Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Tom Hayden, Former Radical and Father of Santa Monica Rent Control, Dies at 76

Was best known as a member of the Chicago 7, and his marriage to Jane Fonda

 

October 28, 2016

Tom Hayden with Actress Jane Fonda in the 1970's

If you've spent the last 40 years living in a rent controlled apartment in Santa Monica, you can thank Tom Hayden for it. He wrote the City's rent control charter amendment, enacted by the voters in 1978. Perhaps no single person had more influence on Santa Monica in the 20th century. He died quietly last night at his home in Santa Monica at 76 years of age.

Tom Hayden, the preeminent 1960s radical who roused a generation of alienated young Americans, became a symbol of militancy by leading riotous protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and added Hollywood glamour to his mystique with an activist partnership and marriage to film star Jane Fonda, died Oct. 23 in Santa Monica, said the Washington Post.

He left behind his wife Barbara Williams, his sons Liam and Troy, his daughter Vanessa, and his daughter in law Simone, along with several grandchildren.

Williams confirmed the death to the Associated Press but did not provide an immediate cause. He had heart disease and was hospitalized for a stroke in 2015.

At a moment in history — June 1962 — before U.S. escalation in Vietnam, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the civil rights March on Washington and the awakening of the environmental and feminist movements, Mr. Hayden emerged as one of the most articulate spokesmen of youthful angst.

At 22, a year out of college in Michigan, he drafted the Port Huron Statement, an expansive utopian manifesto that extolled “participatory democracy” as an antidote to the complacency and conformity of the Eisenhower decade. In the Big Lebowski, Jeff Bridge's character claims to be a co-author of the same Port Huron Statement, presumably along with Tom Hayden.

In 1968, Hayden played a major role in the protests outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Six months after the convention he and other protesters including Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot as part of the "Chicago Eight". Hayden and four others were convicted of crossing state lines to incite a riot, but the charges were reversed on appeal.

Tom Hayden made several other well-publicized visits to North Vietnam as well as Cambodia during America's involvement in the Vietnam War, including an especially controversial one during 1972 to North Vietnam with his future wife, actress Jane Fonda. The next year he married Fonda and they had one child, Troy Garity, born on 7 July 1973. In 1974, while the Vietnam War was still ongoing, the documentary film Introduction to the Enemy was released, a collaboration by Fonda, Hayden, Haskell Wexler, and others. It depicts their travels through North and South Vietnam in the spring of 1974.

Hayden at the LBJ Library in 2016

Hayden also founded the Indochina Peace Campaign (IPC), which operated from 1972 to 1975. The IPC, operating in Boston, New York, Detroit, Santa Clara, mobilized dissent against the Vietnam War, demanded unconditional amnesty for U.S. draft evaders, among other aims. Jane Fonda, a supporter of the IPC, later turned this moniker into a name for her film production firm, IPC Films, which produced in whole or in part, movies and documentaries such as F.T.A. (1972), Introduction to the Enemy (1974), The China Syndrome (1979), Nine to Five (1980), and On Golden Pond (1981).[7][8] Hayden and Fonda divorced in 1990.

Writing about Hayden's role in the 1960s New Left, Nicholas Lemann, national correspondent for The Atlantic, said that "Tom Hayden changed America", calling him "father to the largest mass protests in American history", and Richard N. Goodwin, who was a speechwriter for presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy, said that Hayden, "without even knowing it, inspired the Great Society. Staughton Lynd, though, was critical of the Port Huron and New Left concept of "participatory democracy" stating, "we must recognize that when an organization grows to a certain size, consensus decision-making is no longer possible and some form of representative government becomes necessary."

During 1976, Hayden made a primary-election challenge to serving California U.S. Senator John V. Tunney. Starting far behind, Hayden mounted a spirited campaign and finished a surprisingly close second in the Democratic primary. He and Fonda later initiated the Campaign for Economic Democracy (CED), which formed a close alliance with then-Governor Jerry Brown and promoted solar energy, environmental protection, and renters' rights policies as well as candidates for local office throughout California, some 100 of whom would be elected.

Hayden later served in the California State Assembly (1982–1992) and the State Senate (1992–2000). During this time, he was frequently protested by conservative groups, including Vietnamese refugees, veterans of the US military, and Young Americans for Freedom. He mounted a bid in the Democratic primary for California Governor during 1994 on the theme of campaign finance reform, and ran for Mayor of Los Angeles during 1997, losing to incumbent Republican Richard Riordan.

As a member of the State Assembly, Hayden introduced the bill that became Chapter 1238 of the California Statutes of 1987. Chapter 1238 enacted Section 76060.5 of the California Education Code. Section 76060.5 allows the establishment of "student representation fees" at colleges in the California Community Colleges System. The fee has been established at several dozen colleges and it may be used "to provide support for governmental affairs representatives of local or statewide student body organizations who may be stating their positions and viewpoints before city, county, and district governments, and before offices and agencies of state government".[12] Student representation fees are used to support the operation of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

During 1999, Hayden made a speech for the Seattle WTO protests. During 2001, he unsuccessfully sought election to the Los Angeles City Council.

Hayden served as a member of the advisory board for the Progressive Democrats of America, an organization created to increase progressive political cooperation and influence within the Democratic Party.

He also served on the advisory board of the Levantine Cultural Center, a nonprofit organization founded in Los Angeles in 2001 that champions cultural literacy about the Middle East and North Africa.

During January 2008, Hayden wrote an opinion essay for the website The Huffington Post endorsing Barack Obama's presidential bid in the Democratic primaries.

In that same year, he helped initiate Progressives for Obama (now called Progressive America Rising), a group of political progressives that provided assistance for Obama in his initial presidential campaign.

NBC News

Tom Hayden with Actress Jane Fonda in 1982

Hayden was known widely in California as a staunch endorser of animal rights and was responsible for writing the bill popularly known as the Hayden Act, which improved protection of pets and extended holding periods for pets confined as strays or surrendered to shelters.

In 2016, Hayden ran to be one of California's representatives to the Democratic National Committee.

In 2007, Hayden made news for his speech at the wedding of his son Troy, where, as Hilton Als wrote in The New Yorker, he "said that he was especially happy about his son's union with actress Simone Bent, who is black, because, among other things, it was 'another step in a long-term goal of mine: the peaceful, nonviolent disappearance of the white race.'"

Cards can be sent to, and donations can be made to, the Peace and Justice Resource Center http://tomhayden.com/contribute/

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017