Broad Shoulders Update

news and information for cmun dev advocates in metropolitan Chicago

Archive for the ‘acorn’ tag

Did You Miss These? (October 24 Edition)

without comments

A recap of this week’s equity news.

8,800 Road Home properties to return to private hands, ” - Times Picayune

Actor Wendell Pierce and trumpeter Terence Blanchard have come back to their old neighborhood, Pontchartrain Park, and are poised to take over one of every nine properties there — so they can build and sell affordable homes,
On Monday, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority will vote on an agreement to transfer 114 abandoned and vacant properties to Pierce and Blanchard’s Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp. It’s a big moment for the star of HBO’s cop drama “The Wire,” the Grammy-winning musician and some of their childhood buddies and fellow investors, who want to return New Orleans’ first middle-class black subdivision to its pre-Katrina glory.

Homeless numbers ‘alarming’,” - USA Today

More families with children are becoming homeless as they face mounting economic pressures, including mortgage foreclosures, according to a USA TODAY survey of a dozen of the largest cities in the nation.

Local authorities say the number of families seeking help has risen in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Washington.

ACORN fights back,” - San Francisco Chronicle

In the midst of the predictable partisan exaggerations, distortions and occasional lies that close election races generate, ACORN has become the focus of an extraordinary amount of attention over our voter-registration program. We submitted nearly 40,000 voter registration applications in San Diego and throughout California, and 1.3 million nationwide. In communities across the country, anxiety about the direction of our country, and more specifically our economy, is driving much of the interest in this year’s presidential election. Voter turnout is expected to be of historic proportions. What is surprising is that these attacks, issued from partisan sources, have become relentless, and wildly exaggerated. We’ve even been accused by some Republicans of causing the global economic crisis.

The truth, plain and simple, is that no illegal votes will be cast as a consequence of ACORN’s voter-registration program. In fact, illegal votes constitute fewer than 1 out of a million votes cast, and no illegal vote has ever been tied to ACORN, in spite of the almost 2 million registrations we submitted in 2004 and 2006. The small percentage of problematic cards that we have submitted to local election boards in 2008 - and that we are required by law to submit, even cards that we can plainly see are invalid - will not result in any illegal voting, contrary to over-the-top partisan claims. The irony in these attacks is that our registration drive and get-out-the-vote program is nonpartisan.

ACORN Matters

without comments

In today’s editions of La Opinion — the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper — PolicyLink CEO stands up for ACORN against the withering assault of right-wing critics. Though Ms. Blackwell’s op-ed was published in Spanish, here is the English version:

Why ACORN Matters

By Angela Glover Blackwell

On door steps and street corners across the nation, thousands of ACORN volunteers have been working diligently to enfranchise and empower millions of Americans from low-income communities and communities of color. We’ve seen them registering our Latino and African-American neighbors in dense urban centers, far-flung rural towns and everywhere in between - fighting to give a voice to our historically marginalized communities.

In just the past year, Latinos represented about one-quarter of the 1.3 million new voters ACORN registered - more than 300,000 new American voters. That is why the unwarranted and unsubstantiated attacks on ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) the past few weeks have been so damaging to anyone who wants communities of color to have a say in our government.

The work being done by ACORN and Latino voter rights groups is an enormous and important step toward giving Latinos and African Americans the voice we need and deserve.  When our numbers are strong, we have the power to make changes– in our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our nation.

But it is exactly this empowerment that is driving the trumped-up voter registration fraud charges being repeated ad nauseam by right-wing pundits and sympathetic media outlets like FOX News.  It threatens to undue the work of ACORN, Latino, African American, and other organizations across the country working for decades to secure and protect the right to vote for all Americans.

Entrenched powers are uncomfortable with the voters ACORN targets. Those powers are fearful of the nation’s rapidly expanding Latino population and the country’s inevitable march toward a day when the majority of Americans come from racial minority groups.

It is the fear of the powerless becoming powerful, of the voiceless finding their voice. It is the fear of 148,000 new ACORN-recruited voters in Pennsylvania, 152,000 in Florida, 217,000 in Michigan, and 238,000 in Ohio. It is the fear that people of color across America will finally be able to speak out on behalf of their communities.

But the work of ACORN and other civil rights groups does not stop at the ballot box. The struggle continues in every corner of our lives, from health to housing to criminal justice reform.

ACORN was one of the first and most vocal groups calling for reform of the predatory lending and subprime mortgage laws, long before those sectors dragged our economy down into crisis. In New Orleans, ACORN brought together thousands of displaced residents to give them an amplified, powerful voice in the revival of their own city. Throughout the nation, ACORN has organized millions of red-shirted supporters to crowd City Council meetings and legislative hearings to fight for fair, equitable public policies for all people.

At heart, ACORN is working to ensure all our children have good schools, all our neighborhoods are affordable and healthy, and all our families are economically secure. But we can only make our dreams real if we join together as a powerful force for change.

ACORN plays a vital role in making sure our communities have a seat at the table to advocate forcefully for that change. They deserve our utmost respect and support - not the scorn and derision of ill-informed politicians.

Ms. Blackwell is founder and CEO of PolicyLink