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Organizing Through “Door Knocking” within ACORN

  • Heidi Swarts

Abstract

This exchange illustrates features for which ACORN was well known long before it gained notoriety during the presidential campaign of 2008: Bill, a local organizer, intentionally wanted to incite anger in grassroots members who were used to feeling passive and powerless. ACORN members felt exhilarated and empowered by direct action. The organization encouraged them not to be intimidated by powerful officials.

Keywords

Charter School Presidential Campaign Internal Revenue Service Voter Registration Minimum Wage Increase 
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Notes

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    According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in 2002 this included 4.9 million people, including 2.7 million children. Joseph Llobrera and Bob Zahradnik, A Hand Up: How State Earned Income Tax Credits Help Working Families Escape Poverty in 2004, Summary (Washington, D.C.: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2004), http://www.cbpp.org/5-14-04sfp.pdf (accessed June 20, 2005).Google Scholar
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    An internal investigation (which ACORN commissioned) by former Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger found “there was no criminal conduct by employees who offered advice on how to hide assets and falsify lending documents.” Frank James, “ACORN Workers Cleared of Illegality by Outside Probe,” National Public Radio (December 7, 2009), http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2009/12/ACORN_workers_cleared_of_illeg.htm (accessed July 6, 2010); also see Editors, “NPQ on ACORN Investigation Results,” Nonprofit Quarterly (January 26, 2010), http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1654:npq-on-ACORN-investigation-results&catid=58:npq-in-the-news&Itemid=54 (accessed July 6, 2010).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Aaron Schutz and Marie G. Sandy 2011

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  • Heidi Swarts

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