Oral History: Calvin Welch

Oral History

Seven edited excerpts from a longer oral history with Calvin Welch conducted on July 12, 2023 by Chris Carlsson for Shaping San Francisco. Calvin Welch describes his early childhood visits to San Francisco in the 1950s, going to SF State College in the mid-1960s, returning to the Haight at the beginning of the 1970s and getting involved with housing politics. His acerbic takes on local politicians and power brokers cover the span from Alioto to Moscone, Feinstein to Willie Brown, Newsom to Lee and Breed, with sides on Phil Burton, Rose Pak, and others. He offers an insider's view of the Good Earth Commune and their ultimate demise, the White Panther Party and their role in cementing Dianne Feinstein's unlikely political rise, and a brief look at policing in the 1970s when wild schemes were proposed but never implemented.

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