Recently, ACORN International, which works in 12 countries across the world, has switched their name to "Community Organizations International
." Apparently, being investigated in 14 states for voter registration fraud and facing repeated accusations by ACORN board members of financial mismanagement will inevitably take its toll on an organization’s image. It will be interesting to see if ACORN as a whole takes on a new name as well.
Meanwhile, ACORN is taking legal action against the group of whistleblowers known as the ACORN 8
. This group of current and former members believes that ACORN "has been corrupted from its original purpose by senior management and an organizational structure that exploits the low and moderate income membership it was founded to serve." They are not looking for the complete dismantling of ACORN, but hope to restore the organization to its original and meaningful purpose through an independent audit and Congressional hearings.
Arthur Schwartz, the general counsel for ACORN, has sent a “cease and desist” letter to the group that would prohibit the "use of the name and mark 'ACORN' as well as the image of an acorn."
Clearly, ACORN does not like anyone criticizing their current operations and leadership. Marcel Reid, chair of ACORN 8, told the Washington Examiner
that her group "will not comply."
“We have no intention of not using the name ACORN 8, it is not a trademark infringement,” she said. “This get tough attitude is part of larger attempt to silence people and shut them down. We are not going to be silenced."
It will be interesting to see how this case plays out, but we should all be thankful that a group like this is holding ACORN accountable.