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Current Exhibit:

From Street to Ballot Box

Berkeley Politics in the 1970s

Selections from the David Mundstock Collection

In the 1960s, Berkeley activists took to the streets repeatedly, from the Free Speech Movement to anti-Vietnam War protests to People’s Park. But in the 1970s Berkeley leftists turned to the ballot box, attempting to win majorities on the city council and using the initiative process to support policies such as rent control, neighborhood preservation, citizen police control, and decriminalization of marijuana. Moderate opponents responded by organizing vigorous campaigns against the New Left candidates and proposals, and a local “two-party system” dominated Berkeley politics from 1971 to 1986.

One activist who believed in the power of the ballot box was the late David Mundstock, who, in addition to constant voter registration activities and support of progressive causes, amassed a large collection of materials representing all aspects of the issues at play during the 1970s and beyond. That collection is now in the Berkeley Historical Society and forms the basis of this new exhibit. Mundstock's website narrating the politics of the period can still be found at

The exhibit is open, admission free, Thursday through Saturday 1 to 4 pm, through April 9, 2022.


African Americans in Berkeley's History and Legacy (2021)

Berkeley's Fascination with Food (2020)

The Heart of Berkeley: The Historic McGee-Spaulding District (2013)

More Online Experiences

You can now browse or search in much of our collection of photographs, postcards and maps on CatalogIt Hub.

We invite you to visit our participatory Berkeley History Facebook Group page and consider joining the group. 

You can also delve into Berkeley history online via the links on our Online Resources page

See our Calendar for online events, and see our YouTube channel for videos of past events.
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


In addition to changing exhibits, the History Center features a permanent illustrated Timeline of Berkeley History giving an overview of major periods and events in the evolution of the city.

Hours (during exhibits): Thursday–Saturday, 1–4 pm.

Admission free, donations welcome.

Wheelchair accessible. (If you arrive by wheelchair, please phone us so we can open the door at the top of the ramp.)

Berkeley Historical Society and Museum

1931 Center Street, Berkeley 

Telephone: 510-848-0181

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1190, Berkeley, CA 94701


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