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John Atlas
John Atlas is a longtime public-interest lawyer, activist, writer, and radio talk-show host. He is a founder and president of the New Jersey-based National Housing Institute, a think tank that publishes Shelterforce magazine. He is author of the new book SEEDS OF CHANGE.The Story of Acorn, America's Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Group.
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Entries by John Atlas

Working With Grassroots Organizing Groups, Ras Baraka, Newark's Mayor-Elect, Takes Steps To Help Homeowners.

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 6:59 PM

Newark's mayor-elect Ras Baraka has taken a bold step to address one of the city's and nation's most serious crises.

On May 20th, Baraka persuaded his city council colleagues to adopt a resolution that will help an estimated one thousand homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. It would give the...

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New Allies and a Comic Book to Help Fight Wage Theft

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Millions of workers, over 40 percent of low-wage workers in the United States--are routinely cheated, victims of wage theft.

Last week the New York Times reported on an antitrust lawsuit pitting 64,613 software engineers against Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe. The Time's editorial board labeled...

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Financial Justice: The People's Campaign to Stop Lender Abuse by Larry Kirsch and Robert N. Mayer

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 2:37 PM

"Financial Justice" (2013, Praeger-ABC/CLIO) is the untold story of how a diverse group of progressive organizations took on the powerful financial lobby, pushed Congress to create a strong new consumer protection agency (The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and against the odds, and won. Keys to the victory were Elizabeth Warren...

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Memoirs and Lessons From Junius Williams, a Giant of the Civil Rights Movement

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 7:57 AM

Thirty one years before U.S. Senator Cory Booker moved to Newark, Junius Williams, another dynamic, African-American Yale Law School graduate moved to the same city, with ambitions much like Booker's. He would fight the party bosses, make big changes, and run for mayor. Both men had success, but their paths...

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Save NJ From Christie's Bad Policies

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 5:11 PM

Feb. 25; Trenton, New Jersey

This afternoon, Governor Christie finished his 5th budget address to the NJ Legislature and once again has demonstrated he’s a hard-line anti-working people conservative in the same mold as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He's more interested in shoring up his right wing base than helping...

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The Real Chris Christie Scandal

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 11:04 AM

During last fall's New Jersey gubernatorial contest, which Gov. Chris Christie used as a rehearsal for a 2016 presidential bid, the media were so mesmerized by his outsize personality that they paid little attention to his track record as governor. Contrary to his carefully-crafted image, Christie has not been a...

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How to Defeat Chris Christie

(10) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 12:33 PM

Most pundits predict Gov. Chris Christie will win re-election by a landslide. But they have not factored in the election's sleeping giant: a ballot measure to raise the state's minimum wage.

If progressives and Democrats want to defeat Christie, their best bet is to focus resources on targeting "infrequent"...

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Milly Silva Should Help Progressives to Unite and Defeat Christie

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Gov. Chris Christie has become a national media celebrity, but here in NJ he's vulnerable to defeat in November if progressives can unite and focus voter attention on the issues.

Yesterday when Barbara Buono announced Milly Silva, the Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU, as her choice for lieutenant governor,...

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New GOP Budget Bill Would Defund the Defunct ACORN. This Could Be Good News for Progressives

(2) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 3:55 PM

After the sequester cut teaching jobs, Head Start spots, senior food programs, and access to nutrition assistance for over half a million women and their families, the GOP revealed its brand new short-term budget bill for 2013. Buried on page 221 is a curious clause banning federal funding...

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Blocking the Vote: It's Time to Apply the ACORN Rule and Defund the GOP

(137) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 8:47 AM

The New York Times today called for a thorough federal investigation of the consulting firm, Strategic Allied Consulting run by Nathan Sproul, a well-known Republican campaign operative and former executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. Sproul shares a Virginia headquarters' address with American Crossroads - the super...

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Memo to Barack Obama and Social Justice Activists: New Book Explains Why Movements Need Insiders and Outsiders

(2) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 5:36 PM

What would have happened if, when Occupy Wall Streeters had taken over Zuccotti Square
and the OWS leaders went beyond direct action and pressured Obama to support their cause with specific demands?

If the president, acting in the tradition of courageous presidents like...

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Christie's Agenda Is Bad for New Jersey. NJPP Has a Solution

(1) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 12:13 PM

Is it possible to reverse Chris Christie's agenda of borrowing money to pay for tax cuts for the rich, while doing nothing to lower the state's high unemployment rate? A New Jersey policy group thinks it can be done.


Soon after Jon...

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Why Campbell Brown Attacked Planned Parenthood in the Times

(30) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 10:30 AM

Campbell Brown, the former CNN and NBC News anchor, in Sunday's New York Times, called Planned Parenthood's behavior self-destructive because its purity test for political candidates means it will only back those who agree with 100% of its agenda.

To many readers her argument seems so sensible, but...

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NPR Execs Withdraw Their Resignations (A Fantasy About Liberals With Backbone)

(2) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 9:39 PM

Until now, the Obama administration, the New York Times, and Congressional Democrats failed to criticize the right wing media for their serious violations of ethics, good taste, and truth-telling. But apparently the attack on National Public Radio, inspired by the stance of NPR's top executives, was the straw that finally...

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(68) Comments | Posted December 13, 2010 | 11:18 AM

With progressives demoralized by November's election and Obama's retreat on the Bush tax cuts, a group of activists are fighting back against the Glenn Becks, Andrew Breitbarts and the rest of the Fox News propaganda machine. Last week a new watchdog group,, launched a campaign...

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ACORN Closes Its Last Door, Filing for Bankruptcy

(45) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 12:20 AM

As the Tea and the Republican Party activists were gearing up for their election day campaigns, including plans to intimidate Democratic leaning voters from casting ballots, ACORN, responsible for registering millions of young, minority, and working class voters, closed its last door, ending its 40-year run as arguably...

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Missing From the NPR/Juan Williams Debate: "The ACORN Deal"

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2010 | 5:06 PM

A raging debate has ensued around whether NPR correctly fired Juan Williams because his remarks were inconsistent with its editorial standards. Some say Williams undermined his credibility as a news analyst. Others accuse NPR of bungling its response and stifling free speech. What's been missing in the debate over his...

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Fake ACORN Pimp O'Keefe Tries to Seduce CNN Reporter

(10) Comments | Posted September 30, 2010 | 11:27 AM

James O'Keefe, the conservative activist known for manipulating the mainstream media by making undercover videos that helped destroy the progressive community group ACORN, plotted to humiliate CNN and its investigative journalist Abby Boudreau.

He planned to record a meeting using hidden cameras aboard a floating "palace of...

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How ACORN Helped Save New Orleans for Katrina Survivors

(25) Comments | Posted August 30, 2010 | 4:58 PM

A week after Katrina hit New Orleans, Federal Government officials and private relief organizations were still discussing how to send aid to the area. ACORN, which had been organizing low-income and working class residents in the city since the 1978, had already moved into action.

Banks were giving their...

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Federal Appeals Court Reverses Court Decision That Barred Congress from cutting ACORN's Funds

(81) Comments | Posted August 15, 2010 | 1:15 PM

Despite a slew of independent investigations exonerating ACORN of misdeeds, on Friday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned federal court Judge Nina Gershon's decision that cutting off ACORN's funding punished ACORN without a trial. Gershon had ordered the United States government to restore ACORN's funds.

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