Epstein, Kitty Kelly
Organizing to Change a City
In collaboration with Kimberly Mayfield Lynch and J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Year of Publication: 2012
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2012. XIV, 173 pp., num. b/w ill.
ISBN 978-1-4331-1597-4 pb. (Softcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-1598-1 hb. (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.280 kg, 0.617 lbs
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Activist and scholar Kitty Kelly Epstein tells the unique story of a city that recruits a progressive mayoral candidate, defeats a political machine, mobilizes a thousand residents to make policy, and then implements many of the policies created by this participatory process. Violence, jobs, education, and gentrification are all addressed by the ongoing social justice movement and its victories, including a 40% drop in the homicide rate, 8,000 likely new jobs, and a program that produces diverse and effective teachers. This very accessible book will be useful in urban studies, sociology, education, ethnic studies, civic engagement, political science, and policy studies classes and to those who are studying protest movements. The author explains the history of modern urban inequity and the racial wealth gap and then proposes on-going strategy and tactics for social activists in every city. Her co-authors, Lynch and Allen-Taylor, add their own intimate perspectives on these dynamic developments.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
Kitty Kelly Epstein has received numerous awards for her unique blend of scholarship and community activism. She has worked as an academic and as a policy advisor, most recently to the mayor of Oakland. Epstein is the author of A Different View of Urban Schools: Civil Rights, Critical Race Theory and Unexplored Realities (revised edition).
«This book is a unique, dynamic and indispensable source for anyone seeking social change and justice by use of ethical and strategic organizing techniques. These techniques enabled organizers in Oakland to elect a progressive mayor, to successfully pursue and adopt public policies opposed by entrenched interests, and to better serve and empower the vast majority of Oakland citizens previously locked out of corridors of power, money, and privilege. More important, the book makes the point that the organizers and their goals must not replace one exploitative group with another. The changes attributable to the organizers must dynamically raise the ethics of inclusiveness and fair and equitable resource distribution, empower citizens to do more good, and reach a better point of harmony with the social and ecological environment.
Epstein is the quintessential example of the scholar-activist. She lives the values and processes articulated in this book. She is herself an open system, listening carefully to others, reaching out to those who may be marginalized, and leading brilliant change strategies. I applaud this book and its author. I will make it a requirement in my undergraduate and graduate courses and use it in my civic and community work!» (Lenneal J. Henderson, Distinguished Professor of Public and International Affairs, The College of Public Affairs, The University of Baltimore)