Friday, October 23, 2009

Stand up for ACORN

Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was In the News, and What the News Got WrongFriends,

Please forgive me that this e-mail is not personalized. However, you are receiving this message because you have been an important ally and/or true friend of our organization - and, in many cases, a personal friend of mine - over the years.

As you probably know, ACORN, one of the country's most important community organizations of low- and moderate-income people, is under an unprecedented attack by the right. While we are confident that we will ultimately survive these attacks, we currently find ourselves in the fight of our lives.

The event described below has been organized by a group of allies in order to denounce recent attacks on ACORN and on other individuals and organizations working for change, and to shift attention back to the critical issues - such as health care reform, financial industry reform, comprehensive immigration reform, and others - that our country is currently debating.

I would like to ask you to join us for this event if at all possible. And please pass on this message to anyone you think may be willing to support.

In solidarity,
John Jackson

Los Angeles ACORN


The following organizations/individuals have confirmed to attend the below event (many others pending, including several local elected officials):

Maria Elena Durazo, Exec. Secretary-Treasurer, LA County Federation of Labor
Mike Garcia, President, SEIU Local 1877 (Justice for Janitors)
Ralph Miller, President, AFSCME Local 685 (LA County Deputy Probation Officers)
Joshua Pechthalt, Vice-President, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)
Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, Senior Pastor (Ret.) First AME Church
Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Exec. Director, Community Coalition
Angelica Salas, Exec. Director, CHIRLA
Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Exec. Director, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA)
Tim Watkins, Watts Labor Community Action Committee
Arturo Ibarra, Watts Century Latino Organization
Betty Day, Watts Gang Task Force
Marilyn Johnson, Exec. Director, SCOPE
Rev. Mark Whitlock, Christ Our Redeemer AME Church
Rev. Eric Lee, Exec. Director, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Urgent call to action: Our brothers and sisters are under attack by well-funded corporate opponents who are clearly bent on destroying the progressive political agenda.  As always happens when working families and poor people force their way to the forefront of national discussion and change is in the air, the backlash gets fierce, ugly, and anti-American.

Please join us, a broad coalition of Los Angeles’ clergy, civic, and community leaders, at a press conference to denounce these attacks.  The press conference will take place at the home of Tommy and Debora Beard, 1544 E. 101st St., LA, 90002, on Thursday, October 22 at 9 a.m. Tommy and Debora are long-time Watts residents and local union members who saved their home of 24 years from foreclosure by organizing with ACORN.  Please RSVP to

The systematic attacks against the Apollo Alliance, Van Jones, ACORN, labor and many others are part of an insidious, coordinated campaign to shout us down and to shut us down. What we saw on the ACORN videos disturbed us all – persons in ACORN staff positions whose appalling lack of judgment has served to sully the reputation of one of America’s greatest advocates for the poor and disenfranchised. But we also know these attacks are not based on any mistakes or errors, despite what the Glen Becks of the world would have the public believe.  They are aimed at shifting media attention away from the real problems that our country is facing: the growing income gaps, the shrinking middle class, the increasing poverty and hunger, the loss of our jobs, the escalating housing foreclosures, and the absence of health care. Meanwhile, an elite few billionaires who crashed our national and global economies are living in luxury and prosperity.  We must fight back.

Throughout history, those benefitting from the status quo have used the weapon of division to undermine change that would benefit all.  Please join with us now to proclaim unequivocally, We will not be divided. These attacks have only strengthened our bonds and commitment to achieving justice. RSVP to, or call Erica Zeitlin at: 213 387-0780. Thank you!


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