Manuel Pastor

Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and co-author of Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn From America's Metropolitan Regions.

Recent Articles

Latinos and the Future of American Politics

Defending immigrants and championing progressive economics (that even Rust Belt whites could like) are imperative—and complementary.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel
This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . When I was in my third year of college, a group of friends and I decided to drive down to Mazatlán, Mexico, for spring break. One pit stop along the way was my house in L.A. where my mother eyed the one Anglo sidekick who did not speak Spanish and decided to teach him what she thought might be the most useful phrase for a gringo soon to be adrift in Mexico: “ La culpa no es mia .” Literally translated as “the fault is not mine,” it indeed came in handy as a defensive phrase when we eventually tangled with federales on a sandy Pacific beach (it’s a long story). But it’s also been on my mind as I listen to some observers express surprise and disappointment that Latino voters, at least according to the official exit polls, may have leaned more to Donald Trump in 2016 than they did to Mitt Romney in 2012. There is a heated debate about the accuracy...

Putting Poverty in Its Place

Neighborhood-based approaches can succeed, if they're part of a broader urban strategy.

Geoffrey Canada, head of Harlem Children's Zone, talks to a participant of he HCZ Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) has given new meaning to the adage that failure is an orphan but success has a thousand parents. The zone, a public-private partnership founded and led by the charismatic Geoffrey Canada, has produced significant gains in student achievement in the context of a deeply troubled neighborhood. This has made it both a darling of some conservatives and a supposed paradigm for the Obama administration's approach to urban distress. It is a worthy model, but utilizing it to make a dent in our national poverty problem will require two realizations: first, that the conservative enthusiasm, most recently voiced by columnist David Brooks, is decidedly partial, and second, that any neighborhood-based approach, including the HCZ, must be nested in a far broader strategy to revitalize urban America -- including everything from the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to changes in transportation funding to targeted training for the emerging green economy...