The National Civic League has a limited number of signed copies of “State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Mean for America’s Future” available for purchase.
Author Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., who spoke at the National Civic League’s National Conference on Local Governance, signed copies after his speech. Pastor is a professor of sociology and American studies & ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.
In his latest book, Pastor tackles California’s history as well as its leadership in addressing climate change, low-wage work, immigrant integration, overincarceration, and more. Pastor makes the case for learning why California can be instructive for the nation in the book’s opening chapter.
“Understanding both what happened and what will happen in California – and rooting this story in larger structural forces and long histories of civic change, not just political personalities – is certainly critical to the future of the Golden State. California may have moved from the crisis of division of a tentative state of repair, but “tentative” is the appropriate modifier: the state remains plagued by regional divisions, racial disparities, environmental challenges, and a desperate need to reboot the middle and shore up the bottom of the labor market,” Pastor writes. “But while getting the state narrative right is an important part of that process, charting California’s past, present, and future is also important for the United States as a whole. Because as a much as those…in any other part of the country may hate to hear it, the demographic, economic, and social trends reveal a simple truth: California is America fast-forward.”
In an April 2018 New York Times review, James Fallows wrote that Pastor “suggests that at just the moment California seems most out of sync with national trends, it is in fact regaining its role as bellwether and pioneer. ... In his book, which is concise, clear and convincing, he contends that the redemptive arc of modern California’s history offers both cautionary and constructive guidance on a vision for the country as a whole.”
Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities.
One of Pastor’s books, “Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas,” co-authored with Chris Benner (UC Press 2015), argues how inequality stunts economic growth and how bringing together equity and growth requires concerted local action. Combining data, case studies, and narratives on multi-sector collaborations in 11 metro regions, the book offers a powerful prescription not just for metros but for our national challenges of slow job growth, rising economic inequality, and sharp political polarization. That book can be downloaded for free at http://growingtogethermetro.org/.
In 2016, he co-edited the book, “Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration,” with John Mollenkopf (Cornell University Press 2016), which offers a comparative study and detailed analyses of immigrant incorporation efforts across seven different U.S. metro regions.
Contact CarlaK@NCL.org to obtain your signed copy for $25 plus shipping.