The Year That Was: 1978 and the Making of Contemporary San Francisco
San Francisco is a city of contradictions. It is one of the most socially liberal cities in America, but it also has some of the nation’s worst income inequality. It is a playground for tech millionaires, with an outrageously high cost of living, yet it also supports vibrant alternative and avant-garde scenes. So how did the city get this way? San Francisco native Lincoln Mitchell traces the roots of the current situation back to 1978, when three key events occurred: the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk occurring fewer than two weeks after the massacre of Peoples Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana; the explosion of the city’s punk rock scene; and a breakthrough season for the San Francisco Giants. Through these three strands, Mitchell explores the rifts between the city’s pro-business and progressive-Left politicians, the emergence of Dianne Feinstein as a political powerhouse, the increasing prominence of the city’s LGBT community, punk’s reinvigoration of the Bay Area’s radical cultural politics, and the ways that the Giants helped unify one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the nation. Join us for a panel discussion of four leaders who influenced this seminal cultural transformation.
Orloff photo by Wayne Goodman
November 1, 2019
The Commonwealth Club 110 The Embarcadero Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium San Francisco, 94105 United States
Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University; Author, San Francisco Year Zero: Political Upheaval, Punk Rock and a Third Place Baseball Team
Member, California State Assembly (1977–1987); Mayor of San Francisco (1988–1991)
Former Press Secretary to Mayor George Moscone (1976–1978); Senior Executive, San Francisco Giants (1979–1992)
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1978–1986); San Francisco City Attorney (1986–2001)
Songwriter, Jennifer and the Blowdryers; Author, Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977 to 1997
11:30 a.m. check-in noon program
1 p.m. book signing
The leading national forum open to all for the impartial discussion of public issues important to the membership, community and nation. The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum. Each year, we bring nearly 500 events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy to more than 25,000 members and the public, both in-person and via an extensive online and on-air listenership and viewership.
San Francisco Headquarters
110 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105