The Leftmost City: Power and Progressive Politics in Santa Cruz

The Leftmost City: Power and Progressive Politics in Santa Cruz

by Richard Gendron, G. William Domhoff
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0813344387

ISBN-13: 9780813344386

Pub. Date: 12/29/2008

Publisher: Westview Press

Almost all US cities are controlled by real estate and development interests, but Santa Cruz, California, is a deviant case. An unusual coalition of socialist-feminists, environmentalists, social-welfare liberals, and neighborhood activists has stopped every growth project proposed by landowners and developers since 1969, and controlled the city council since 1981.

Overview

Almost all US cities are controlled by real estate and development interests, but Santa Cruz, California, is a deviant case. An unusual coalition of socialist-feminists, environmentalists, social-welfare liberals, and neighborhood activists has stopped every growth project proposed by landowners and developers since 1969, and controlled the city council since 1981. Even after a 1989 earthquake forced the city to rebuild its entire downtown, the progressive elected officials prevailed over developers and landowners.
 
Drawing on hundreds of primary documents, as well as original, previously unpublished interviews, The Leftmost City utilizes an extended case study of Santa Cruz to critique three major theories of urban power: Marxism, public-choice theory, and regime theory. Santa Cruz is presented within the context of other progressive attempts to shape city government, and the authors’ findings support growth-coalition theory, which stresses the conflict between real estate interests and neighborhoods as the fundamental axis of urban politics. The authors conclude their analysis by applying insights gleaned from Santa Cruz to progressive movements nationwide, offering a template for progressive coalitions to effectively organize to achieve political power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813344386
Publisher:
Westview Press
Publication date:
12/29/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Tables and Maps ix

Acknowledgments xi

1 The Leftmost City in America 1

2 The Rise and Decline of the Santa Cruz Growth Coalition 23

3 The Rebirth and Defeat of the Santa Cruz Growth Coalition 45

4 The Progressive Coalition in Power: 1981-1989 95

5 Shaking Up the Power Structure 119

6 Progressives Versus Progressives over Growth and Neighborhoods 155

7 Fault Lines of Power: Assessing Theories of Urban Power 187

References 217

Index 231

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