A New New Deal: Regional Activism and the Labor Movement
By Amy B. Dean and David B. Reynolds
In A New New Deal, Dean and Reynolds offer a bold new plan to revitalize American labor activism and build a sense of common purpose between labor and community organizations. They demonstrate how alliances organized at the regional level are the most effective tool to build a voice for working people in the workplace, community, and halls of government. The authors draw on their own successes to offer in-depth, contemporary case studies of effective labor-community coalitions. They also outline a concrete strategy for building power at the regional level. They view the model as presenting the regional building blocks for national change. A diverse audience—both within the labor movement and among its allies—will welcome this clear, detailed, and inspiring presentation of regional power-building tactics, which include deep coalition-building, leadership development, policy research, and aggressive political action.
The book explores successful coalitions forged in Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, San Jose, New Haven, and Atlanta toward goals such as universal health insurance for children and sensible redevelopment efforts that benefit workers as well as businesses. The authors view partnerships between labor and grassroots organizations as a mutually beneficial strategy based on shared goals, resulting in a broadened membership base and increased organizational capacity. They make the innovative argument that the labor movement can steward both industry and community and show the ways in which workplace battles are not the concerns of isolated workers, but a fundamental struggle for America’s future. Drawing on historical parallels, the authors illustrate how long-term collaborations between labor and community organizations are sowing the seeds of a new New Deal.
"Amy B. Dean and David B. Reynolds offer a compelling vision of a new kind of labor movement. At a time when America desperately needs stronger unions, A New New Deal sends a clear message that nostalgia for organized labor’s past is no strategy for our future." 272 pages hardcover
RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO