Steve Malinowski

Pol 233


The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN, is a grassroots community organization of low and moderate income people with the goal of organizing a majority constituency throughout the United States. The group binds together low and moderate income people in order to give them a voice on relevant issues within their communities. They take on issues involving discrimination, affordable housing, quality education, and better public services. ACORN allows for the people in low and moderate income communities to act as leaders and spokespeople for issues that are pressing in their own communities.

ACORN was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke and Gary Delgado and since has been fighting for social and economic justice for low income communities throughout the United States. They have been able to make a difference in thousands of issues concerning its members through negotiations, legislative advocacy and voter participation. ACORN has 1200 local neighborhood chapters in 40 states which allow neighbors to come together and work for stronger, better communities. In short their goal is to allow people who have been silenced in the democratic system to bind together and become powerful players.

The ACORN offices work on many different campaigns to help better communities. They have worked to raise the minimum wage, stop predatory financial practices enacted by mortgage lenders, develop affordable housing, and increase quality of public schools. According to ACORN’S website, their victories have won approximately $15 billion in monetary benefit to its members in the last 10 years alone.  (ACORN, 2009)

ACORN, in regards to affordable housing, helps to investigate complaints against predatory lending practices, organizes against foreclosure rescue scams, and steers borrowers toward loan counseling. In 2003, ACORN was able to create a $72 million foreclosure avoidance program to give relief to household borrowers who risked losing their homes. (Office of the Attorney General, 2004)



 ACORN also works to provide affordable housing by urging redevelopment, rehabilitation, and pushing for enforcement of affordable housing requirements for developers. (ACORN, 2009)

ACORN has recently been the topic of public controversy in regards to embezzlement, management fights, and political alignments. ACORN has traditionally been a leftist organization, siding with the Democratic Party. Congress has recently decided to defund ACORN due to “allegations of fraud, videos of ACORN employees willfully assisting in tax evasion, child prostitution, and even obtaining federal fire protection grants in Louisiana in which they did not meet the requirements.” (REUTERS, 2009)




Works Cited

ACORN. (2009). Retrieved 10 7, 2009, from

ACORN. (2009). Retrieved OCTOBER 7, 2009, from

Office of the Attorney General. (2004, october 11). Retrieved 10 8, 2009, from

REUTERS. (2009, October 13). Retrieved October 13, 2009, from