Igniting Justice and Progressive Power : The Partnership for Working Families Cities book cover
1st Edition

Igniting Justice and Progressive Power
The Partnership for Working Families Cities

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367684266
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
370 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A progressive resurgence is happening across the United States. This book shows how long-lasting coalitions have built progressive power from the regional level on up. Anchored by the "think and act" affiliate organizations of the Partnership for Working Families (PWF) these regional power building projects are putting in place the vision, policy agenda, political savvy, and grassroots mobilization needed for progressive governance.

Through six sections, the book explores how Partnership for Working Families projects are a core part of the defeat of the right-wing in states such as California; the challenge to corporate neoliberalism in traditionally "liberal" areas; and contests for power in such formally solid red states as Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado. This book considers how these PWF groups work on economic, racial and environmental justice challenges, equitable development, and other critical issues. It addresses how, at their core, they bring together labor, community, environmental, and faith-based organizations and the coalitions and campaigns that they developed have won and continue to win substantial victories for their communities.

Igniting Justice and Progressive Power will be of interest to activists and concerned citizens looking to understand how lasting political change actually happens as well as all scholars and students of social work, urban geography, political sociology, community development, social movements and political science more broadly.

Table of Contents


List of Contributors

Part 1 – Setting the Stage

Chapter 1 – Introducing the Regional Movement to Transform America
David Reynolds and Louise Simmons

Chapter 2 – From the Partnership for Working Families to IGNITE: Lessons and Evolution from Twenty Years of Anchoring Affiliates
Kyra Green and Lauren Jacobs

Chapter 3 – Why Cities Matter: Governing for The Common Good and Reclaiming Democracy
Roxana Tynan, Donald Cohen, and Nikki Fortunato Bas

Chapter 4 – Regional Power Building Today: A New New Deal Revisited
Amy B. Dean and David Reynolds

Part 2 – The Founders Today

Chapter 5 – LAANE Brain: Understanding the Model and Future of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Manuel Pastor, Ashley K. Thomas and Peter Dreier

Chapter 6 – 25 Years of Working Partnerships USA in San Jose
Barbara Byrd

Part 3 – From (Neo) Liberal to Progressive Cities

Chapter 7 – Community Labor United: Building Bridges in Greater Boston
Penn Loh and Mark Erlich

Chapter 8 – Aligning Labor and Community Groups: The Alliance for a Greater New York
Penny Lewis

Chapter 9 – Building a Bigger "We": Reflections on More than A Decade of Building Community Power in Pittsburgh
Diana Polson

Chapter 10 - Racial Justice is Economic Justice: Chicago’s Grassroots Collaborative Expands Economic Fairness by Prioritizing Racial Equity
Marc Doussard

Part 4 – Storming Conservative Bastions

Chapter 11 – Transforming a Conservative County: The Development of the Center on Policy Initiatives
Jill Esbenshade

Chapter 12 – OCCORD: Organizing in Conservative Territory: If you can’t win the game, change the rules
Clara Turner and Carolina S. Sarmiento

Chapter 13 – Georgia STAND-UP: Organizing for Progressive Power in the South
Harold M. Barnette and Deborah Marshall Scott

Chapter 14 – Stand Up Nashville: Shaping a Narrative of Equity and Inclusion in the "IT City" Boom
Terrie Spetalnick

Chapter 15 – Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy (CASE) in Phoenix
David Reynolds

Part 5 – Further Adaptions and Innovations

Chapter 16 – Adapting the Model for a Purple State: United for a New Economy in Metro Denver
Marc Doussard and David Reynolds

Chapter 17 – The Warehouse Workers Resource Center in Southern California
Ellen Reese and Rudolph Bielitz

Chapter 18 – Organizing in Rural Towns and Suburbs: Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy
Lucas Zucker

Part 6 Conclusion

Chapter 19 – Conclusion: The Challenges and Opportunities to Change Regions, States, and the Nation
David Reynolds and Louise Simmons


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David Reynolds has a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. He works at the Center for Labor and Community Studies at the University of Michigan and teaches State and Local Government at Eastern Michigan University. For almost twenty years he has led a research network based in the United Association for Labor Education’s Central Labor Council Working Group that documents regional and state labor movement innovations that, among other things, have produced many of the PWF affiliates.

Louise Simmons is Professor of Social Work at the University of Connecticut and author or editor of several books and articles on community-labor coalitions and other economic justice issues. She is co-editor with Scott Harding of Economic Justice, Labor and Community Practice (2010, Taylor and Francis). She has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Studies from MIT and is a long-time activist in Hartford, Connecticut, including serving on the Hartford City Council in the early 1990s.