Many people first encountered ACORN when it became a piñata in the wingnuts’ last-ditch attempt to salvage something—anything—for their base during the 2008 elections. But since 1970, when the community organizing group was founded, the organization has accomplished a lengthy and impressive list of victories on behalf of low- and middle-income families. Among its achievements, ACORN has:
* Moved more than 2 million homes into ownership by low-income people in less than 20 years.
* Spearheaded the living wage movement that resulted in raising the hourly pay of some of the lowest-paid workers in more than 140 cities between 1996 and 2006 before going on to win statewide minimum wage increases in several states, such as Ohio, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona in the 2006 elections.
* Partnered with H&R Block to reduce predatory fees charged to low-income people who receive rapid anticipation loans, with one such fee reduction resulting in a savings of $200 million for tax filers.