Something Big

This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Reshaping Metropolitan America

By Manuel Pastor, Chris Benner and Martha Matsuoka

For nearly two decades, progressives have been dismayed by the steady rise of the right in U.S. politics. Often lost in the gloom and doom about American politics is a striking and sometimes underanalyzed phenomenon: the resurgence of progressive politics and movements at a local level. Emphasizing “regional equity,” unusual alliances of labor, community and even business groups have been built around issues of community benefits, housing affordability, and access to transit.  Drawing on a wealth of case studies as well as their own experience in the field, Pastor, Benner, and Matsuoka point out the promise and pitfalls of this new approach and argue that what they term social movement regionalism can offer an important contribution to the revitalization of progressive politics in America.

Opinions about the book:

"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

"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. 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." - James O. Gibson, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy

"This Could Be the Start of Something Big 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 Klei

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