How the Progressives Won in Santa Monica
Rent control's passage in 1979 was the electoral breakthrough that established Santa Monicans for Renters Rights; SMRR's "Principles of Unity" laid out a comprehensive set of wider platform. The attainment of a solid electoral majority on the city council in 1981 set the city on a course to implement these goals. Here Derek Shearer, who had been involved in each of these previous efforts, describes the electoral campaign itself and its ten year background of demographic change and small battles that led to a solid electoral base. Shearer's argument is that the deep pockets commercial interests, organized as a "growth machine" broadcasting the general appeal of land development, could be defeated by a combination of canny and energetic grassroots organizing and the underlying weakness of commercial interests in the time of retrenchment as the 1970s ended. The article lays out the details as played out in the electoral process.
Previously Published As
Social Policy, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter 1982), pp. 7-14.