Resisting Reaganism: a 1980s Folio
I. Street Life
Elected President, Reagan's policies very quickly stimulated opposition in San Francisco.
Californians remembered his misrule in the 1960s as Governor, elected with a campaign bankrolled by state oil and PR interests, plus racist opponents of Californa's open housing law. His terms saw increased political control and decreased funds for the state's public universities, as well as tax cuts for angry property owners and the defunding of social programs. When Reagan was shot in 1981, poor people danced in the streets of San Francisco's Tenderloin.
Community artists lamented the prompt obliteration of the federally-funded CETA Arts program...though noticed that the San Francisco bureaucrat administering the program held on to her job another year.
In response to the grim policies of Reagan's admirer Margaret Thatcher, the "summer with a thousand Julys" of 1981 saw riots erupt all over Great Britain, as multiracial in composition as Los Angeles, 1992.
Pictured: Brixton Impressionism.