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Arcadia Publishing

Democratizing Cleveland

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Randy Cunningham, founding member of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, details one of the greatest examples of mass civic and democratic education in Cleveland's history.

Democratizing Cleveland: The Rise and Fall of Community Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio, 1975-1985, is the result of almost fifteen years of research on the community organizing movement in Cleveland that put neighborhood concerns and neighborhood voices front and center. Cunningham, who has lived and worked in Cleveland for years, describes a thriving decade of social movements and community groups built around civil disobedience. Many of these groups, led by women, were able to unite predominantly white and black neighborhoods in a common cause. Cunningham walks us through the origin of community organizing and the movement's major campaigns and transitions, including:

- insurance and bank redlining

- community development and urban renewal programs

- the movement's decline during the Reagan administration.

Originally published in 2007 by Arambala Press, this important work is being reprinted by Belt Publishing for a new generation of activists, planners, urbanists, and organizers. It's a great reminder that activism is the pulse of democracy.

An indispensable guide for anyone interested in community organizing in Cleveland, but also the crucial role neighborhood organizing plays in cities across the United States.

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