America

ACORN Board Approves Group's Shutdown

The board of ACORN, the community organizing group, has approved what is essentially a mercy killing of the embattled operation.

In a statement, the group said:

The ACORN Association Board met on Sunday March 21 and approved a set of steps to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months. These include:

Closing ACORN's remaining state affiliates and field offices by April 1st; and
Developing a plan to resolve all outstanding debts, obligations and other issues.
ACORN's members have a great deal to be proud of—from promoting to homeownership to helping rebuild New Orleans, from raising wages to winning safer streets, from training community leaders to promoting voter participation—ACORN members have worked hard to create stronger to communities, a more inclusive democracy, and a more just nation.

NPR's Pam Fessler provided the context for ACORN's demise in a spot she did for the network's newscast:

ACORN has been under siege ever since the release last year of embarrassing undercover videos. They showed ACORN workers advising a couple pretending to be a pimp and a prostitute on how to conceal their activities.

Congress quickly cut off millions of dollars in funding for the group, which used the money to advise low-income individuals on housing and other issues. A federal judge has since ruled that move unconstitutional.

But many of ACORN's state chapters have already shut down or reorganized as new groups. And in a statement, ACORN says it will close remaining state chapters by April 1 and make plans to phase out all its operations.

CEO Bertha Lewis has blamed unwarranted right-wing attacks for the group's demise, although ACORN officials have admitted the group was poorly managed over the years.

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