ACORN was the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. From 1970 to its end in 2010, ACORN had grown to more than 175,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in 75 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Peru.
ACORN's accomplishments included successful campaigns for better housing, schools, neighborhood safety, health care, job conditions, and more. ACORN members would participate in local meetings and actively work on campaigns, elect leadership from the neighborhood level up, and pay the organization's core expenses through membership dues and grassroots fundraisers.
Conservative media fixture James O’Keefe rose to stardom in 2009 after posting an undercover video supposedly showing employees of the now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) agreeing to help him smuggle underage prostitutes into the US. The video circulated widely in the conservative blogosphere, where activists saw the clip as proof that ACORN, a major force in community organizing and voter registration drives, was corrupt. O’Keefe’s sting destroyed ACORN’s reputation and the employee, Juan Carlos Vera, was fired.
Only later did it come to light that Vera called the police to report O’Keefe after he left. Four years after the video went viral, O’Keefe has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement to Vera, as first reported by Wonkette.
1995: Boston and Denver ACORN win commitments from city officials for First Source hiring programs.
St. Paul ACORN puts living wage initiative on the ballot but loses to heavily-financed opposition.
Seattle ACORN wins library for a high school that previously did not have one.
New Orleans begins auctioning abandoned houses, implementing city and state laws won by ACORN.
ACORN tenants in New York fight plan to sell city buildings to private landlords and win.
ACORN members in Albuquerque win a percentage of affordable housing in upper-income housing development.
Governor of Illinois signs law pushed by SEIU Local 880 increasing pay for homecare workers.
1996: ACORN Housing Corporation and Prudential Insurance strike a deal to provide full coverage homeowner's insurance in Philadelphia neighborhoods that had been redlined.
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