From Gwynned Vitello’s article and interview with Janet Delaney for Juxtapoz Magazine:
GV: What was your intention in embarking on what turned out to be a photographic essay?
JD: Before I started the MFA program at San Francisco Art Institute, I seriously considered getting a degree in city planning. When I decided to embark on an MFA, I made a specific choice to focus my artwork on the issues of city life. Making artwork that had a political base was being done by many of my contemporaries. I worked closely with Connie Hatch who now teaches at Cal Arts. Together, we received a National Endowment for the Arts survey grant to seed this project. In the early 1980s, the premise of documentary photography was being challenged. The idea of the outside observer was questioned. I definitely did not want to make photographs of bums in slums as I could have easily done on 6th Street. Rather, I wanted to draw attention to what was a vital, if overlooked, neighborhood whose voice was not being heard.