"Economic justice has long been the core goal of community organizing. In the past decade, often below the radar screen of national politics, effective movements have emerged within neighborhoods and, more importantly, at the regional level. This Could Be The Start of Something Big provides a vivid account of some of these efforts and is an important contribution to new thinking about progressive politics."—Paul Osterman, NTU Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School
"I know of no comparable work that so integrates the many topics covered here—the regional equity movement is in the authors' debt. This Could Be the Start of Something Big is for students, scholars, activists, policymakers, political leaders, and foundation officers who say they want to expand opportunities in this country. Manuel Pastor Jr., Chris Benner, and Martha Matsuoka have done a highly praiseworthy amount of fact gathering and documentation and analysis of recent and current social action. The work speaks to our country's newly born sense of potential for progressive change, in that the authors meticulously depict the emergence of disparate grassroots action initiatives that they point to as part of 'a quiet groundswell of new coalitions, policies, and models that seem to stress equity, inclusion, and opportunity, and that could be the basis of a new national politics.'"—James O. Gibson, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy
"This Could Be the Start of Something Big is an excellent book about the very important topics of regionalism and community organizing, and their intersection in the form of 'social movement regionalism.' Drawing on their extensive experiences with regionalist organizations, the authors insightfully analyze the history and present status of this movement, and explore whether and how it can be part of a larger transformative progressive social movement. This book is a very good example of engaged scholarship.The authors are clear and appropriately unapologetic about their support for social movement regionalism, while developing a critical sociological analysis of it. They have produced a work that should be of great interest to a wide audience."—Robert Kleidman, Cleveland State University
About the Author
Manuel Pastor Jr. is Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity and Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California. He is the coauthor of books including Up Against the Sprawl and Regions That Work
Chris Benner is Chair of the Community Development Graduate Group and Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development at the University of California Davis. He is the author of Work in the New Economy. Benner is the coauthor (with Manuel Pastor Jr. and Laura Leete) of Staircases or Treadmills.
Martha Matsuoka is Assistant Professor in the Urban and Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College.
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