On the eve of our 45th anniversary–a new progressive agenda

(The new progressive agenda is at the bottom of this blog.)

In our second issue of Nov. 1, 1966, the Guardian endorsed then Gov. Pat Brown over Ronald Reagan in what we called “the most important gubernatorial election in California history.” We wrote in a front page editorial that “the repudiation of Brown and the election of Reagan would mean that a generation of progressive legislation—in medicare, in education, in welfare, in conservation, in water resources, in bringing to account the dreadful problems of growth, population and sprawl—would be in grave jeopardy.”

We were much too prescient when we wrote that “Reagan rides the crest of the latest Califorrnia breakers of ‘conservation’–like Gatsby, it looks for fulfillment in another time–”boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Reagan’s stands, we noted, “typify the temper of this cause: he is on record at various times, in opposition to the progressive income tax, social security, medicare, the anti-poverty program, farm subsidies, TVA, the city rights act, the voting rights, public housing, federal aid to education and veterans housing for other than service-connected disabilities”

And we asked the obvious question: “How can a man or a movement govern the state of California, from 1966-70, with such a political philosophy?”

Well, Reagan won, he became governor and then president and it seems as if the Guardian has ever since been fighting Reaganonics in one form or another and its deadly legacy of deregulation, ever  lower taxes, laissez-faire economics, ever higher  fees for California colleges, the me-first-and-last  culture, the pernicious idea that government is the problem and  that corporate interests are the solution, on  and on. It’s still the case and we point to the concluding Guardian forum on issues for the mayor’s race.

It’s Wednesday night (9/21) at the LGBT Center. All but one of the major mayoral candidates will be there (Mayor Ed Lee has not confirmed). And the candidates will be asked whether they support key elements of the new progressive agenda developed by several progressive organizations in five forums over the past several months. An independent blue ribbon all-star panel of experts will judge whether the would-be mayors answered yes, no—or waffled. It should be lively, fun,  instructive, and very San Franciscan.  On guard! B3

See you there: Wednesday, Sept. 2l, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the LGBT Center, 1800 Market St., (at Octavia) in San Francisco. And here’s the new progressive agenda: http://www.sfbg.com/2011/09/13/new-progressive-agenda