This fine individualo has challenged me and is going to some length to show that Rathke is gone and things are changing. I want to give him the chance to state his case. Below is the letter and following is my response.
While I'm not clear on why you keep posting about all the negative stuff when the organization is clearly trying to move away from the Rathke era, I respect your desire to try to push ACORN to live up to its values.
But I do want to point out one factual error in your headlines. Wade Rathke is not currently employed by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. He _is_ still the Chief Organizer of an entity called ACORN International, but that organization is separately incorporated. This is important because under the terms of that incorporation the original ACORN, the one he "resigned" from, has only one seat on its Board of Directors. The others are filled by ACORN International members from the various countries where AI operates: Canada, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, India. While the US representative would love to fire Wade, the other Board members have a different perspective and are reluctant to move in that direction.
I think from the outside this looks like splitting hairs from the outside but from a legal stand point, the US ACORN members simply can't fire Wade from his job at AI.
However, because of the fact that from the outside it looks like Wade "resigned" but then got a promotion, there is a large faction of senior staff and a large faction of US ACORN leaders who want him gone from that position as well. That and the fact that they want him disassociated with anything called ACORN or a part of the ACORN family of organizations because of the scandal and his attempts to purge the organization of anyone who disagreed with him.
I believe that a set of negotiations around his AI situation are on-going, but I don't know the timetable for them or what demands are really on the table.
I'm hoping that at some point you might cover some of the positive changes that are coming about as a result of the current transition, rather than posting news stories from two years ago, but I'm not really expecting it.
But it would be useful to understand what a positive vision for the transformation of the organization would be from a radical perspective rather than a rehashing of past failings.
Well, a boy can always dream, right? 8-)
July 24, 2008 5:11 PM
My responseJohn Brownz Said :
To start off and for the record I busted my ass for ACORN, Hit every goal I was told to hit, my former employees hang out with me all the time and we still have a community of justice between us. I see the members I worked with on a regular basis. They are no longer members.
ACORN BASICALLY RUINED MY LIFE, Ruined the Lives of Seceral of my organizers, and MOST IMPORTANTLY FUCKED OVER THE MEMBERS. I DIDN'T DESERVE IT, I AM PISSED OFF ABOUT IT, and THAT ANGER MAKES ME WANT TO OUT ORGANIZE WADE TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS TRANSITION BRINGS ABOUT AS MUCH CHANGE AS POSSIBLE. Our MEMBERS DIDN'T DESERVE IT. MY STAFF DIDN"T DESERVE IT> THERE WAS NEVER ANY RIOT IN MY OFFICE!
I WAS LIED TO ROUTINELY AND IT COST ME SO MUCH YOU CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE. I WILL NOT GO INTO DETAIL.
Well actually i spent a big chunk of my life doing lots of positive things to advance the social justice movement and ACORN. I would love to pass on positive changes. I have nothing but respect for Bertha Lewis and I have nothing but respect and love for the field of community organizing. I've devoted my life to it. ACORN just about burned me out forever. Trust me if I wanted to post some negative things about ACORN I could. This an effort to avoid that.So, in response to your statement:
International ACORN is not part of ACORN?
You know and I know it is. Just as the AISJ is seperate from ACORN but it is an intrinsic part of ACORN's funding and structure.
Where did the start up capital come from?I know where it came from.
They do not report at Head Organzer and Management meetings?
Don't they come the end year meetings?
Why is that if they are a seperate Organization?
Now this is a website I just went and what do you call this?
Now on this Acorn.org website I found this?International OfficesACORN International is building community organizations of low-income families, and partnering with grassroots organizations outside of the United States. ACORN International aims to strengthen democratic movements for social change, as well as build connections between community-based organizations across borders and cultures.
ACORN International has offices in Argentina, Canada, Peru, and Mexico, and facilitates the India FDI Watch Campaign. We are establishing direct membership chapters in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Kenya, and Nigeria and are exploring partnerships with established membership-based organizations in Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea.
> ACORN Argentina > ACORN Peru > ACORN Dominican Republic > ACORN Canada > ACORN Mexico
Now what is that. I searched the site and found that.
Now when I go to this site, the offices link? I find thishttp://www.acorn.org/index.php?id=2593Now on this site the US offices, the national, and the international! I don't know if you know it or not but that is pissing alot of people off. Especially since this is linked as well:
So Sorry, we aint buyin it. Also why am I able to reach Wade's Chief Organizer page form the ACORN page?
Either he is gone or not. If ACORN is a out control freight train that has already left the station. Then USA ACORN will sue them for all resources drained from our members and will demand they change their name!
What I hear you saying is that Wade's dream of a Walmart of Organizing is coming true on our sweat and dimes. Whether the members like it or not.
Meanwhile people out here who continue to organize with no help from ACORN because we BELIEVE IN COMMUNITY ORGNANIZING are really getting tired of the daggers and razors in our backs.
I am doing this because members who were busting their asses and meeting all goals had their office yanked out from under them because there weren't any hot elections coming up. That isn't organizing, Wade thinks it is, IT IS NOT!
Wade and ACORN organize where they are preaching to the choir. They aren't in the places where the real fight is. We can build a new organization in this country that respects the individual culture of organizing of each region. ACORN has stomped all over everyone in this country's toes and they shouldn't have stepped on mine. Because I delivered way more than my paycheck and because I am in till the end and I don't give a F&&CK!I will devote the rest of my life to building true organizing, while ACORN farms you guys out as the outsourced migrant workers of whatever flavor of the day they are contracting. I have seen some awfully questionable farming out of ACORN workers and I have the paperwork from it. I haven't broke with everything I have because I would really like to see ACORN take up the cause of:
Well we will fill in these blanks soon
Ever see Brave Heart? (Stupid ass movie)
This is the scene where idiot Mel says': I've to peck a fight" rides out tells the English to "ride back to England apologizing to every home along the way for hundreds of years of oppression BUTT before they leave they must bend over and kiss their own A$$e$.
Ok that was dumb.Just tried to find an example someone from your culture would understand.
Ok the bottom line is ACORN is sucking up all the air in the bell and starving alot of great efforts for social change along the way. It is got to stop.
If I wanted to get nasty I could merge about 20 (actually 3 times more if I call a few people for their ACORN EMAIL lists and well? Then I could start merging about three thousand interorganizational contacts from Belgrade to Baton Rouge and then we can have some real fun! Bubba. WHy haven't I?/We/You? Because we actually care about seeing something salvaged here. You screwed with the wrong bunch of hombres.
You don't think some people are smart enough to have a butt load of phone numbers they could start robocalling?Right now!Lose the Whimp,Fire the management team that rubber stamped Wade saving his litlle brother's butt This means EVERY BODY!!!Maude has got to go! Implement new policies to insure low income leadership of color rise to the top in ACORN
Work your butts off to bring back some of the people who left in the past few years out of disgust who are committed to community organizing and I will take down every site and put up a very positive one about ACORN's new commitment to empowering the people from the communities we organize to become the captqains of this ship.