg, Seat Pleasant, Suitland, Glen Arden 3 d’s solid Forestville, low income, District Heights 3 d’s solid Oxen Hill, Marlow Heights, Hillcrest Heights 3 d’s solid
Bladensburg, Langley Park, Mt. Rainer 3 d’s solid -Who’s running in these places, any race look interesting? -Chris looking for NCEC data +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Annapolis (we have no office there) 30 mixed
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.