David Lagstein is a Southern California activist.
In a 2010 report from Congressman Darrell Issa's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, ACORN, formerly known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, never disappear from the political realm. Instead the political group continued to thrive, just under a new name.
"ACORN affiliates in various states are also changing their names in what has been described as, 'a desperate bid to ditch the tarnished name of their parent organization and restore federal grants and other revenue streams.' In California, ACORN is now the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (“ACCE”)," the report states.
"According to the agreement, ACCE has hired former ACORN employees, purchased the ACORN database of dues-paying members, and purchased a database with “e-mail contact information for approximately 16,202 potential contributors residing in California.”
If the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment sounds familiar, it should. They were one of the main backers of San Diego's new abandoned property ordinance.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) operates from of an office in downtown Chula Vista. David Lagstein, the former ACORN spokesperson is listed as executive director on a recent lobbying disclosure.
One week after the election, on November 14, ACCE scored a victory after lobbying San Diego city councilmembers to enact a foreclosure registry that forces banks to be accountable for upkeep of vacant properties in their possession. They were also behind efforts to pass the Responsible Banking Ordinance and the Property Value Protection Ordinance.
ACORN has had a storied past in San Diego. In 2009, James O'Keefe, dressed in a Halloween-costume pimp outfit, entered an ACORN office in National City along with his accomplice Hannah Giles, in full prostitute get-up.
The couple, armed with a hidden video camera, asked worker Juan Carlos Vera for advice on smuggling prostitutes across the border.
Months later during a stakeout of ACORN's offices, local GOP operative, and private investigator, Derrick Roach found thousands of pages of sensitive documents in ACORN's dumpster a few days after the group learned they were under investigation from the California Attorney General.