Part of the Vernacular

ACORN Community Organizing Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

New Orleans    Nice to have a day when the office is an option, but decidedly not mandatory, and the parades are running in earshot of the house making it easy to join and keep the tradition of civil rights alive. Makes me think, and that leads me to share a little something that comes from my perch in the world of our work.

    On a trial basis we have been subscribing to a clipping service which sends me and a small number of our managers the ACORN news that they cull from the web here and there in some fashion they swear is exhaustive, though it sometimes seems idiosyncratic. It is interesting to see how thoroughly ACORN is becoming part of the vernacular. Let me share today’s reports as evidence.

  • Southwest Florida Herald-Tribune:    Piece on labor’s growth among hospital workers in south Florida which involved “building alliances with groups like ACORN.”
  • New York Sun:    Speculation on the Mayor’s State of the Schools address and what the reaction of ACORN will be.
  • Northwest Arkansas Times:    An interesting story on team of young twenty-something folks trying to revamp what used to be the White Water Tavern on 7th in Little Rock that was iconic back to the days of New York Times rock columnist Robert Palmer and citing as part of its “cred” the fact that an ACORN neighborhood group protested its noise in the early 70’s.
  • Philanthropy Digest:    A note on the hiring of Aaron Dorfman as ED of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy indicating he was a former head organizer for Minnesota ACORN.
  • Kansas City Star:    An update on 3 former employees indicted for voter fraud based on errors in new registrations last year.
  • Orlando Sentinel:    Mention of the fact that ACORN members will be part of the MLK Parade in that city.
  • Pittsburgh Tribune Review:    A columnist of this paper slams Barack Obama for his association with ACORN in a series of novel, left handed compliments (?) in order to get the smear going: But back in Chicago, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is more important than Iraq or Washington. ACORN and its associated Midwest Academy, both founded in the 1970s, continue to train and mobilize activists throughout the country, often using them to manipulate public opinion through “direct action.” It’s sometimes a code for illegal activities. Prior to law school, Barack Obama worked as an organizer for their affiliates in New York and Chicago. He always has been an ACORN person — meeting and working with them to advance their causes. Through his membership on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago and his friendship with Teresa Heinz Kerry, Obama has helped ensure that they remain funded well. Since he graduated from law school, Obama’s work with ACORN and the Midwest Academy has ranged from training and fundraising, to legal representation and promoting their work.
  • Paso Robles Press:    Leora Eide named Roblan of the Year for 2007 by the Chamber of Commerce and others, and mentions that she is involved with ACORN.

    All in a day. All around the country. Part of the fabric of people, events, and news spanning a generation and representing something clearly to both friends and foe, ACORN seems increasingly becoming part of the iconic vernacular of America.

    That must be scary to some, but reflecting on this MLK Day, it certainly seems like an accomplishment to me.

January 15, 2007