TIGHTEN YOUR BELTS, BITE THE BULLET
DIRECTOR: MARTIN LUCAS, JAMES GAFFNEY AND JONATHAN MILLER
People’s Firehouse #1
DIRECTOR: PAUL SCHNEIDER
1979 / 16mm / 25 mins
In the 1970s both New York City and Cleveland faced severe fiscal crises, met very differently by the cities’ then mayors, Edward Koch and Dennis Kucinich. Tighten Your Belts traces the political and economic history leading to New York City’s default threat and the devastating impact budget cuts had on city workers and residents, in contrast with Cleveland, where Kucinich stared banks down as they tried to take control of public utilities in exchange for not bankrupting the city. People’s Firehouse #1 (distributed by Third World Newsreel, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) follows Williamsburg’s Northside residents turned activists as they occupy their local firehouse in defiance of the city’s decision to shut it down.