Ann Arbor Human Rights Party, 1972


I’m currently writing a paper for the planning history conference (SACRPH) on housing and the transformation of the Ann Arbor New Left. As part of the presentation, I put together this map, which shows the election returns from the 1972 city elections races with HRP members’ residences.

HRP candidates won in the 1st Ward (Jerry DeGrieck) and 2nd Ward (Nancy Wechsler), comprising a swing vote on council for a year, where Republicans held 5 seats and Democrats 4. Both winning HRP candidates beat university professors running as Democrats in the 1st and 2nd. In 1973 Republicans picked up another seat, giving them a council majority, marginalizing the HRP. The HRP won the 2nd ward again in 1974, but that was the extent of their wins in Ann Arbor.

I argue that the housing shortage of the late 1960s oriented campus radicals to economic and political marginalization within their own communities. The creation of the Ann Arbor Tenants’ Union, the rent strike of 1969, and, indeed, the Nixon price controls of 1971 served to mobilize students and create a broader coalition for community activism, which culminated in the creation and subsequent victories of the Radical Independent Party/Human Rights Party.

UPDATE: Same info, slightly reformulated. Sex is no longer differentiated, but if there is more than one person living at an address, the dot is larger and visually expresses the concentration of support better.
AnnArbor HRP 2