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Bill Kennedy of California Legal Services described the goals of "poverty law"--"We try to defeat the root causes of poverty; we lend the power of the law to people who need it," he said. But, "lawyers can't give people power--the only lasting effect we have is when people learn to empower themselves." He recounted a situation last year in which a Japanese absentee landlord gave 30-day eviction notices to hundreds of Sacramento families living on his property. Bill Kennedy wondered how California Legal Services would be able to handle the potential onslaught of litigation this unconscionable mass eviction would cause.

That's when ACORN became involved, and "there was a shift of power from a billionaire and his money to a group of well-organized people with justice on their side." ACORN got neighbors and families together and filed injunctions. ACORN was the plaintiff that fought for a 120 day relocation period instead of the initial 30 days. Now "ACORN is the base from which power and democracy are flowing!"























  A Union table: SEIU Local 1000 and SEIU Local 250.


  ACORN board member Alicia Gadis was thanked numerous times throughout the evening for her tireless contributions to the organization. Here she is introducing the Labor Leader of the Year, Arturo Rodriguez.


  Arturo Rodriguez and "The Two Alicias!", ACORN board members Alicia Gadis and Alicia Ramirez.


  Another Union table celebrating ACORN: The ILWU is the most well-represented here (5 members), but Local 250 is presente also. Bill Camp, (right) Executive Secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, raises a "Si, se puede" fist. Bill Camp has been an effective advocate for Sacramento's Labor and Social Justice movements for as long as anyone can remember.

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