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Filling a void: Maude Hurd's work on behalf of the poor is getting national attention.



Many of the issues Maude Hurd deals with as national president of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now “ACORN” redirects here. For the fruit of the oak tree, see Acorn.

“ACORN” redirects here. For the social classification, see ACORN (demographics).
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
 (ACORN) are things she had to face herself as a widow left to raise five children. Determined to get her family out of a run-down run·down  
n.
1. A point-by-point summary.

2. Baseball A play in which a runner is trapped between bases and is pursued by fielders attempting to make the tag.

adj. also run-down
1.
a.
 apartment, Hurd sued the Massachusetts Housing Authority and won enough money for a down payment on a house. Even then, she had to pretend to be a man to secure the mortgage loan.

Hurd's battles for low- and moderate-income citizens are making her a major player in local and national issues. "Maude has a folksy folk·sy  
adj. folk·si·er, folk·si·est Informal
1. Simple and unpretentious in behavior.

2. Characterized by informality and affability: a friendly, folksy town.

3.
, down-home disposition that masks a sharp and focused mind," says Rep. Joe Kennedy Joe Kennedy might refer to:
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (1888-1969), United States businessman and political figure, father of President John F. Kennedy
  • Joe Kennedy (baseball), baseball pitcher who plays for the Toronto Blue Jays.
 (D-Mass.), who has worked closely with Hurd on the Community Reinvestment Act Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

Enacted by Congress in 1977, the CRA encourages banks to help meet the credit needs of their communities for housing and other purposes, particularly in neighborhoods with low or moderate incomes, while maintaining safe and sound operations.
. "She's able to take these unbelievably complicated Washington-Beltway issues and translate them into dollars and cents for ordinary citizens."

ACORN is a nonprofit organization Nonprofit Organization

An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.

Notes:
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools.
 founded in 1970 by a group of Arkansas welfare mothers who wanted to gain control over their lives and communities. A national network of neighborhood groups that works on local issues affecting their cities and towns, from alternative schools to voter participation, ACORN has 32 offices across the country.

Hurd, 51, got involved with the group the way most people do--through someone knocking on the door. Her first reaction was to turn the organizer away, but she was intrigued that ACORN did not pretend to have all the answers to the problems that plague low-income communities. On the contrary, ACORN expects members to find their own solutions. At that time, Hurd's primary concern was Boston's many debris-filled vacant lots, especially the one next to her home. Calls to city officials hadn't yielded any results.

The ACORN rep asked Hurd to present the issue at the next meeting where, much to Hurd's surprise, she was asked to be chairperson chairperson Chairman The head of an academic department. See 'Chair.', Cf Chief. . Reluctant at first to participate, Hurd soon found herself involved in a protest at City Hall--where members had brought garbage from the lots after the letter-writing and telephone campaigns had failed.

"That was a radical move for me. I had never done anything like that, and I was scared," recalls Hurd. "I really didn't think I could do it." But she did. And not only did the group get an appointment with the mayor, it got those lots cleaned up as well. "I truly believe that with group and direct action you can accomplish a lot of things," says Hurd.

Since then she has been involved in all sorts of actions--Acornese for sit-ins, demonstrations, and negotiations--and has risen up the ranks of the organization from member to leader in various roles over the past 13 years. She's served as ACORN's national president for the past six years.

In March, when ACORN tried to testify To provide evidence as a witness, subject to an oath or affirmation, in order to establish a particular fact or set of facts.

Court rules require witnesses to testify about the facts they know that are relevant to the determination of the outcome of the case.
 before the House Banking Committee, Hurd and four other members were arrested by Capitol Hill police. The five were charged with disrupting Congress and are awaiting their trial date.

As frightening as her jail experience was, Hurd remains determined to stand up for the issues ACORN has focused on for the past 25 years. "Low- and moderate-income people have a problem being a player in anything," she says, "so ACORN aims to make a more level playing field See net neutrality. ."
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Title Annotation:national president of ACORN - Assn of Community Organizations for Reform Now
Author:Jones, Joyce
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Nov 1, 1995
Words:539
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