ACORN ENDORSES ANDREW CUOMO FOR
ACORN Executive Director Bertha Lewis Praises Cuomo for Record of Results
Fighting for Fair Housing and Fighting Against Predatory Lenders
NEW YORK, NY (May 29, 2006) – Today, New York State Attorney General
candidate Andrew Cuomo won the endorsement of ACORN (Association of
Community Organizations for Reform Now). Bertha Lewis, ACORN's
Executive Director, praised Cuomo for his outstanding record of
results fighting for fair housing and fighting against predatory
"Andrew Cuomo is ideally suited to be New York's Attorney General,"
said Bertha Lewis, Executive Director of ACORN. "Under Andrew's
leadership, HUD brought thousands of legal enforcement actions on
behalf of people against banks, insurance companies, landlords and
hate groups. Whether it's taking on predatory lenders, unscrupulous
landlords, the KKK, the gun lobby or other special interests, Andrew
has fought for working families like no other candidate in this race.
He is dedicated to leveling the playing field for all of us and will
be the strongest voice for all New Yorkers."
Upon receiving ACORN's endorsement Andrew Cuomo said, "Today is a
terrific day for our campaign. I am honored to have the support of
ACORN and my good friend, Bertha Lewis, who has been an inspiration to
me and a fighter for so many families here in New York. As Attorney
General, I will fight to even the score for all New Yorkers. I will
fight to root out waste and fraud in our failing Medicaid system. I
will stand up to powerful institutions on behalf of people—from oil
companies, to corporate polluters, to the gun lobby and special
interests that put profits ahead of people. "
Andrew Cuomo's Record Fighting for Fair Housing
As HUD Secretary, Cuomo dramatically increased the agency's
enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. Under his leadership, HUD
brought more than 2,000 enforcement actions on behalf of victims of
housing discrimination—more than doubling the number of actions in the
previous four years. Among these actions include the following:
• Buffalo, NY: Cuomo filed charges on behalf of an Italian immigrant
landlord who received phone calls threatening violence if she rented
one of her properties to African American or Latino renters. The
perpetrators were sent to jail.
• Long Island, NY: Cuomo filed charges against a landlord on Long
Island who had evicted a grandmother because she sometimes cared for
her biracial grandson in her apartment.
• Riverside County, CA: Under Cuomo, HUD won a historic $21 million
housing discrimination settlement on behalf of Latino migrant workers
living in mobile homes who had been targeted for eviction. Riverside
County in California agreed to pay a $21 million to improve housing
conditions for farm workers in California's Coachella Valley, with
$750,000 in relief to the 24 families targeted.
• Boston, MA: Cuomo filed charges against the Boston Housing
Authority (BHA) for failing to protect nine minority families (6
black, 3 Hispanic), including 25 children, in the Bunker Hill and Old
Colony public housing developments for "pervasive racial and ethnic
harassment" over the course of the four previous years. A HUD audit
resulted in 53 recommendations to reform the BHA. By June 2000, the
BHA had implemented the majority of the proposals and had transformed
Andrew Cuomo's Record Fighting Against Predatory Lending
As HUD Secretary, Cuomo fought against predatory lending, (abusive
mortgage lending practices most often characterized by excessive fees,
and high pressure sales tactics,) to protect consumers and others by
exposing the nationwide problem. The Fair Housing Act extends to
discrimination in mortgage lending and Cuomo enforced it vigorously.
Through the first federal Task Force on Predatory Lending, Cuomo
worked with the Department of Treasury to tackle the problem through
new enforcement legislation and regulatory reform.
In New York City, HUD cracked down on fraud and abuse affecting as
many as 20,000 families in neighborhoods targeted by unscrupulous