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Chris Jones presenting California Assemblymember Darrell Steinberg with the "People's Leader of the Year" award. Steinberg took advantage of the occasion to thank ACORN for its help in pushing AB 680, a "smart growth" bill he sponsored last year. He recalled asking Sacramento City Councilman Dave Jones "Who can I get to help me with this bill?" and hearing "ACORN!" as the answer. "I could not have gotten better help," Steinberg said. "Their intensive organizing and moral support were invaluable!"

AB680 created a system for sharing sales taxes among jurisdictions with varying tax bases. It's purpose was to promote "smart growth," and discourage city and county planning choices based solely on the kinds of development that would generate the most sales tax. Despite ACORN's help, AB 680 failed to pass in 2002, but a new bill, AB 1221 has been introduced by Assemblymember Steinberg. AB 1221 would give local governments a greater share of property taxes and would cut dependence on shopping malls and other developments whose only redeemable feature is the generation of sales tax.

Why would ACORN be helping with this? Their goal is "Community Reform Now" and that's what Assemblymember Steinberg's bills are about.



The ACORN event took place in early March, a stressful time for the state, the country and the world. Referring to a possible war and the state's huge budget deficit, Assemblymember Steinberg asked "Where's the hope?" and said that he found hope in kids and in adults--"regular people who step forward and organize themselves."

In closing, Steinberg referred to a remark ACORN's Chris Jones had made earlier in the evening, in which he referred to the distance ACORN members had travelled as they progressed to being a politically active and organized group, "privileged to rub elbows with important people." When he heard that, Steinberg thought, "I'm the one that's privileged to be rubbing elbows with you!"


  National ACORN and Living Wage Resource Center staff member Jen Kern, SEIU Local 250 Hospital Division staff member Morgan Gay, ACORN Sacramento Director Steve Meyers, and Sacramento City Councilmember and Living Wage Ordinance Sponsor Dave Jones.


  The two Alicias receiving an official commendation.


  Mina Dillon (ACORN Child Care Providers for Action) presenting an award of appreciation to Sue, ACORN staff member.


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