The Life, Death and Rebirth of ACORN

It took 40 years to build ACORN, the national community organization which at its peak had more than half a million members. But it took just a few months to bring it down. Now, local organizers are trying to rebuild from the ground up, while not forgetting the lessons they learned. On this edition, the assassination of ACORN. And a look at how the groups’ absence is affecting elections, poverty, and the continuing housing crisis?

Special thanks to Demos, and to Race, Poverty & the Environment.


Steve Kest, former ACORN executive director; John Atlas, author of ‘Seeds of Change’, the Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Organizing Group; Annie McKinzie & Bill Chorneau, former ACORN Oakland members; Bertha Lewis, former ACORN CEO and chief organizer; Morris Hilter, Denise Hilton, Travis, ACORN Tampa members; John McCain, US Senator; Ina Gutierrez, Interfaith Worker Justice deputy director of operations; Tasha Alberty, Oakland homeowner facing foreclosure; Martha Daniels, Oakland ACORN organizer; Vivian Richardson, San Francisco homeowner facing foreclosure; Grace Martinez, San Francisco ACCE community organizer; Nealie Yarbrough, Ian Haddow, San Francisco ACCE members.