Jon Kest is a former chief organizer for the local ACORN chapter in New Orleans, and also former director of New York ACORN. He is the younger brother of former ACORN National Executive Director, Steve Kest.
New Party founders
The first strategic meetings to plan the New Party were held in Joel Rogers' home in Madison Wisconsin in the very early 1990s. Present were Rogers' wife Sarah Siskind, Dan Cantor, ACORN leaders , Wade Rathke ,Zach Polett , Steve Kest and Jon Kest , Steve Cobble from the Institute for Policy Studies (in an advisory role), Sandy Morales Pope (for the first 18 months), Harriet Barlow and Barbara Dudley.
The very first meeting included Gerry Hudson from Democratic Socialists of America and SEIU and Gary Delgado, plus labor activists Sam Pizzigati and Tony Mazocchi. Anthony Thigpenn of Los Angeles was also approached, but though supportive did not wish to play a leadership role.
Center for Working Families
Working Families Party
- Jon Kest, who runs day-to-day operations for ACORN is the WFP secretary.
- Bertha Lewis, a WFP co-chair and the executive director of ACORN’s New York offices.
- Bob Master, who serves as party co-chair and the political director of the Communications Workers of America.
- Mike McGuire, resigned as WFP treasurer in August 2009.
- Dorothy Siegel, replacement Treasurer. Siegel is the chair of the Working Families Party South Brooklyn Club and is already the treasurer of the Working Families Organization, one of the many additional affiliates of the WFP. Siegel is employed at the Institute for Education and Social Policy at New York University.
- Sam Williams.
In 2009 Non-voting assistant secretaries were;
WFP spokesman is Dan Levitan.
New York Communities for Change
- Jon Kest, executive director
- Fitzroy Searles
- Scott Levenson, spokesman
- Jonathan Westin, organizing director
- Jean Sassine, board member
Occupy the Boardroom
The Occupy the Boardroom website (http://www.occupytheboardroom.org/) is registered to Jon Kest. The website makes the following statement and calls upon individuals to write to high-profile businessmen and bankers, complaining to them:
- "Make your voice heard by the Wall Street elites who wrecked the economy and made the rest of us pay. Click on someone below and tell them a story that you think they should listen to. Just got a college degree and nothing to show for it? Just got evicted while your banker gets bonuses? Share your special story with someone who ought to know."
- Spoiling for a fight: third-party politics in America By Micah L. Sifry, page 347
- Fox News: EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Playing Behind Scenes Role in 'Occupy' Movement, Oct. 26, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 27, 2011)
- Left Forum: Panels (accessed on March 8, 2011)
- Fox News: ACORN Officials Scramble, Firing Workers and Shredding Documents, After Exposed as Players Behind Occupy Wall Street Protests, Nov. 3, 2011 (accessed on Nov. 10, 2011)
- Occupy the Boardroom website (accessed on Oct. 27, 2011)