OCC Reviews

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“The power of community organizing is changing the world. We only need to look at Libya, Egypt, and France to witness the profound change that occurs when communities act together for a worthy cause. Organizing to Change a City highlights one of the most significant forms of community change of our time. Rarely can a book compel us to act in ways that transform ourselves, and the cities we live in. Epstein, weaves together a powerful narrative of community that confronts race, class and urban politics head on.”

Dr. Shawn Guinwright, co-founder of Leadership Excellence and Professor, San Francisco State University

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“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, fair and equitable resource distribution, empowerment of citizens to do even more good and to reach a better point of harmony with the social and ecological environment.

Epstein is the penultimate 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 strategy. I applaud this book and its author and will make it a requirement in my undergraduate and graduate courses and in my civic and community work!”

Lenneal Henderson, Distinguished Professor of Public & International Affairs, The College of Public Affairs, The University of Baltimore

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“This insightful book makes evident for all to see that politics determine economics. Kitty Kelly Epstein is a thoughtful scholar / practitioner, and breaks new ground with a disquieting analysis of global, national and regional forces that surround Oakland and other cities in similar circumstances.”

Dr. Melvin L. Musick, Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine University, and Organizational Development Consultant

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“Kitty Kelly Epstein shows that progressive politics are alive and well in the heart of our nation’s remarkable yet troubled cities. As one of the nation’s most diverse and dynamic medium-sized cities, Oakland emerges in her telling as a proving ground for new strategies of urban governance.”

Robert O. Self is professor of history at Brown University and author of American Babylon, a highly regarded history of urban politics

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