Thursday, September 17, 2009

Couldn't Happen to Nicer People: ACORN Loses its Federal Funding

Both Congress and the Senate voted overwhelmingly to strip the community activist group, ACORN, of its federal funding amidst allegations that the group counseled its clients on how to commit tax fraud and other crimes. Last week 11 ACORN workers in Florida were charged with submitting fraudulent voter registration papers, and most disturbing of all, ACORN workers are alleged to have aided in human traffic, including the recruiting of underage girls into prostitution.

Many of us here in the 49th Ward of Chicago remember the role this unsavory group played in the hotly contested city election of 2007. ACORN activists worked to help re-elect the incumbent alderman, Joe Moore, and distributed "attack" fliers that slandered and vilified his opponent's supporters, including myself.

It's rather a shame, really. ACORN started out in the 70s as a grass-roots activist group whose mission was to help lower utility rates and provide affordable housing for the poor. Since that time, the group has degenerated into a blatantly political action group that advocates for favored candidates and engages in questionable and perhaps illegal practices on behalf of people who distinctly aren't poor or disadvantaged.

1 comment:

consultant said...

They needed to go out of business. They abandoned their old mission a long time ago. Unfortunately, ACORN is more the rule than the exception.

It's been all down hill since nonprofit staff leadership started calling themselves CEOs, President and in some cases President & CEO.

What's up with that? Does having two titles mean you're a better leader?

All of this is a result of corporate values taking over most nonprofit organizations. It started in the early 80's and now is firmly embedded throughout the nonprofit world. It's no longer about service, it's about gettin' paid.

I've spent 30 years working in this field. Two years ago I told my clients, at least a third of the nonprofit organizations will close their doors over the next 2 years.

So far, from the groups I follow, it's right on schedule. If the recession continues for another year, another third will close their doors.

I tell people, don't feel bad. Most of them needed to close. Some had quit serving the mission, others had become corrupt, others were managed poorly. A small number of relatively good agencies just got caught in a bad place at a bad time.