Tacoma News Tribune: Political action group ACORN meets to gain support for stimulus allocations

Tacoma News Tribune - January 09, 2009
Posted by C.R. Roberts @ 04:07:00 pm

At a Thursday afternoon rally sponsored by the Tacoma branch of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN – a rally attended by a dozen or so people, including those who spoke – the word went out to Governor Chris Gregoire and President-elect Barack Obama that the upcoming stimulus program should benefit the more troubled among us.

Following the meeting, Tacoma ACORN President Brenda Leichsenring said she was surprised that so few people attended. “I expected quite a bit more,” she said.

For those who did not attend, she said, “I would like them to know we need to stand together. People who live in these neighborhoods are in bad shape. We want the governor to now that whatever kind of stimulus packlage gets passed needs to target low- and medium-income people.”

She said job creation is critical in the coming months, and that the the funds allocated for Pierce County should go to increased unemployment benefits, more food stamps and “part of it to help families who are in foreclosure” by allocating funds to “community organizations like ACORN who would be able to have staff so we would be able to help them negotiate with their mortgage companies.”

“We are here,” she said. “We are everyday people. We are working class, working poor. We want things to be done so that we can go out there and work.”

Tacoma ACORN, she said, comprises some 70 people, with the statewide organization counting some 5,000.

Speakers Thursday included representatives from Tacoma Teamsters Local 313, the American Federation of Teachers and Safe Streets. Pierce County Councilmember Tim Farrell also spoke, as did unemployed worker Brandon Winston.

At the end, Leichsenring announced an ACORN rally in Olympia on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 19.

For more information, call 253-572-4959.