Madeline Talbott

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Template:TOCnestleft Madeline Talbott was the head organizer for Illinois ACORN and has been a field organizer, lead organizer and head organizer in many ACORN cities across the country. In 2000, she celebrated her 25th year as an organizer with ACORN.[1]

She spent 37 years working with ACORN and Action Now, mostly in Chicago. In retirement, she is organizing her own neighbors on climate change, racial justice, and electoral politics.

She is the wife of Keith Kelleher.


Madeline Talbott, is a long time leader of Illinois ACORN.

Chicago New Party

Madeline Talbott of ACORN was one of the key early organizers of the Chicago New Party.

She wrote a progress report on August 12 1992 which detailed meetings with Joe Gardner, Jackie Grimshaw (Deputy City Treasurer), Jim Pena (Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal), lawyer Paul Strauss, Frank Rosen (Labor Party Advocates), Connie Hall (IVI - IPO), Greg LeRoy and Lisa Oppenheim, (both Midwest Center for Labor Research). All were supportive.

She was also looking forward to meeting Ron Sable and Dan Swinney and reported that in May Dan Cantor held a New Party fund raising meeting in the Chicago home of Quentin Young, "with half a dozen good people present".[2]

New Party builder

Madeline Talbott, ACORN, was described as a New Party builder, by Joel Rogers, in a Kris Penniston interview in Forward Motion, December 1992.

Project Vote! Chicago Coalition

As of May 11, 1992, Madeline Talbott had attended the founding meeting of Project Vote! Chicago Coalition, but had not been asked to fully commit until the next meeting.[3]

Progressive Chicago

Progressive Chicago was founded in 1993 by members of the New Party, in particular Madeline Talbott and Dan Swinney.

In an April 27, 1993 letter to prospective Progressive Chicago members, Dan Swinney wrote;

I recently have become interested in the New Party as well as committed myself to see if we can build a Progressive Chicago network, working with Madeline Talbott of ACORN - the local New Party convener.
I wanted to introduce you to the NP andProgressive Chicago and would like to talk to you about it to see if there is a role you want to play.
Enclosed is a brochure, a longer description of the NP and the ideas behind it...

In late 1993 Progressive Chicago letters were always signed by 17 people;[4]



  2. Madeline Talbott, Chicago NP report August 12, 1992
  3. PVCC letterhead May 11, 1992
  4. Progressive Chicago letterheads November 5 and December 31, 1993