ACORN Behind Push For Speed Traps

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

The left-wing activist group known as ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is behind a nationwide effort to hinder motorists with speed bumps, speed traps and other forms of “traffic calming.” According to a strategy memo obtained by Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.Com, the group took up smaller community issues such as traffic as a “quick hit campaign” to harass local government until it conceded to the group’s demands.

“Remember, most anything is possible, because it’s all a function of power,” the memo explained.

Because of the relatively low cost of speed bumps, cities generally gave in quickly.

“If we’re organizing to address speeding on one block, or basically want to treat this as a quick hit, then we can demand speed bumps for a block,” the memo explained. “Typically, we will have already beaten the crap out of the city on speeding for a while, so they will have set up a mechanism by which blocks can get speed bumps, based upon an annual allocation of funds per council district.”

The traffic demands were structured in a way that would provide concrete evidence of the group’s effectiveness to the public, allowing ACORN to boost its credibility in a neighborhood — and its dues-paying membership. Typical tactics used included handing out multilingual flyers and staging noisy protests in neighborhoods.

“Who are we? ACORN!” Greg Mastel shouted through a bullhorn at a 2006 protest in Omaha, Nebraska. “What do we want? Slower streets!”

Similar staged events helped ACORN member Veronica Dunn-Jones open a new branch office for the group in West Las Vegas, Nevada in 2004. Dunn-Jones harnessed the speed bump issue to gain media attention that helped her expand significantly.

In addition to speed bumps, the ACORN memo discusses adding unnecessary stop signs, compelling police to set up radar speed traps in neighborhoods and creating other “traffic calming” programs. The memo also explained how the group could use the same issue to harass private businesses.

“If you’re tired of beating up on the city for speedbumps… targeting auto dealers would make a lot of sense here,” the memo stated.

A copy of the memo obtained by BigGovernment.Com is available in a 25k PDF file at the source link below.

Basic Issue Development for Organizers (ACORN, 4/20/2003)


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  • RichardD RichardD on Dec 01, 2009

    Interesting how people "discover" the memo is from 2003, when it's clearly labeled as such. And the story includes examples from 2004 and 2006 to show that the memo continued to be implemented. Why 2003? Because ACORN dumped a bunch of its material in the trash to avoid investigation. Perhaps you have more recent internal strategy memos from ACORN? The item is part of a series of memos that show ACORN's focus is on membership-building. Frankly, that's not surprising. Check out some of the other ones (which are not car related) and you'll see that the story above captured exactly what the group was doing.

  • 70 Chevelle SS454 70 Chevelle SS454 on Dec 07, 2009

    I saw ACORN/SEIU in operation in Philly in 2004. My personal favorite was the large ACORN guy who punched a 19 year old girl in the face while blocking the entrance to her building. (She wasn't even a campaign worker, just a girl trying to get to a different office in a large building.) Although, sending out "Republicans Against Bush" was classy, as well. I have absolutely no problem believing anything anyone says about ACORN. Having seen them in action, I can vouch for the fact that they are nothing but thugs.

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