BCA's 1977 convention only nominated three candidates for four City Council seats in the April election. Factional warfare with the Communist Party and their candidate, Mark Allen, led to the short slate. Allen ran as an independent.
BCA's slate of three women, led by incumbent Ying Lee Kelley, had to all win in order to gain that holy grail recited at the top of this poster: a progressive council majority.
Instead, the conservative coalition, establishment Democrats and Republicans, unleashed a well-financed anti-radical smear campaign against BCA designed to scare Berkeley voters. Their goal was to preserve the council majority held by the Berkeley Democratic Club (BDC). BDC was allied with the landlords similar effort to frighten people into voting against the rent control initiatives on the April ballot.
The fear-smear worked perfectly and the Berkeley Democratic Club won a sweep of all four City Council seats.
After such great expectations, BCA was devestated by this massive loss, which now gave BDC a 7-2 Council majority. The defeat of Ying Kelley was the worst part and completely unexpected.
While I retired from Berkeley politics after the 1977 election, many other BCA people vowed to continue the fight. Unlike the April Coalition following the 1973 defeat, BCA was down but not out in 1977.