Category Archives: ACORN

News and Notes from our Friends at WALD and Social Policy

New Orleans           Let’s have some sharing today!

* Becky Bond, our friend at Working Assets Long Distance, and also the long distance telephone supplier for all of the ACORN family of organizations, let us know that WALD was the only telephone carrier that says “hell, no!” to the Bush Administration’s invasive requests for access to our telephone records.  Here is Becky in her own words: 

I wanted to reach out to everyone I work with about today’s revelations re: the Bush administration’s far reaching spying program on Americans.
You may have read today’s USA Today article on the collusion of Telco giants AT&T, Verizon and Bell South with the NSA’s massive illegal database of phone records.

I wanted to let you know that Working Assets is the only telephone company that’s part of the ACLU’s lawsuit on against the NSA:

We oppose warrantless monitoring of phone calls. It has long been our policy to refuse any request for illegal access to our customer data or the content of their conversations. 

We support Feingold’s resolution to censure Bush in connection with illegal wiretapping. We oppose the nomination of Michael Hayden, architect of the illegal wiretapping program at the NSA, to lead the CIA.  In the coming weeks there will be a coordinated response from Working Assets. If you are currently a customer, thank you for sending your telco dollars to Working Assets. If you are currently supporting the bad guys via your mobile phone bills — AT&T, Cingular, Verizon — now is a good time to switch:

If you would like to work with Working Assets to fight this, don’t hesitate to call me directly.

Becky Bond | Creative Producer | Working Assets
415.369.2107 office | 415.595.0040 mobile | |

* Caitlin Corrigan is the glue that holds together Social Policy ( the quarterly journal for organizers and people thinking about progressive work and policy.  She pulled my sleeve today to remind me to let people know that people can now read the Wal-Mart archived articles for free, and check out the reports from the ACORN Community Forum, among others, included in the new Katrina rebuilding feature. 

* And, lastly for joggers in south Florida, re-think this running at night too close to canals idea that you thought was so good.  Go ahead and wake up early like the rest of us!  Just a little sharing….

Alligator kills Florida jogger near canal
Thu May 11, 2006 3:48pm ET
by Jane Sutton

MIAMI (Reuters) – An alligator grabbed and killed a Florida woman who disappeared while jogging near a canal, a medical examiner determined on Thursday.

Construction workers found the woman’s dismembered body floating on Wednesday in a canal in Sunrise, a northwest suburb of Fort Lauderdale. An autopsy showed she died of bleeding and shock from alligator bites.
“The alligator attacked her and basically amputated her arms, bit her on the leg and back and pulled her into the water,” said Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County medical examiner, who performed the autopsy. “She died extremely fast. By the time she was pulled into the water, she was already dead.”

Perper said the woman, 28-year-old Yovy Suarez Jimenez, had been very close to the canal’s edge when the alligator bit her, because her body showed no signs of having been dragged.

Relatives said the victim had gone jogging on Tuesday evening along a bicycle path near the canal. Wildlife officers said no one saw the attack.
“The way it happened, we just don’t know,” said Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission,
Wildlife officers and commercial trappers were still trying to find the alligator, which was estimated to be 8 to 10 feet long, based on the woman’s injuries. If captured, it will be killed, they said.

Alligator attacks are relatively rare. Suarez Jimenez’s death was the 18th fatal attack in Florida since the state began keeping records in the 1940s, Moschella said.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

May 11, 2006

The newest issue of Social Policy magazine focused on Katrina rebuilding efforts

Elephant in the Room?

Minneapolis         Zephyr Teachout was as close to an underground legend as the Deaniac’s had in the comet rise and explosion of their campaign.  A high-charged, whip smart woman who had jumped in early and felt the movement going and became its apostle.  She was not a techie, but someone who used the tools like a sword in trying to slay the dragons felt by thousands of activists that opened their doors, physically and mentally, to her persuasion.  She is now at the University of Vermont trying to pull all of this together.  Marty Kearns argues from his green toolbox ( perspective that there is a different paradigm being manifested by the way that people connect through the internet and re-establish social networks.  Barbara Bowen, the Organizers’ Forum ( coordinator and the magician behind these scenes knew that these were the “rock stars” that would push the discussion towards the future and having laid the ground work in a day and a half, this would allow the dialogue to takeoff to the next level of speculation, and possibly application.

Both Zephyr and Marty ran through their respective powerpoints with energy and passion.  Of all people though it was Justin Ruben, the organizing director for MoveOn, who raised his hand and innocently pointed out the elephant in the room by asking a simple question of Marty, Justin said, “I hear you saying there is a new paradigm, but could you point out exactly what is actually new about what you are saying to organizers who have been building social networks all of their lives?”  Standing in the back one could hear a pin drop, and see the hands of organizers shoot up across the room.  Marty’s answer was lost in the barrage of new questions and points.
 Laura Barrett, communications director for the Gameliel network of faith-based organizations and a long time veteran organizer, started with a frank complaint that pointed to flash versus what she called “real work.”  Gordon Whitman, research and communications director for the PICO Network, added that all of their work was about building relationships, so it was hardly new.  Union organizers, like Jeffrey Fox, the organizing director of the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU) and John Weir, the organizing director for the BC Federation of Labour, quickly made the points about “mapping of worksites as part of organizing and the careful, but too frequently unsuccessful work, of building organization from person to person from network to network in the workplace. 

These were all veterans speaking clearly.  They were open to the new technologies, and in fact would embrace any new technology that would help make their work easier or more effective, but they knew they were talking across the divide.  On one side there was the fascination with technology and on the other there was the tried and true experience with real people and the hard work of building real organizations that could be sustained over time, fight, and win.

The discussion somehow deepened richly as it paradoxically reached higher for understanding how organizational adaptations could be created to meet the challenges of people in these times.  There was no gee-whiz any more, but somber and respectively talk in the marrow of the beast.

I wouldn’t have taken a million dollars not to have been part of that conversation reflecting the best of our business as everyone struggles to see the future clearly and fashion a plan for progressive change by any means that might work in our times.  It rocked!

May 6, 2006

Arif Mamdani from the Progressive Technology Project at the 2006 Organizer’s Forum
Greg Nelson, Drummond Pike, Nathan Wardrip-Fruin, and Zephyr Teachout
Small group exercise