ACORN Behind Push For Speed Traps
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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