- President of ACORN since 1990
- Opposed any limits to the Community Reinvestment Act
- Although professing to be 'non-partisan', she continually condemns Republicans and lauds Democrats
- Demanded that part of the September 2008 $700 billion bailout go towards various social and economic "justice" provisions
Maude Hurd is the current President of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the largest radical group in America, with more than 400,000 dues-paying member families and over 1,200 chapters in 110 U.S. cities.
Hurd began her career with ACORN following a chance 1982 meeting with an ACORN organizer at her doorstep in Boston, Massachusetts. Hurd expressed her dissatisfaction over the fact that large amounts of trash had been mounting in some nearby vacant lots, and that no local government agency had taken the initiative to clean it up. The ACORN representative asked if Hurd would be willing to voice her grievances at the organization’s next meeting. Hurd did so, and soon thereafter she was appointed chairwoman of ACORN’s Boston chapter. She helped lead a subsequent demonstration at City Hall, where ACORN members brought, as visual aids, large bags of trash they had collected from the sites in question. Hurd secured an appointment with the city’s mayor, and before long the garbage was removed from the vacant lots.
For the next seven years, Hurd filled various leadership roles for ACORN. In 1990 she was elected President of the organization.
In March 1995 Hurd led a protest at the U.S. Capitol, demanding the right to testify against proposed legislation designed to limit the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). First put in place in 1977 by the Jimmy Carter administration and reinforced in the 1990s by the Bill Clinton administration, CRA is a federal law mandating that money-lenders maximize -- in the names of racial and economic justice -- the number of loans they make to undercapitalized and nonwhite borrowers who do not meet traditional lending criteria (in terms of income, net worth, assets, debt load, etc.).
In the November 1999 issue of the National Housing Institute journal, Hurd proudly trumpeted the weighty role ACORN was playing in the fight to require that banks abide by CRA rules:
"ACORN's agreements with banks, like those of other community-based groups, provide loan counseling services to low- and moderate-income families to help them resolve any past credit problems and get on individualized financial plans toward homeownership. Using more flexible underwriting standards, reasonable interest rates, and lower down payments, these partnerships have opened homeownership opportunities to a whole new group of Americans who are not served under banks' standard application processes."
When Hurd's efforts ultimately proved to be successful, she and ACORN took “credit for saving the CRA.”
But in the long term, the lending practices mandated by CRA would prove to be disastrous. Because CRA caused U.S. banks to make innumerable bad loans that ultimately ended in default, it paved the way to the 2008 collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America's two largest underwriters of home mortgages.
Though ACORN professes to be a politically “non-partisan” organization, Hurd has consistently and publicly condemned Republican presidential administrations. “ACORN members don’t expect much from the [George W.] Bush administration,” Hurd wrote in 2001, “but for an organization that got its start during the Nixon years, and thrived through the Ford, Reagan, and Bush Sr. years, dealing with Republicans is nothing new.”
In the March/April 2001 issue of the National Housing Institute journal, Hurd enumerated a number of national campaign issues that she felt could, in future elections, “deliver victories [for Democrats] and change the political climate.” These included the promotion of "living wage" legislation and continued adherence to CRA guidelines. Hurd suggested that under the banner of initiatives such as these, Democrats and social justice organizations could collaborate to provide a clear alternative to Republican leadership:
"These are campaigns that can create a majority politics, rooted in our communities but with broad appeal to the electorate. They should be used to push Democrats to ally themselves with progressive forces, drawing a clear distinction between a broad alliance of community organizations, unions, and progressive elected officials and the Republican Congress and administration. Most importantly, we need to use these campaigns to expand the whole base for progressive politics."
Notwithstanding the major role ACORN played in bringing about the mortgage crisis of 2008, Hurd lent her name to a September 24, 2008 statement demanding that a portion of the $700 billion “bailout bill” enacted by the federal government to preserve the solvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, be used instead to fund various social and economic "justice" provisions:
"Major public investment in new energy and conservation, rebuilding schools and infrastructure, extending unemployment and food stamps, helping states avoid crippling cuts in police and health services -- is vital to get the real economy moving and put people back to work. No bailout should proceed without being linked to support for a major public investment plan to get the economy going."
Fellow signers of the foregoing statement included: Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future; John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO; Andrew Stern, President of Service Employees International Union; Nan Aron, President of Alliance for Justice; John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund; Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth; John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies; and Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Insinuating that Republicans had manipulated the vote count in recent presidential elections, Hurd -- along with such notables as Barbara Ehrenreich, Kevin Martin, Leslie Cagan, Manning Marable, Medea Benjamin, Norman Solomon, Michael Lerner, Jesse Jackson, and Tom Hayden -- was a signatory to a 2008 statement titled “No More Stolen Elections! Pledge of Action.” This document read as follows:
“I remember Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, and I am willing to take action in 2008 if the election is stolen again. I support efforts to protect the right to vote leading up to and on Election Day, November 4th. I pledge to join nationwide pro-democracy protests starting on November 5th, either in my community, in key states where fraud occurred, or in Washington DC. I pledge: No More Stolen Elections!”
The statement further decried the “rigging and theft of elections,” explaining that "Americans are rightly concerned that history will repeat in 2008," and that "once again we will find ourselves ruled by a non-elected, dangerously powerful President."
By October 2008, ACORN itself was being investigated for mass voter-registration fraud in 14 states.
After scandal forced ACORN in 2010 to reconstitute itself as an alliance of local and regional organizations going by various different names, Hurd became the head of one of those groups -- New England United for Justice (NEUJ). In the fall of 2011, NEUJ participated in the “Take Back Boston” rallies which were affiliated ideologically with the Occupy Wall Street Movement.