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update March 2016

Recently, there has been a new push for this 'landlord license' scheme at Toronto city hall. ACORN is, of course, right in there promoting it. Here is a short description of the proceedings, explaining what the landlord license is really about.

I was in conversation with someone about ACORN lately, over the landlord license. He made some relevant commets worth passing on.

I just noticed the May 11 one is at 7pm which tells me they want a lot of activists and people out.

Maybe it is to get apartment licensing?

When an ACORN person came to my door a few years ago she was promoting it and when I asked how would it benefit tenants she said it would provide a lot of funding for tenant activists. That was all I needed to know to never join for the $10 a month they wanted to automatically deduct from my credit card.

They seem to sell activism like Amway sells soap.

I won't be at city hall on May 11. I will be out of town. But I can try to write something up.

Updated DEC 2013

It is time I updated this file. ACORN Toronto has not been doing anything different in the past four years. It continues to be an ego trip and self made employment for a few people.

All its campaigns are intended to attract support and donations in the hope ACORN can deal with something which distresses people. But their campaigns never have any real solutions and have nowhere to go, because there is no analysis.

For example, the real problem with telecom fees is that he business was handed over to carpet baggers. We need to go back to having communications as a public utility. To take that on would require some real guts.

Pay day loan operations should all be just put out of business. People should be paid enough, and there should be contingent and emergency assistance available.

Toward that, raising the minimum wage will solve nothing and may make things worse. We no longer live in a world of "standard employment" at 40 hours a week. Some people only get 10 hours a week. What is an adequate wage for a single person would not be for someone with six dependents. Ever hear of something called Basic Income?

There have been these "community organizer" groups around since the 1950s, the days of Saul Alinsky. None of them have ever accomplished a thing. Trying to improve conditions in that way is like shouting into the wind.

What is needed is a serious political and economic reform at a high level of society. Even a national group like ACORN was will not accomplish that. These are, as I said, vehicles for somebody's personal agendas.

ACORN U.S. disappeared in 2010. It was under attack from the right wing. Some of the criticism was justified; it had become tied to the Democratic party. Worst of all, it helped in signing people up with these "liar mortgages" which triggered the economic collapse of 2008.

But just as important, the employees of ACORN became disillusioned with it. The founder, Wade rathke, hasd for some strange reason become quite wealthy and owned a couple of ranches.

Do not get involved with organizations like ACORN. Work with groups which are seeking a democratization of society.

  • ACORN; new nuts we don't need in Toronto

  • Calling the Question of ACORN | DMI Blog.pdf

  • ACORN runs off the rails

  • ACORN becomes a "distraction"

  • The new tenant fuckover committee; Feb 27, 2016

    ( This is an excerpt from a bigger article in my blog about some meetings I had attended, and the sterility of social activism in Toronto. )

    I attended one other political meeting last week that is also worth writing home about. This was the new 'tenant affairs' committee at city hall. Nothing much ever changes with Federation of Metro Tenants Associations (FMTA) and the shadowy forces behind them. They still have the same goals but never seem to achieve them.

    This year they again failed to get another half million a year out of the city. Actually they were after $600 000 this time. They have never forced Levitt to turn his web site over to them. They have never got me sleeping under a bridge as threatened.

    One long standing goal they may be about to achieve is the apartment license. What this is really about is a hidden tax on renters. As the boys from the Greater Toronto Apartment Association told the committee, there is nothing to be achieved by licensing landlords. The city already has all the power it needs to go after bad landlords if it had the will.

    They noted, and I noticed, that the five witnesses they brought forth were all from the same building. FMTA will adopt a troubled building when they need some tenants to put on a show for some committee. These will be dropped when no longer needed. Of course, most of the time tenants having bad landlord troubles will get an FMTA 'organizer' to show up at their building to pitch giving FMTA $15 each in membership. That is all they will get.

    Of course if they dare try to do something on their own they might get some further attention from FMTA. It will come in the form of working with their landlord to try to break up their tenant association if they have one, and get trouble tenants evicted. FMTA and the fake left political network it is embedded with are masters of intercepting and discrediting complaints about them.

    But FMTA no longer has a monopoly on the tenant pimp business in Toronto. Plenty of fresh faced bubble heads in ACORN t-shirts were there too. They were also lobbying for the landlord license, but ACORN has a different approach. They are powerful enough that FMTA does not try to attack them directly.

    I have no problem with the Greater Toronto Apartment Association. I do not take the Manichean approach that much of the left in Toronto does. GTAA are fairly sensible people. They were treated like shit by the committee chair, Josh Matlow. He rudely cut them off right at five minutes, when other presenters had been allowed to ramble on well over that limit.

    I made no 'deputation' but I came up to Matlow after the meeting and introduced myself. I do not know if he recognized my name or knew what I was about, but I got vigorously glad handed. His tone changed when I asked him how much the landlord license would be, and then whether it would be 'per tenant'? The answers were, he did not know, and it was one of the options being discussed. In the end he was flinching away from me, but that was what I needed to know.

    Of course, this is what the license is all about; a way of making the renters of Toronto pay the cost of regulating the rental housing industry in Toronto, and probably a lot more. There are about one million rental units in Toronto. An old dream of FMTA is to get money per month from every one of them. Imagine how much money would be raised from the less fortunate half of the population if they could get $10 a month from each door.

    If I have any time at all, I should see about making a 'pute about stopping this tenant tax. If...