Jeff Ordower

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Jeff Ordower

Jeff a Missouri activist.


Ordower is a longtime labor and community organizer. Shortly after moving to New York for college in 1987, he came out of the closet and became active in his school’s LGBT student group, which engaged in a range of creative direct actions and won policy changes. Jeff began his professional organizing career as a graduate of the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and was a union organizer for SEIU in Texas. After a brief escape to the rainforest to learn Spanish, he began organizing for ACORN, where he was a Head Organizer in Houston, Philadelphia and Connecticut before becoming Midwest Director in 2003. Always interested in intersectional work, Ordower was one of a group of founders of the Chicago based organization Gender Just, which merged queer, class and racial justice.

When ACORN was destroyed in 2009, he stayed in his hometown of St. Louis to help found Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), which works on climate and economic justice work. Ordower has also worked nationally on anti-Wall Street fights with Occupy Homes and the Home Defenders League, and is a member of the National Collective of Rising Tide North America, which engages in non-violent direct action, targeting the root cause of climate change, especially global finance capital. Currently, in addition to working with MORE, Ordower is welcoming co-conspirators in attempts to scale up numbers of radical organizers who can financially support themselves in the work.[1]

"Cap the Rate and Raise the Wage!"


Progress Missouri May 6, 2012 · ·

This is what democracy looks like! More than 350,000 signatures submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State to Cap the Rate and Raise the Wage!

Did you and your friends sign the petitions? Tag the photo here! — with Frank Kovarik, Bob Minor, Derek Wetherell, Charlie Edelen IV, Eric Meyer, Montague Simmons, Joseph Anthony, Richard Von Glahn, Jim Kottmeyer, Jeff Ordower, Trista Soendker Nicholson, Caitlyn Adams, Cathy Sherwin, Matthew Patterson, Alexandra Townsend, Alyssa Soendker, Lara Granich, Mary Clemons, Wayne Brekhus, Robin Acree, James Powell, Julie Terbrock, Bradley Harmon, Aaron Burnett, Reese Erick Forbes, Jonathan Byrd, Amy Smoucha, Jimmy Lappe, David Martino, Lenny Jones, Mary Still, Eva Kathleen Schulte, Kim Clark, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Nancy Cross, Jeff Mazur, Dick Wilson, Brendan Smith, Roy Temple, Sarah Wood Martin, Adam J. Shriver, Phil Snider, A.J. Bockelman, Tianna Soendker and Shannon Duffy.

Health Care for America Now (HCan)

As of Sept 2009 Jeff Ordower was Kansas state contact [2]for Health Care for America Now, representing ACORN.

Americans for Financial Reform

In 2010 Jeff Ordower was Missouri State Director for Americans for Financial Reform.


In 2010 Jeff Ordower from MORE and a contact at Veterans for Peace.

"The 99% Spring"

Individuals and organizations supporting The 99% Spring, as of April 20, 2012, included Jeff Ordower - MORE .[3]

MORE protest

Six members of a group protesting what they called a bank's slow pace on processing a loan modification for a St. Louis couple were arrested for trespassing December 20, 2010. About 80 people gathered on the sidewalk outside the 7800 Forsyth Boulevard branch of Bank of America at noon and began singing and chanting at bank employees, said Clayton Police Capt. Stephen Grenier. Grenier said the group had been warned by police at the start that the bank did not want them on the premises and were told to stay on the sidewalk. About an hour later, six of the protesters locked arms and began climbing the steps to the bank entrance. They were warned to turn back but refused, telling police they wanted to be arrested, Grenier said. The six were then arrested, charged and released on the misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. "People were clear that they wanted to go to jail for this, absolutely," said Jeff Ordower, a protest organizer and member of the group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, known as MORE. He said the six chose to go into the bank after officials there failed to make good on a promise to have someone familiar with the modification request talk to the group. MORE, which advocates for groups and individuals on such issues as discrimination, affordable housing and better public services, has held about a dozen similar protests at banks on behalf of families going through unfair foreclosures or poorly handled loan modifications, Ordower said.[4]

Ear to the Ground Project

Ear to the Ground Project;

We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:

Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Jeff Ordower was among those on the list. [5]

Bank rally

Derek Laney, Michael McPhearson, and Jeff Ordower (from left to right)

March 2015, bbout a dozen protesters called on the Fed to focus on unemployment, especially among minorities, rather than on keeping inflation rates low. They said if the Federal Open Market Committee raises the interest rate this year, as anticipated, it would likely mean fewer jobs.

"We’re calling on the Fed to do the right thing by most people, because the people they’re helping by changing the policy is a very small minority people and a very influential and affluent group of people," said Derek Laney of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment.

Jeff Ordower and Michael McPhearson were also involved.

The protest was one of several held at Federal Reserve Banks around the country to highlight a new report by the Center for Popular Democracy and the Economic Policy Institute. The report calls on the Fed to focus on “full unemployment,” and highlights disparities between white and minority unemployment levels.[6]

SURJ Leadership team

The Leadership Team (LT) is the programmatic and decision-making body of SURJ. This team is responsible for making decisions about the ongoing development, broad programmatic vision and fiscal oversight of SURJ.

Showing Up for Racial Justice leadership team, as of 2015;[7]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those invited, on Facebook included Jeff Ordower.[8]


  1. HuffPo bio
  3. THE 99% Spring, Who are we/ accessed April 20, 2012
  4. [, December 20, 2010, Six protesters arrested outside Clayton bank BY NANCY CAMBRIA]
  5. Ear to the Ground, About, accessed Nov. 12, 2015
  6. [ St Louis Public radio, Protest calls for Fed to focus on employment. Would that help? By MARIA ALTMAN • MAR 5, 2015]
  7. SURJ people
  8. FB Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing Went 109