ACORN 8 Group remains committed to ACORN name and initiatives

Posted on July 5, 2010


Even as it considered dropping its tarnished name last year, ACORN threatened a whistleblower group composed of former board members with a trademark lawsuit.

Community activists who had held high-ranking ACORN positions have continued, however, to operate under the banner of ACORN 8, which is named for the eight board members who were blocked from investigating an embezzlement scandal.

The whistleblower group remains committed to the ACORN name and the community initiatives outlined in the organization’s mission statement, even as national and state affiliates rebrand themselves.

But it was just more than a year ago that the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now issued an ultimatum demanding that the whistleblower group “cease and desist” in its use of the ACORN name in a letter dated June 11, 2009.

The letter, which has not been previously disclosed, was recently obtained by The Washington Times

“It is a violation of federal and state law for you to use the ACORN name and mark without the written permission of ACORN,” Arthur Schwartz, the ACORN attorney, wrote in his letter addressed to former board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid. “Should you continue to do so, you will be liable for monetary damages and injunctive relief.”

The letter set a compliance deadline of June 30, 2009, that was ignored and never enforced. Nevertheless, the fact that ACORN was already working to disassociate itself from its damaged brand name suggests that the letter’s stated ultimatum was merely an act of intimidation aimed at silencing whistleblowers.

On April 1 this year, ACORN’s leadership announced that it was dissolving its national network, but former insiders have suggested that the much-publicized proclamation was duplicitous and intentionally misleading.

“Always note the date, April 1,” Ms. Reid, the ACORN 8 chairwoman, said in an interview. “ACORN is not dissolving. It may be morphing, but it is still is in business and it is still in a position to receive funding, although it may be done under different names.”


From article: ACORN 8 board refuses to fall far from tarnished group’s name by Kevin Mooney