COLUMBUS, Ohio - July 8 - More than 2,500 members of ACORN, the nation's largest grassroots community group, rolled into Columbus Saturday to kick off their 2006 National Convention under the banner "Raising our States" from July 8-10 on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
-- Speakers at the 2006 Convention include Sen. Hillary R. Clinton, Sen. John Edwards, and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.
-- A Sunday evening banquet at the Columbus Convention Center (off campus) will feature special guests the Rev. Al Sharpton and Roseanne Barr.
-- On Monday, July 10, delegates will march and rally in support of an increase in the minimum wage at the Ohio State Capitol.
-- Delegates are participating in workshops, and hearing special presentations about post-Katrina organizing, minimum wage campaigns, and immigration reform, and volunteer to help promote Ohio's minimum wage ballot initiative.
Ohio ACORN is part of a coalition effort to raise the state's minimum wage to $6.85 an hour through a ballot initiative this year. ACORN is working to raise the minimum wage across the country, including ballot initiatives in Arizona, Missouri, Colorado and Ohio.
"ACORN members work hard every day, all around the country to improve their communities,'' said Maude Hurd, ACORN's National President. "Today, over2,500 of these dedicated community leaders are here to learn from each other, and to work to win a fair wage for people in Ohio and across the country.''The public can log on to live webcasts of the plenary sessions Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. (EST) by linking through http://www.acorn.org.
Members arrived Saturday and to participate in workshops and a pre-convention "speak-out". The first plenary session begins on Sunday, July 9 at 8:30 a.m. Guest speakers include Chris Redfern, chairman, of Ohio Democratic Party and Sweeney. Edwards is scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, preceded by Sen. C.J. Prentiss, Democratic leader of the Ohio State Senate.
Sen. Clinton will speak at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
ACORN will end its convention Monday with a Minimum Wage Rally to the State Capitol. The march begins at 10:30 a.m. at the southern end of Goodale Park on High Street and proceeds to the Ohio Statehouse West Plaza.