NYC Mayor de Blasio to Be Honored by Ex-ACORN Chief's New Group

Thursday, 15 May 2014 12:18 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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New York City's liberal new Mayor Bill de Blasio will soon be celebrating the woman at the center of the ACORN controversy.

The New York Post reports that invitations have been sent out saying that the mayor will be the guests of honor at a fundraiser for Bertha Lewis' new group, The Black Institute. De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, will even be named the institute’s Couple of the Year during the Thursday night event.

"It’s a big deal for me. It’s a coup to have the mayor and Chirlane there. It’s The Black Institute’s coming-out party," Lewis told the paper.

The organization, which raised $139,000 in 2012, is hoping for a big influx of cash at the event to be held in its downtown New York City headquarters. It is requesting donations of up to $50,000. The first family's kids, Chiara and Dante, are also helping the woman they call "Auntie Bertha." The popular siblings will appear in web videos to talk about the "G" project, the institute’s initiative to help New Yorkers track their ancestry.

Lewis has known McCray for over 20 years, and she was a community organizer that helped the de Blasio campaign. She even served on the transition team when he took office.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, came under fire in 2009 and was disbanded in 2010 after receiving over $53 million in federal funds. The nonprofit was supposed to be involved in voter registration and advocacy for low- and moderate-income people. But activists filmed undercover video of ACORN officials advising them on how to hide prostitution activities and avoid taxes.

CEO Lewis said after she saw the tapes she had fired all the employees shown.


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