Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. He speaks frequently on the changing demographics of the U.S. as well as on the ways in which inequality is corrosive to both our politics and our economy. His research projects are routinely in concert with community organizers seeking to reshape democracy from the ground up, with partner organizations that include Community Coalition, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and the like. He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership. In 2012, the Liberty Hill Foundation awarded Pastor the Wally Marks Changemaker Award.