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Behold ACORN’s ‘Communist Manifesto’

As a public service here is a copy of ACORN’s so-called People’s Platform, via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

As is noted below, this platform was updated in 1990 in Chicago, which was just two years before Mr. Obama began to work for the organization via Project Vote and as a trainer for their “power” seminars./p>

ACORN People’s Platform

The People’s Platform was conceived at ACORN’s 1978 Memphis Convention and ratified at the 1979 St. Louis Convention. In 1990, in celebration of ACORN’s twentieth anniversary, ACORN members around the country met in order to revise and update the platform. The resulting document was approved by the Executive Committee of the Association board and ratified by acclamation at the 1990 Chicago Convention.


We stand for a People’s Platform, as old as our country, and as young as our dreams. We come before our nation, not to petition with hat in hand, but to rise as one people and demand.

We have waited and watched. We have hoped and helped. We have sweated and suffered. We have often believed. We have frequently followed.

But we have nothing to show for the work of our hand, the tax of our labor. Our patience has been abused; our experience misused. Our silence has been seen as support. Our struggle has been ignored.

Enough is enough. We will wait no longer for the crumbs at America’s door. We will not be meek, but mighty. We will not starve on past promises, but feast on future dreams.

We are an uncommon people. We are the majority, forged from all minorities. We are the masses of many, not the forces of few. We will continue our fight until the American way is just one way, until we have shared the wealth, until we have won our freedom.

This is not a simple vision, but a detailed plan.

Our plan is to build an American reality from the American rhetoric, to deliver a piece of the present and the fruits of the future to every man, to every woman, to every family.

We demand our birthright: the chance to be rich, the right to be free.

Our riches shall be the blooming of our communities, the bounty of a sure livelihood, the beauty of homes for our families with sickness driven from the door, the benefit of our taxes rather than their burden, and the best of our energy, land, and natural resources for all people.

Our freedom is the force of democracy, not the farce of federal fat and personal profit. In our freedom, only the people shall rule. Corporations shall have their role; producing jobs, providing products, paying taxes. No more, no less. They shall obey our wishes, respond to our needs, serve our communities. Our country shall be the citizens’ wealth and our wealth shall build our country.

Government shall have its role: public servant to our good, fast follower to our sure steps. No more, no less. Our government shall shout with the public voice and no longer to a private whisper. In our government, the common concerns shall be the collective cause.

We represent a people’s platform, not a politician’s promise.

We demand the changes outlined in our platform and plan. We will work to win. We will have our birthright. We will live in richness and freedom. We will live in one country as one people.


  1. Put the people before profits at the utilities
    • Restructure utility rates by:
      1. Ending all discount rates for large commercial and industrial users.
      2. Introducing Lifeline utility rates for small users.
    • Ban all utility shut-offs during the winter months and require all utilities to offer partial-payment arrangements, in conjunction with arrears forgiveness, in lieu of shut-offs.
    • Reform the utility “rate base” concept
      1. Removing the cost of new plants from the rate base until these plants are fully operational.
      2. Prohibiting the pass through of political and charitable contributions to the rate base.
      3. Forcing the utilities and shareholders individually to absorb the cost of accidents rather than passing them on to their customers.
      4. Ending the manipulation of income tax laws which allow the utilities to pass along the cost of taxes they don’t actually pay.
      5. Prohibiting utilities from automatically passing along increased fuel costs without public review.
      6. Prohibiting utilities from including the cost of advertising and the cost of presenting their rate cases in rates.
      7. Prohibiting allocation of costs attributable to business and enhanced services to the rate base.
    • Promote the formation of new publicly owned utilities as a “yardstick” and control on investor owned utilities.
    • Require that the boards of public power agencies be controlled by a consumer majority rather then by representative of the private utilities.
  2. Promote conservation & guarantee safety
    • Institute a program of direct grants, financed by the utilities, for weatherization, solar installation, and other energy-saving home improvements.
    • Give local communities veto power over energy development project over $1 million in investment to file an “investment impact statement,” to include, specifically, project impact on low-income communities, describing how it intends to compensate the community for the short and long term impact of development.
    • Halt the construction of nuclear power plants until:
      1. All safety issues have been satisfactorily resolved.
      2. The current legal limitation on liability claims by victims of nuclear accidents has been removed.
      3. The nuclear power industry and its shareholders individually have assumed responsibility for the safe disposal of nuclear waste and has agreed to pay for any ill effects caused by these wastes.
    • Halt government support of programs and activities in nuclear energy , and substitute programs and research into alternate sources of energy.
    • Include shut-down costs in preliminary cost estimates for proposed nuclear power plants.
    • Charge the federal government with financing the development of renewable energy sources.
    • Increase federal funds for mass transit by converting the “highway trust fund” into a mass transit fund.
    • Designate rationing as the only fair way to allocate scarce energy supplies if and when a genuine shortage of energy develops, with such rationing to be managed by local boards as was done during World War II.

  3. Break the grip of the big energy companies.
    • Establish new public energy corporations, among them:
      1. An energy development corporation to develop and market renewable sources of energy.
      2. A public oil and gas corporation which has the right and preference to develop oil and gas reserves on federally owned land.
    • Prevent any single corporation or conglomerate from owning major interest in more than one of the following resources: oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, and coal; or more than one of the following categories: source, refinery, shipping, or outlet.
    • Establish and/or maintain price controls for gasoline, heating oil, propane, and natural gas.
    • Tax the windfall profits of all a major energy corporations, and return all excess deferred taxes to consumers.

Health Care

Health care must be:

  • Affordable.
  • Accessible.
  • Of equal quality for all.
  • Controlled by the people of the community, not by doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

To achieve this:

  1. Introduce a set of immediate reforms in the present health care system.

    • At hospitals:
      1. Prohibit hospitals from turning away any patient who needs medical care.
      2. Give low and moderate income members of the community a proportional share of seats on the governing boards of all hospitals.
      3. Force hospitals to concentrate on providing basic quality care instead of wasting huge sums on showcase buildings and technological gadgets.
      4. Enforce federal legislation that requires uniform minimum standards of operation for nursing homes.

    • In the medical professions:
      1. Require doctors – whose education is subsidized by the federal government – to work for three years in an area where there is a shortage of personnel.
      2. Prosecute local chapters of the American Medical Association if they continue to fix prices for doctors’ services.
      3. Permit doctors and dentists to advertise prices and require price posting.
      4. Prohibit doctors and dentists from refusing Medicaid and Medicare patients, and from billing more than Medicaid and Medicare recommended prices for the services they provide.
      5. Place members of the community on all medical licensing boards.

    • At the health insurance companies:
      1. Throw doctors and hospital administrators off the boards of directors, and replace them with a low and moderate income majority.
      2. Require insurance companies to control hospital costs and medical fees rather than passing them on to their customers.
      3. Prohibit discrimination by health insurance companies on the basis of race, sex, geography, income, age, or health status.
      4. Provide all women with the services of midwives without the constraints and restrictions of the medical profession. Require all third party reimbursement to provide direct payment to certified nurse midwives.

    • In the government:
      1. Reform Medicaid and Medicare by:
        • Raising income and assets limits for eligibility and removing the spend- down requirement.
        • Financing in-home care for the elderly as an alternative to nursing home care.
        • Including dental care and other preventative treatment in all Medicaid and Medicare plans.
        • Allowing Medicare and Medicaid recipients unlimited nursing home care.
        • Providing direct competitive payments to non-physician health care providers.
      2. Charge state governments with setting maximum prices for basic hospital and medical services.
      3. Require proportional representation of low and moderate income people on all health planning boards.
      4. Require generic substitution options and price postings of subscription drugs.
      5. Require the federal government to provide for the health care needs of recent immigrants.

  2. Create a national health care system, along the following lines:
    • All medical costs are covered, by a combination of insurance, health maintenance organizations, free public health service. and sliding scale payments based on income.
    • The system is progressively financed.
    • The system is controlled by democratically elected community-based committees.
    • There is a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week medical care / emergency room available in every neighborhood, based in neighborhood clinics. The clinics provide all types of basic care, including ob/gyn, pediatrics, and preventative care, as well as the following types of services.
      1. House calls.
      2. 24 Hour telephone service.
      3. Ambulance service.
      4. A mini-bus to bring neighborhood residents to the clinic.
      5. Mobile paramedics.
    • Doctors are on set salaries.
    • Medical education is financed by the government, in exchange for which doctors are required to serve in the public health service for a period of at least ten years.
    • Special emphasis is placed on preventive health care with free universal care and more adequate research on the most important facets of preventive medicine, including dental care, chiropractic, nutrition, prenatal care and vaccination.
    • Special emphasis is placed on maintaining a healthy environment, with the public health service responsible for strict enforcement of standards on: environmental quality, occupational health and safety, sanitation, foods, and drugs.


  1. Create more housing for low and moderate income people.
    • Set a goal of a million new units of federally subsidized housing per year, including:
      1. Subsidized home purchase loans.
      2. Home rehabilitation loans and grants.
      3. Rental rehabilitation and rental subsidy.
      4. Public housing.
      5. Emergency public housing for displaced people.
    • Establish and expand “urban homesteading” programs which would immediately confiscate abandoned properties and turn them over at a nominal cost to low and moderate income persons who wish to live in them.
    • “Inclusionary zoning”: require housing developments to include low and moderate income housing as a condition for receiving zoning and subdivision approval.
    • Cut off Community Development Block Grant funds to communities that don’t accept their fair share of low and moderate income housing.
    • Terminate sale of publicly owned residential property to speculators and investors: require all publicly owned residential assets to be sold only to resident owners or nonprofits who will use public properties for low income housing.
    • Create a “community housing corps” to put unemployed community residents to work providing housing in their own communities.
    • Restrict eligibility by income for these and other federal and state housing programs until the needs of low and moderate income people have been met.
    • Repeal mortgage interest and property tax deductions: establish mortgage interest tax credits only for low and moderate income households. Use revenue gained from repealed property tax deductions for low income housing development.
    • Permanently extend the low income housing tax credit and ensure that tax credits build permanently affordable low income housing.
    • Reform the income discriminatory underwriting practices of the secondary market: Require the Federal National Mortgage Corporation, and the Government National Mortgage Association to match underwriting standards to borrower income levels.
    • Require builders of upper income housing to contribute to low-income housing construction, so that at least one third of all new housing units are for low and moderate income people.

  2. Prevent the displacement of low and moderate income people from their homes
    • Require that any project which is subsidized or aided in any way by federal, state, or local government obtain replacement value for every person it displaces.
    • Establish a special confiscatory tax on income acquired from speculation in real property.
    • Ban insurance redlining, and guarantee that comprehensive homeowner’s insurance is available at reasonable cost to all homeowners.
    • Provide property tax relief for low and moderate income homeowners and renters, in the form of circuit breakers, homestead exemptions, or tax deferrals.
    • End foreclosure:
      1. Initiate an immediate moratorium on all foreclosures, and establish community based committees to mediate between mortgages and mortgagers.
      2. Establish a federal mortgage forbearance program that would offer financial relief to any household unable to meet mortgage payments for reasons beyond their control.
    • Place legal restrictions on the conversion of low and moderate income rental housing into condominiums.
    • Require that tenants receive advance notice of the sale of the home or apartment they occupy, and give them first opportunity to purchase it.
    • Require that government-sponsored housing rehabilitation projects:
      1. Offer rents within the budgets of low and moderate income families.
      2. Give first priority to neighborhood residents.

  3. Provide protection for tenants
    • Outlaw displacement of low and moderate income tenants in privately owned, federally subsidized rental housing; permanently extend the moratorium on prepayment of assisted rental housing projects and provide permanent extensions of all rental assistance certificates.
    • Enact a national rental housing standards act which would establish minimum standards for the upkeep and management of rental property.
    • Reform landlord-tenant law to:
      1. Give tenants equal rights under the law.
      2. Prohibit eviction of tenants for organizing activities.
      3. Require landlords to negotiate with tenants when a majority have signed on with a tenants union.
      4. Give tenants the right to withhold rent and apply it to repairs when the landlord fails to meet basic standards of habitability.
    • Establish special boards or housing courts to mediate disputes between landlords and tenants.
    • Enact rent control statues in communities where a shortage of housing has allowed landlords to charge excessive rents.
    • Prohibit direct vendor payments of rent in public assistance programs.

  4. Clean up public housing
    • Require public housing to be “scatter-site” rather than concentrated in low-income areas.
    • Give tenants greater say in the management of housing projects, and require projects managers to live in projects.
    • Install 24-hour security guard protection at all public housing projects.

Work and Worker’s Rights

Every person who wants to work has a right to a job – a job which pays a living wage and offers opportunities for advancement. Those who cannot work – the elderly, the disabled, single parents with small children – should receive enough income to afford them the basic necessities and allow them to live with dignity.

  1. Charge private industry with job creation and job training
    • Require companies which reap a large profit to hire and train the unemployed.
    • Require companies which receive contracts from the government to hire and train the unemployed, and — if they are engaged in projects in low and moderate income communities — to hire first from the community.
    • Require companies which make workers “obsolete” through technological change and automation to retrain these workers in new, employable skills at company expense.
    • Require private industry to use the technology which creates the most jobs and uses natural resources most efficiently.

  2. Charge government and big business with the final responsibility for full employment
    • Create a national youth entitlement program which guarantees a part time job and skill training to any youth who remains in school.
    • Establish a community job corps in every low income neighborhood.
    • Require all government funded job projects based in local communities to give preference in hiring to residents of those communities.
    • Mandate that all government funded job training be in trades which currently offer opportunities for employment, and are likely to offer employment opportunities in five years as well.
    • Ensure that public employment isn’t “make-work” in character; mobilize youth and the unemployed to do the work that needs to be done in America, such as rehabilitating housing, repairing the railroads, providing public transportation for the elderly, cleaning up the environment, dispensing health care as a paramedic, and providing day care for the children of working parents.

  3. Provide an adequate income to every American
    • Guarantee a minimum annual family income at a figure equivalent to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics “medium living standard,” adjusted for inflation.
    • Extend minimum wage coverage to all wage earners and peg increases in it to the cost of living.
    • Reform public benefits programs (social security, welfare, disability, etc.) by:
      1. Allowing more outside earnings as an incentive to work.
      2. Preventing increased income payments from being erased by automatic increases in public housing , Medicare premiums, and food stamp payments.
      3. Providing automatic increases pegged to the cost of living.
      4. Establish minimum standards applicable throughout the nation.
    • Make pensions transferable from job to job.
    • Establish national standards for disability under workman’s compensation.
    • Base unemployment payments on the size of the unemployed worker’s family.

  4. Establish the fundamental rights of workers, to include:
    • The right to a job which does not endanger health or safety.
    • The right to a job which is accessible from home.
    • The right to a job which does not require overtime work as a condition of employment.
    • The right to company or government financed child care for the worker’s children.
    • The right to a fair grievance procedure.
    • Most fundamentally, the right to organize, which is to be promoted by:
      1. Extending the National Labor Relations Act coverage to all workers.
      2. Streamlining the union election and certification process.
      3. Restricting the use of anti-strike injunction by courts.
      4. Providing stiff penalties-back wages times five-for employers who fire or demote workers for their organizing activities.
    • The right to company or government financed health insurance.

  5. Reform the National Labor Relations Act

    For workers:

    • Permit
      1. sympathy strikes
      2. secondary boycotts
      3. picketing to support sympathy strikes and secondary boycotts.
    • Permit automatic union certification when a majority of a bargaining unit has signed authorization cards.
    • Permit workers to refuse to handle “Struck work”.
    • Permit striking workers to receive unemployment compensation, welfare, and food stamps.

    For management:

    • Prohibit the hiring of temporary replacements to fund anti-union campaigns.
    • Prohibit all lockouts.
    • Regulate management consultation.
    • Regulate management consultants:
      1. Require consultants to file financial disclosure forms with state labor departments.
      2. Prohibit the use of tax dollars to fund anti-union campaigns.
    • Prohibit employers from forcing workers to listen to anti-union campaigns.
    • Require management to negotiate over what the National Labor Relations Board now calls “permissive subjects”: Sale of the company, work schedules, pricing, choice of suppliers, organization of management, etc.
    • Prohibit the use of bankruptcy as a tool to throw out valid collective bargaining agreements.

  6. Guarantee Women’s Rights
    • Women should receive equal pay for comparable work.
    • Punish sexual harassment with:
      1. Immediate dismissal for individuals found guilty of sexual harassment.
      2. Heavy fines and mandatory corrective action for companies found guilty of tolerating a pervasive pattern of sexual harassment.
    • Require companies to compensate women workers who must take time off to recover from severe harassment-e.g. assault, or rape.

  7. Protect Families
    • Both men and women should receive paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
    • Require employers to offer flexible work schedules and full pay to workers who must care for relatives.

  8. Protect All Workers
    • Part-time and temporary workers should receive proportionately the same benefits as full-time workers.
    • Workers in unorganized work sites should be able to join unions, and receive the benefits of union membership.
    • All workers whether public or private, in small or large numbers, should have the legal right to:
      1. Organize;
      2. Bargain Collectively;
      3. Strike when necessary;

      and these rights should be under the full protection of the law.

Rural Issues

  1. Preserve the family farm
    • Restrict agricultural tax breaks to family farmers only
    • Redesign the agricultural price support programs to weight them in favor of small and medium-sized farms, and to enable farmers to earn a parity of income with non-farm wage earners in this country’s median income bracket.
    • Enforce provisions of the 1902 Federal Reclamation Act which limit the amount of federally irrigated land a single person or farm corporation can own.
    • Protect family farmers from crippling property tax burdens through mechanisms such as circuit breakers, land trusts, and agricultural tax districts.
    • Shelter small family farms from the full brunt of inheritance taxes by granting deferrals or partial exemptions to the heirs as long as they continue to work the farm.
    • Set up public land pools through which states can acquire abandoned, foreclosed, or tax delinquent farm property and lease it or sell it at below the market price to families entering or re-entering farming.
    • Establish special credit programs offering “Lifeline interest rates” for purchase of land and equipment by families entering or re-entering farming.
    • Create a “Family farm extension service” to provide research and technical assistance to small farmers, using retired farmers as extension agents.
    • Levy a punitive tax on short-term speculation in agricultural land.
    • Ensure that the farm land in the Farmer’s Home Administration and Farm Credit Service inventories is made available to foreclosed owners, and families entering or re-entering farming at below market prices.

  2. Break monopoly control of the food industry
    • Prohibit investor-owned, non-farm corporations from owning agricultural land.
    • Use anti-trust action to break up the monopoly control of agricultural marketing and commodity storage by the large “middlemen” corporations, and empower federal and state grand juries to investigate monopoly influence in the food and farm industries.
    • Use the small farm extension service to set up a network of country/city (farmer/consumer) marketing co-operatives for farm products, and offer publicly-owned land to open-air markets which sell farm products at wholesale prices.
    • Allow associations of farmers to bargain collectively with purchasers of agricultural products.

  3. Guarantee a fair share for rural America
    • Upgrade essential public services for rural communities, such as: health care, education, low and moderate income housing.
    • Nationalize the railroad beds and call a halt to the abandonment of rural track.
    • Give small cities and rural communities their fair share of Community Development Block Grant funds.
    • Extend the National Labor Relations Act to farm workers.
    • Prevent rural America from being exploited as an energy colony, a dumping ground for hazardous waste, and a playground for speculators, developers, and tax evaders by giving rural communities full control over their own future development.

Community Development

  1. Clean up the Community Development Block Grant program.
    • Allocate 100% of all CDBG funds to projects which directly benefit low and moderate income people.
    • Ban the use funds for downtown commercial projects until the basic needs of low and moderate income neighborhoods are met.
    • Give democratically elected neighborhoods the power to make decisions on how CDBG funds are spent within the neighborhood, and give elected representatives of these boards the power to determine how CDBG funds are allocated over the city as a whole.

  2. Support community-based economic development
    • “Get it in writing”: eliminate business incentives (tax abatements , bond issues, etc.) as they now operate and instead encourage contract arrangements between private industry and the community; the business receives the incentive only if it meets the goals set by the community in the contract.
    • Such contracts must be:
      1. Approved by a Contracts Review Board with a low and moderate income majority.
      2. Subject to public hearings.
      3. Offered preferentially to small, community-based enterprises.
    • Use the funds saved by the elimination of business incentive to provide credit and management assistance to community-based enterprises, such as:
      1. Small businesses.
      2. Non-Profit enterprises.
      3. Cooperatives.
      4. Worker-owned businesses.
    • Require any enterprise receiving assistance from the government to hire from the community, invest profits in community, and remain in the community.

  3. Control the effect of private development on the community
    • Require every major new private development in the community- residential, commercial, or industrial-to file a community impact statement with the community board describing in detail the potential impact of the development on the community-costs and benefits.
    • Force new developments to “pay their own way” by requiring developers to finance any community improvements (streets, sewers, schools) which are needed because of the effect of development.
    • Restrict new development in areas which do not have the natural resources to support it.
    • Require large companies which desire to leave the community to:
      1. Submit advance notification to the community board.
      2. Show cause as to why it is necessary to leave.
      3. Obtain an exit visa from the community board signifying that the company has adequately compensated all its employees, and the community at large for losses due to relocation.
      4. Pay Back any incentive previously granted to it by the community.

  4. Make public services serve the community
    • Guarantee every community, whether it be a rural township or an urban neighborhood, close access to certain basic facilities:
      1. An elementary school.
      2. A branch library.
      3. A 24-hour emergency health clinic.
      4. A community meeting house.
      5. Recreation facilities.
      6. Public transportation to city center or county seat.
    • Public Transportation

      1. Charter financial institutions to serve credit needs of the community
        • Ban redlining, and require banks to set aside an appropriate portion of their funds to meet the credit needs of low and moderate income people, small business, family farmers, and non-profit, community-based enterprises.
        • Grant bank charters for periods of five years only, with renewals based on the bank’s performance in meeting its obligations to the community.
        • Give local communities the power to grant and revoke operating charters for bank operations within their boundaries.
        • Require the presence of low and moderate income people on all financial regulatory oversight boards, in proportion to their presence in the population at large.
        • Prohibit banks that make small loans from lending money to consumer loan companies and from owning consumer loan companies.
        • Strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA):
          • Congress should require that all financial regulatory agencies have enforcement divisions.
          • Make the proceedings of the enforcement divisions open to the public.
          • Require financial institutions to regularly publish HMDA data in local newspapers, in a form readily understood by the general public.
        • Require insurance companies, and other corporations with enormous cash reserves, to reinvest in the low income communities from which they draw money, improve and enlarge the stock of low and moderate income housing, and establish access to health care for low and moderate income people.

      2. Give low and moderate income people genuine access to credit and other banking services.
        • Set maximum interest rates for all forms of credit.
        • Establish an affordable “Lifeline rate” for housing credit for low and moderate income people.
        • Require State banking commissions to publish a comparative survey of interest rates offered by banks within the state.
        • Outlaw discrimination by age, race, or sex in the provision of loans.
        • Require banks to make a special effort to advertise the services they make available to low and moderate income people, particularly in the areas of housing and education loans and deposit services.
        • Remove existing barriers to the establishment of community development credit unions and other cooperative banking enterprises, and mobilize federal and state banking agencies to provide start-up funds and technical assistance for these enterprises.
        • Take control of employee pension funds out of the hands of bank trust departments, and put control in the hands of their true owners: the beneficiaries of the funds.
        • Require banks and savings institutions holding property tax and other tax payments to pay interest at savings account rates to depositors.
        • Require all banks to cash government welfare, Social Security and Veterans Administration checks.
        • Establish inflation indexed savings certificates, so small savers can protect their savings from inflation in absolute safety.

      3. Use public money for public benefit
        • Establish a stricter rating and enforcement system for the community investment record of banks, and require that local, state, and federal funds be deposited only in the banks which maintain the highest ratings.
        • Establish new public banks to meet essential needs, such as low-income housing rehabilitation, community economic development, and farm credit, and use public employee pension funds, public university endowments, public deposits, and other untapped sources of public funds to provide operating capital for these public banks.
        • Require that the financial institutions receiving taxpayer assistance act as public banks.


      With tax reform, we can easily afford the People’s Platform and provide relief to hard-pressed low and moderate income taxpayers.

      1. Tax the wealth of America
        • Tax intangible property at the same rate as real and personal property.
        • Increase and expand state and local severance taxes on the exploitation of natural resources and earmark the revenues for the development of new energy sources and the preservation of the natural environment.
        • Establish “split-roll” property tax systems which tax income-producing commercial property, luxury property, and large individual holdings at higher rates than ordinary residential property.
        • Tax windfall profits reaped by corporations operating in the four basic areas: housing, health, food, and energy.

      2. Close the loopholes and simplify the tax system
        • Eliminate all income tax shelters, exemptions and allowances which offer wealthy individuals and corporations unfair advantages over low and moderate income working people.
        • Tax all luxury items.
        • Tax capital gains and other unearned income at the same rate as earned income.
        • Eliminate property tax abatements, incentives, and exemptions which allow industries and developers to manipulate local governments to their own profit and the taxpayer’s loss.
        • Crack down on tax delinquent corporations and wealthy individuals by assessing interest on property tax delinquencies of over $5,000.

      3. Remove taxation from the basic necessities of life, and from the basic income necessary to live
        • Exempt food, medicine, and clothing from sales taxes.
        • Exempt utility fuels (i.e. fuel oil and natural gas) used for residential consumption from sales taxes.
        • Establish circuit breakers and homestead exemptions to protect low and moderate income homesteaders and renters from paying a disproportionate amount of their income in property tax.
        • Index income tax schedules to prevent inflated wages from pushing wage earners into higher tax brackets while their real income remains constant.

      4. Base taxes solely on the ability to pay
        • Replace the regressive payroll tax for social security with a progressive graduated tax.
        • Replace the many local and state flat rate taxes with progressive graduated income taxes.
        • Provide circuit breakers and other forms of property tax relief for small businesses and family farms.


      The effects of irresponsible environmental policy are felt most directly by low and moderate income people, who often live near government and industrial waste sites. These communities suffer high rates of birth defects, cancer, and other diseases.

      1. Stop the poisoning of our neighborhoods
        • Establish procedures to ensure that government and industry clean up the over 30,000 existing hazardous waste sites for which they are responsible in the United States, and that accident sites are monitored by community- based boards.
        • Require producers of toxic wastes to sign binding agreements with community groups and local governments to reduce or eliminate the toxic wastes they put in our air, water, food, and soil.
        • Establish a system of heavy fines for waste disposal companies that break the law, and bar repeat offenders from doing business.
        • Establish community control over setting safety standards, permit approval, and emergency evacuation plans.

      2. Reform and expand “Right to Know”
        • Make “Right to Know,” the legislation that establishes the public’s right to be informed about hazardous chemicals used and released in local communities, more accessible to the public by:
          1. Using community-based organizations as clearing houses;
          2. Requiring that the presence of hazardous wastes in a community be announced with periodic flyers;
          3. Making public, and widely announced, the routes taken by all hazardous materials transport.
        • Include the government and the military under “Right to Know” restrictions and stipulations, in order to allow residents of communities near government and military installations to act on the dangers posed to their health and safety by hazardous waste.

      Neighborhood Safety

      The major contemporary threats to the safety of low-income neighborhoods are the invasion of rape and the devastation of drugs. Effective law enforcement will incorporate community crime control measures.


      Rape is epidemic in the United States, and victimizes low and moderate income women most severely; it can be fought on many levels.

      1. Reform and expand criminal justice efforts to prevent sexual assault.
        • Increase police patrols of low and moderate income neighborhoods. These patrols should be specially trained to explain safety precautions to women and children.
        • Local police departments should establish special crime units.
        • Institute criminal justice procedures that encourage speedy trials in rape cases, mandate long jail terms for convicted rapists, and provide counseling for sex offenders.
        • Have local law enforcement agencies distribute warning flyers whenever a rape or assault occurs in a neighborhood.

      2. Promote innovative health care efforts to treat victims of sexual assault.
        • Hospital procedures should guarantee that victims are treated with dignity, that their medical needs are met, and that hospital staff reliably collect evidence of crime.
        • Incorporate treatment of sex offenders into medical, psychiatric, and psychological training.

      3. Extend prevention into the classroom
        • Require schools to establish in-school and community based rape education programs that dispel myths about rape and foster attitudes and values that will reduce the incidence of rape.

      4. Situate prevention in the community
        • Establish funding for a national network of community based rape crisis centers, to coordinate at the local level:
          1. Victim Advocacy programs to protect victims’ rights and monitor the quality of assistance victims receive from police and medical personnel.
          2. Self defense classes for women in low income neighborhoods.
          3. Neighborhood clean-ups to eliminate dangerous places where rapes can occur – like overgrown lots and abandoned houses – and to ensure upkeep of existing services, like streetlights, that contribute to neighborhood safety.


      Provide treatment on demand to any addict who wants it.

      1. Provide human services adequate to the problem
        • Ensure that no existing human services programs are cut or curtailed in order to pay for drug and alcohol treatment programs. Cut defense spending to pay for drug treatment programs.
        • Incorporate drug education into health curricula of all public schools.
        • Establish centers where addicted mothers and infants can recover together.
        • Increase funding of foster care programs, and establish special training programs for foster parents who must care for children born to addicted mothers.
        • Re-open inner city hospitals that have been closed.

      2. Increase criminal justice efforts
        • Use the seized financial assets as well as the income generated from the sale of confiscated property of drug offenders-at the federal, state and municipal levels- to establish drug treatment centers and to rebuild low- income communities by fighting the underlying causes of drug abuse: inadequate housing and job opportunities; no health care. Establish community control over this source of funds.
        • Establish a special United States Narcotics Court to deal with the increased load of drug prosecutions.
        • Money Laundering:
          1. Hold bankers accountable for their key role in the drug trade. Impose stiff prison sentences on bankers that knowingly tolerate the laundering of drug money.
          2. Make it a criminal offense for a financial institution to knowingly conduct business with parties using aliases or assumed names.
          3. Stop the laundering of drug profits by other means by regulating all check cashing stores on a federal level: require them to register with the Treasury Department, to submit their financial records to federal scrutiny, and to display a federal sticker or seal in the window of their place of business to indicate compliance.
        • Ban the manufacture, importation, sale and possession of assault and semi-automatic weapons.

      Community Crime Control

      • Increase the number of foot patrols; require that 80% of all federal law enforcement grants be spent on neighborhood crime control.
      • Establish community dispute resolution councils to adjudicate neighborhood disputes, small claims, and minor criminal offenses.
      • Allow persons convicted of minor criminal offenses to do community work as compensation, in place of a fine.

      Civil Rights

      Civil rights policies and enforcement programs must specifically target the needs and aspirations of low-income people. A comprehensive civil rights program will transform housing, law enforcement, education, health care, jobs and family policy.

      1. Enforce the law
        • Require that the civil rights enforcement agencies devote special attention to the concerns of low and moderate income people.
        • Restore the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to its position as lead enforcer of civil rights law.
        • The federal government should increase its investigations of civil rights violations
        • The civil rights enforcement agencies should develop management systems that ensure timely resolution of individual civil rights complaints.
        • Affirmative goals and timetable should be feature among the mix of remedies used to resolve discrimination cases.
        • Impose stiff fines for businesses that fail to comply with civil rights laws, and impose fines and jail sentences on those officials as well.

      2. The President should be a forceful advocate
        • The president should appoint greater numbers of minorities and women with strong civil rights records to Executive departments and the federal judiciary.
        • Require all Presidential appointees to submit systematic civil rights enforcement plans for their respective departments within 90 days of assuming office.

      3. Keep the public informed
        • Restore the capacity of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to collect and publish information adequate to enforce the law.
        • Include violence stemming from racial, religious, sexual and ethnic prejudice in the National Uniform Crime Report Index.


      The right to communicate is fundamental. The increasing concentration of ownership in communication industries ensures that, unless positive steps are taken, the concerns of low and moderate income people will continue to be ignored.

      1. Make it possible for low and moderate income community groups to have their own sources of information
        • Initiate government funding to low and moderate income community groups in order to assist them in establishing their own sources of information.
        • Exempt government funding to low and moderate income community groups in order to assist them in establishing their own sources of information.
        • The Federal Communication Commission should revise its policies so that broadcast applicants with low and moderate income boards of directors are more likely to be awarded stations.

      2. Make the mainstream media accessible and accountable to low and moderate income people.
        • Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting, so that grass roots community groups have equal time to express their views.
        • Require cable TV companies to make good on their promises to allow community groups access to air time, or revoke their operating licenses.


      Public schools are most effective in educating students when they are run democratically by the community, when they are adequately funded, and when they serve the community’s interest.

      1. Make parents an integral part of local schools
        • Individual elementary and high schools should be controlled by local school councils, consisting of members elected separately by parents, community, residents, teachers, staff, and students, with the principal automatically a non-voting member.
        • The local school councils should have influence over curricula, and be empowered to approve or disapprove
          • renewal of the principals’ contract;
          • non-personnel budget items.

      2. Equalize funding
        • Funding for all schools should be set so schools in affluent areas do not receive more funding than schools in low and moderate income areas.
        • Extra funding should be available for schools with high proportions of students with special needs.
        • Funding for schools should be adequate to provide support or services children are unable to receive at home.
        • Funding should be for schools, not individuals, and no federal money should be used for vouchers or a voucher system.

      3. School curricula should meet students’ needs
        • School curricula should stress basic skills.
        • Schools should acknowledge the cultural and language backgrounds of their students by including courses that study those backgrounds in core curricula.

      4. The school should be part of the community
        • School should be available for community needs, like adult education.
        • Local business communities should be encouraged to be involved in schools.
        • High school students should receive job training that is linked to specific employment upon graduation.


    1. More democracy … in the neighborhood
      • Establish democratically elected neighborhood boards with jurisdiction over all public investment, major private development, and zoning matters within the neighborhood.
      • Allow appeal from the decision of neighborhood boards by popular vote of the neighborhood (neighborhood referendum).

    2. More democracy … in elections
      • Institute automatic voter registration
      • Take the money out of politics by:
        1. Establishing public financing of campaigns.
        2. Setting maximum spending figures for candidates.
        3. Requiring strict disclosure of all campaign contributions.
        4. Prohibiting corporations from contributing any type of local, state, or federal election, including general election, primary, initiative, recall, and referendum.
      • Eliminate filing fees for elections.
      • Require that public officials be elected from the smallest practicable units – that is, from wards rather than at-large, from single-member districts rather than multi-member districts, etc.

    3. More democracy … in government
      • Require recall, referendum, and initiative provisions at all levels of government.
      • Require that low and moderate income people be proportionately represented in all major political institutions, including: the Cabinet, the judiciary, the regulatory boards, and the national party conventions.
      • Select the members of government regulatory boards by direct popular election.
      • Require government offices to be open on evenings and Saturdays so that working people have access to them.
      • Limit the salaries of public officials to no more than the average income of their districts.
      • Compensate citizens who serve on public boards and commissions, testify at utility hearings, or represent the public in other ways for their time and expenses-as with jury duty.

    4. More democracy … in big business
      • Require all corporations of over $10 million in assets to include worker- representative and low and moderate income members of the community on their corporate boards.
      • Expand the organizing and collective representation rights of workers, farmers, tenants, consumers, and communities in their confrontation with business corporations.

In case you want to know what Barack Obama’s brave new world will look like — this is it.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Behold ACORN’s ‘Communist Manifesto’”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    This “communist manifesto” is filled with references to “low and moderate income members of the community;” so the basic goal of ACORN is to replace highly skilled, highly educated specialist with uneducated, poor blacks from the inner city. Because we all know if “Joe the plumber” wanted to sit on a hospital board, or work at a nuclear plant, or serve in a Cabinet he would be disqualified for being the upper middle class. Heaven forbid somebody gets rewarded for working.

  2. thetimeisright says:

    The preamble of this said it all. We the intercity or Urban aera,s We want all the hard working people of the United States to work harder for me because, Iam to lazy to do so for myself an family. An i want a better job without doing the school work to get there.

  3. Steve says:

    Does this sound familiar:

    Use public money for public benefit

    * Establish a stricter rating and enforcement system for the community investment record of banks, and require that local, state, and federal funds be deposited only in the banks which maintain the highest ratings.
    * Establish new public banks to meet essential needs, such as low-income housing rehabilitation, community economic development, and farm credit, and use public employee pension funds, public university endowments, public deposits, and other untapped sources of public funds to provide operating capital for these public banks.
    * Require that the financial institutions receiving taxpayer assistance act as public banks.

    If you seek their monument, look around.

  4. Steve says:

    And how about this:

    Make the mainstream media accessible and accountable to low and moderate income people.

    * Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting, so that grass roots community groups have equal time to express their views.

    Why should this be such a high priority?

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Could that be the sound of JackBoots I hear coming?
    Only low and moderate income women are stigmatized by rape? Will only low and moderate Americans be stigmatize when the OBAMAJIHAD rape the American people; men, women and children?
    Ask yourself this….What is the first thing that is taken over when a nation is attacked? The Media! Our media has set sail into the commie red sunset and they are a happy lot!

  6. Consilience says:

    I firmly believe that obama will finish the ruin of our Republic—-started by Jimmy Carter with the CRA, and furthered by George W Bush and this ridiculous “bailout”. The federal gov’t is broken beyond repair—at least by this cast of characters. States will have to fix this—declaring their sovereignty.

  7. 64dodger says:

    Thank you Karl Marx.

  8. MrBob says:

    I need to go take a shower after reading this.

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