By Randy Cunningham
Democratizing Cleveland: The Rise and Fall of Community Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio, 1975-1985 is the result of almost fifteen years of research on a topic that has been missing from local works on Cleveland history: the community organizing movement that put neighborhood concerns and neighborhood voices front and center in the setting of public policies in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 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.
Praise for Democratizing Cleveland:
"Democratizing Cleveland provides the best and most detailed description I know of concerning the trials and tribulations facing activists who try to organize grass roots neighborhood power in major American cities. I urge activists and researchers alike to read this book as a starting point for finding new directions for their work." G. William Domhoff, Research Professor in Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz and author of Who Rules America?
"Here in all its richness are the roots of organizing, the early funding patterns, the conflicts among various groups and individuals and the reaction of a powerful business community that was challenged as never before. This book is essential to an understanding of not only the Cleveland neighborhood scene, but the impact of neighborhood organizing on cities across the nation." Norman Krumholz, Professor, Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University
Standing in the middle of a demonstration protesting Kent State and the war in Vietnam at the University of Missouri in 1970, Randy Cunningham looked around and thought “Damn, this is interesting!” He has been both an activist and a writer about activists and activism ever since. Cunningham is retired from working in the non-profit housing field and lives on Cleveland’s West Side with his wife whom he met in a meeting. He is a founding member of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus and still considers activism interesting and a source of great stories.
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