1960-1970 Kann 1986 

Mark E. Kann Middle Class Radicalism in Santa Monica, Temple University Press: Philadelphia, 1986. 322 pp., 1983, 1980s, 1970s, 1968, 1967, 1962, 1960s, 1940s,

     "For Santa Monica, the fallout from this corporate maneuvering was the construction of the Santa Monica Freeway in the mid-1960s . . .

     ". . .  Santa Monica experienced the extraordinary demand [for housing] that invited rent gouging, arbitrary evictions, condominium conversions, demolition of low and moderate housing to be replaced by luxury developments, the constant selling and buying of real estate, and skyrocketing prices for land and single-family homes. Santa Monica's growth machine rushed to the party, as did outside investors, developers, and speculators, who saw a chance for quick and easy profits. During a five-year period in the early 1970s, apartment vacancies fell below 5 percent for the first time while speculation in residential income properties increased more than 1,000 percent. The anarchy of the real estate market rippled throughout local life.

     "First, major shifts in Santa Monica's population base occurred. Beginning in the early 1940s, the city attracted more and more middle class professionals and managers who worked in nearby high growth, high technology industries. For these migrants, Santa Monica was a beach-front resort town with all the amenities of an autonomous community: a pleasing small town environment, good schools, parks, entertainment, the beaches, and so forth. Santa Monica's magnetic appeal grew, particularly when the Santa Monica Freeway provided easy access throughout the region and when rapid industrialization, congestion, pollution, and crime provided good reasons for leaving Los Angeles proper. The fact that Santa Monica real estate prices were higher than elsewhere was no deterrent to this affluent middle class population. Professionals and managers had incomes that outpaced inflation and the could even afford to profit from inflation by purchasing land, housing, and income property. Thus, in 1983, a remarkable 11 percent of residents in the city's more affluent neighborhoods owned rental property in the city. By the 1970s . . . Santa Monica was undergoing gentrification, that affluent newcomers were replacing less prosperous old timers.

     "Santa Monica's population stabilized in the 80,000s during the 1960s. Consequently, the continuous influx of professionals and managers necessarily meant the loss of older, more stable residents. The Santa Monica Freeway, for example, cut through the city's lower income neighborhoods, eliminating considerable numbers of minority residences. The retired people in the Ocean Park neighborhood, whose numbers had been augmented by the growth of a countercultural enclave, suffered a major redevelopment project that replaced older affordable housing with luxury oceanfront condominiums. Even the more affluent people in Santa Monica's central neighborhoods faced escalating property taxes and rents that pressured them to move elsewhere. In the 1970s alone, Santa Monica lost 3,187 households, "most of them with low, very low, and moderate incomes."

     " . . . the 1960s witnessed the onset of a twenty-year battle between growth machine diehards . . . and homeowners  . . .

     "Simultaneously, the growth machine's economic might was diminishing. Boosters who invested in growth became more dependent on outside interests. Local entrepreneurs were pressured to sell out to corporate developers with regional, national, or international interests. The local entrepreneurs might feed at the corporate troughs but it was the corporations that planned, designed, financed, constructed, and operated the new apartment, condominium, retail, and office complexes that appeared in Santa Monica in the 1960s and 1970s . . . Santa Monica's leading employers are General Telephone (communications), St. John's Hospital (health care), Systems Development Corporation (computer software) . . . Rand Corporation (research and policy think tank) . . .

     "Finally postwar Santa Monica evidenced the first traces of a shift in political attitudes. These new middle class professionals and managers who had migrated to the city were more liberal than the small businessmen who ran it. Their liberal attitudes were first manifest in the 1972 presidential election, when they helped to provide a municipal majority for George McGovern . . .

- p. 41, 42, 43, 44

3 Liking Middle America

     ". . .

From Port Huron

     "In 1962, a student named Tom Hayden drafted a statement of principles for the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at its convention in Port Huron, Michigan. Hayden's draft became the basis for the Port Huron Statement that guided SDS through the mid-1960s and provided a political identity for the early new left student movement. The SDS document was an appeal to the aspirations and frustrations of white middle class youth in America.

     ""We are the people of this generation," it began, "bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we will inherit . . . Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people - these American values we found good, principles by which we could live as men . . . "

     "Men have unrealized potential for self-cultivation, self-direction, self-understanding, and creativity . . . "

     "The SDS document legitimated a new experiment in social change because the older methods had failed or at least not succeeded. . .

     ". . . "the serious poet burns for a place, any place to work; the once-serious and never serious poets work at the advertising agencies."

     "The imprecision of the Port Huron Statement bothered Tom Hayden very little. He came to Port Huron, states SDS historian Kirkpatrick Sale, "more convinced than before of the need to set out a broad definition of common values rather than a lot of narrow statements about this or that economic policy." SDS, Vintage: NY, 1973, p. 45 ". . .  Hayden has been criticized as too utopian but it was his call to an "ad hoc" sort of radicalism that legitimated the renewal of political dialogue and an openness to untried possibilities that captured the imagination of the first wave of middle class students who valued intelligence and experimentation enough to found the new left student movement . . . " p. 62

     ". . .

     "But the support did not persist when "large numbers of young people pushed professional managerial class radicalism to its own limits and found themselves, ultimately, at odds with their own class." After 1967 or 1968, student politics changed. Those who once looked to the university as a source of leftwing promise began to mobilize against the university as an accomplice in warfare . . .  For student organizations such as SDS, these shifts were wrenching. Participatory democracy gave way to factional control by highly organized sects . . . " p. 63

     ". . .  Suffering internal fragmentation and an erosion of its middle class base, the new left soon withered away. What persisted, however, was a generation of middle class activists who had graduated from college and were now entering the workforce as well as a disenchanted American middle class now entering a decade of economic instability." p. 64

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017