ACORN News Issue 16

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Wed Nov 7 10:45:49 CST 2001


From: "David Swanson" <acornnews at acorn.org>

ACORN News
Issue 16, Nov. 5, 2001

1. ACORN Urges Insurance Reporting
2. ACORN Presses for Economic Stimulus
3. Arkansas Wins Utility Reconnection Plan
4. Providence Wins Utility Restoration Plan
5. Sacramento Predatory Lending Law Advances
6. Philly Kicks off Home Repair Campaign
7. Philly Gets Abandoned Cars Removed
8. Detroit Holds Candidates Forum

1. ACORN URGES INSURANCE REPORTING - In response to 
industry requests,
Congress is debating putting up public dollars -- potentially tens of
billions -- to cover property insurance claims in the event of future
terrorist attacks.  ACORN is arguing that, since it is crucial to the
economy to make sure insurance is available, Congress needs to 
take a first
step toward ensuring that it is affordable and available to all.  
Insurance
companies have a long history of redlining minority and low-income
neighborhoods.  ACORN is urging Congress to require insurance 
companies to
disclose basic information on prices and availability of insurance, 
just as
lenders report data under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.  For 
more
information, link to http://www.acorn.org/acorn10/takeaction.htm or 
contact
Chris Saffert at legnatacorn at acorn.org or 202-547-2500.

2. ACORN PRESSES FOR ECONOMIC STIMULUS - ACORN is 
continuing to pressure
Congress to direct its economic stimulus efforts at low- and 
moderate-income
Americans.  San Jose ACORN staged a demonstration on Nov. 2 
together with
the South Bay Labor Council and SEIU 715 in front of IBM's 
headquarters.
ACORN members and allies highlighted the national 
unemployment figures,
which were released that day and showed a dramatic increase in 
layoffs.
Also stressed was the fact that IBM stands to get $1.4 billion if the 
House'
s stimulus bill goes through.  San Jose's was one of a number of 
ACORN
events around the country promoting an economic stimulus plan 
that is
available on ACORN's website at 
http://www.acorn.org/acorn10/takeaction.htm.
For more information, contact Chris Saffert at 
legnatacorn at acorn.org or
202-547-2500.

3. ARKANSAS WINS UTILITY RECONNECTION PLAN - Arkansas 
ACORN has won a
program from the state Public Service Commission to reconnect 
residents' gas
service.  Utilities will waive reconnect fees, and customers who had 
been
shut off will agree to repayment plans for overdue bills.  Over the 
last few
months ACORN members demonstrated at the offices of Reliant 
Energy in Little
Rock, and held a march in Pine Bluff, town meetings in both cities 
with
commissioners from the PSC, and meetings with the Attorney 
General and the
Governor's office.  ACORN and the Attorney General's office are 
working
closely together to expand eligibility for the program proposed by 
the PSC
and to make it easy to apply for the program.  The PSC will hold a 
hearing
on November 9.  ACORN members plan to attend.  For more 
information, contact
Neil Sealy at aracorn at acorn.org or 501-376-7151.

4. PROVIDENCE WINS UTILITY RESTORATION PLAN - On Oct. 
10, ACORN members and
allies (including Coalition for Consumer Justice and the George 
Wiley
Center) held a rally at a meeting of the Rhode Island Public Utilities
Commission (PUC) in Warwick, demanding new rules to make it 
easier to get
their gas service turned back on.  Some 7,000 Rhode Islanders are 
still
without service following shutoffs last summer, according to the 
PUC.  The
PUC Commissioner Kate Racine met with the group of ACORN 
leaders and allies,
and promised a hearing on October 23.  Twelve people won 
immediate hearings,
eight of whom got their service restored.  On Oct. 24, the PUC 
approved a
measure allowing anyone who has not been turned off three times 
to have
their gas restored by paying 20 percent of their bill.  Also, the PUC 
will
begin a process to implement an arrearage program for people who 
can't meet
their bills.  For more information, contact Dave Lagstein at
riacorn at acorn.org or 401-780-0500.

5. SACRAMENTO PREDATORY LENDING LAW ADVANCES - An 
ACORN-backed
anti-predatory-lending ordinance under consideration by the 
Sacramento City
Council was approved, 4-0, by the Law and Legislation Committee 
and is
expected to be addressed this month by the full Council.  Two 
ACORN members
testified in support of the ordinance.  The ordinance bans the City 
from
doing business with predatory lenders and sets up a City education 
and
outreach program.  Council members have pledged to work with 
ACORN to
improve and clarify the language.  For more information, contact 
Brian
Kettenring at caacornsaro at acorn.org or 916-455-1795.

6. PHILLY KICKS OFF HOME REPAIR CAMPAIGN - On Oct. 30, 
420 people attended a
meeting in Philadelphia to kick off an ACORN campaign to win a 
City program
that would provide funds for people to repair their homes.  
Councilwoman
Marian Tasco, who will be moving our legislation through the City 
Council,
attended.  The goal of the campaign is to persuade the City Council 
to spend
more money to create home repair programs that work for low-
income people,
by means of grants tied to a variety of loan products.  The Mayor 
has
proposed spending $194 million on redevelopment, focused on 
knocking down
vacant homes to clear the way for big developers, and ACORN's 
campaign is
aimed at adding a home-repair emphasis to the Mayor's proposal.  
For more
information, contact Jeff Ordower at paacorn at acorn.org.

7. PHILLY GETS ABANDONED CARS REMOVED - On Oct 24, a 
group of Philadelphia
ACORN members on the 2500 block of West Harold Street 
(following weeks of
countless unanswered calls to the police and the abandoned car 
bureau)
pushed abandoned cars into the middle of 25th Street, bringing 
traffic to a
standstill.  When the police finally arrived and refused to remove 
the cars,
the people of 2500 West Harold took the remaining abandoned 
cars, littered
with numerous parking tickets and full of drug paraphernalia, and 
fully
blocked off 25th and 26th Streets.  An hour later, the police agreed 
to
remove the cars.  The next day, they towed about 40 cars.  For 
more
information, contact Jeff Ordower at paacorn at acorn.org or 215-
765-0042.

8. DETROIT HOLDS CANDIDATES FORUM - On Nov. 4, Detroit 
ACORN and allies,
including Focus:Hope, Alternative for Girls, MOSES, and Life 
Directions,
held a forum for candidates for mayor and city council.  ACORN 
members and
their allies asked the candidates questions on the topics of access 
to
health care, improving public education, housing and predatory 
lending,
neighborhood safety, fair wages, and increasing youth involvement.  
The
candidates commented that this was the most heavily attended 
forum of the
campaign season.  For more information, contact Alliea Groupp at
miacorn at acorn.org or 313-963-1840.

DONATE TO ACORN -- Membership dues and chapter-based 
fundraising programs
pay for 75 percent of ACORN's budget. But ACORN also needs 
financial support
from non-member allies, people who do not live in neighborhoods 
with ACORN
chapters but who support the work ACORN is doing. For more 
information, link
to
http://www.acorn.org/donate.htm or contact Steve Kest at
natexdirect at acorn.org or (718) 246-7900.

LINK TO PAST POSTINGS TO THIS LIST AT
http://www.acorn.org/acorn10/pastpostings/index.htm.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform 
Now, is the
nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-
income
families, with over 100,000 member families organized into 500 
neighborhood
chapters in 40 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has 
taken action
and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Our 
priorities
include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living 
wages
for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from 
banks and
governments, and better public schools. We achieve these goals by 
building
community organizations that have the power to win changes -- 
through direct
action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation.

Please forward this message in order to build this list.

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David Swanson, communications coordinator ACORN, the 
Association of
Community Organizations for Reform Now 739 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 547-2500 p
(202) 546-2483 f
acornnews at acorn.org
http://www.acorn.org
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