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Guide to the No on Knight Initiative Campaign Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: No on Knight Initiative Campaign Records
    Dates: 1999-2000
    Collection number: 2000-18
    Creator: No on Knight Initiative Campaign Records
    Collection Size: 8 cubic feet 18 boxes and 2 map folders
    Repository: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
    San Francisco, California 94105
    Abstract: This collection comprises the planning, administrative, and fundraising records created from the "No on Knight" initiative campaign (1999-2000). Photographs, audio-visual materials, and oversized items, such as banners and posters, are also included in this collection. The Knight Initiative or California's Proposition 22 (2000) sought to change the California definition of marriage by adding the phrase "Only a marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized." That proposal clearly outlawed same-sex marriages. The "No on Knight" initiative campaign was promptly organized by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender political activists in an attempt to defeat Prop 22.
    Physical location: Stored at the Archives of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, California
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Preferred Citation

    No on Knight Initiative Campaign Records, 2000-18, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    Records of the No on Knight Campaign were placed with GLBTHS by Manager Mike Marshall and his Assistant Toni Broaddus.

    Processing Information

    Processing Note This collection of records was arranged and described over several weeks in late 2000 and early 2001. As records were not arranged in any discernable system, the collection was organized primarily by function. Original folder labels were used when possible.
    Discarded were duplicate materials, office supplies, 3 ring notebooks and binders, and plastic covers. Coated paper faxes were photocopied and discarded. Final arrangement and descriptive guide were read, and corrected when necessary, by Toni Broadus and Mike Marshall.
    Removed From Collection A variety of materials has been segregated from the paper records and stored with similar material from other sources. Among these are Artifacts, Photographs, Audio and Videotapes, and digital records in the form of CDs or 3 2 inch Computer Disks. Oversize flat material, such as signs and posters, are stored in map folders or rolled.

    Biography / Administrative History

    In late 1998, California State Senator Pete Knight (Republican - Elk Grove) announced a new Initiative, dubbed the ?Definition of Marriage?, which sought to change California law by adding the phrase ?Only a marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized.? This proposal clearly outlawed both same-sex marriage and the recognition of such marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
    Politically-oriented GLBT activists quickly began scrambling to put together a campaign to defeat this initiative.
    By late spring, Mike Marshall was hired as Campaign Manager to lead the effort to defeat Knight. In June, positions were announced for additional key staff. By July, an interim Volunteer Organizing Plan was in place to serve until the entire Campaign apparatus was in place. A number of politicians made important early endorsements of the No on Knight Campaign, including U. S. Rep. Tom Campbell (7/1/99), U. S. Senator Barbara Boxer (9/9/99), and Presidential candidates Bill Bradley and Al Gore (9/16/99). A request for proposals for a Media Consultant was issued; the successful group was Decision Research, a group that had previously worked on several initiative campaigns as well as for a variety of GLBT people elected to public office.
    Californians for Fairness, the legal entity that conducted the Campaign, was incorporated on August 6th, 1999. Also in August, the State Headquarters was opened in San Francisco, and President and CEO of E*Trade Group, Kathy Levinson and her partner donated $300,000, the largest single donation made to the Campaign. By September staff had been hired and specific goals were in place regarding fundraising, media relations, field organizing, and obtaining endorsements.
    The primary target areas of the Campaign were the 15 most populated counties in the state, representing nearly 80% of the voters. Field Staff people were hired to focus on these areas and report Campaign activities back to the Statewide Field Director
    Despite a high profile and many endorsements, the Knight Initiative passed handily.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The No on Knight records document how strategies were developed, how various programs were run (administration, media, fundraising, etc.), and the creation of staff handbooks.
    As there was no staff person before June of 1999, and the first Board meeting was held on August 28th, there was no ?natural catch basin? to receive notes, minutes, or other documents during the early months of Campaign development. Just who was active in developing the No on Knight Campaign before the Board or staff was brought in is not documented here.
    A few activities or functions organized by staff are not well documented. There is a paucity of correspondence in these files. This may be due to more frequent use of the telephone, and email messages that were read but not printed out. There are also relatively few photographs.
    Some of the more interesting files are the Field Strategies stemming from the Northern California and Southern California Organizing Meetings (Box 6), which lay out overall goals for both regions. Financial records (Box 7) are sparse, but sufficient to contrast with the original goals.
    Another series of note are the field reports residing in boxes 6 and 7. These provide figures for how many people were registered, recruited as volunteers, house parties organized, etc, as well as narrative accounts of the organizers? activities and plans.
    Meeting minutes of the Board of Directors are also documents of primary importance.


    The collection is divided into 12 series. Series 1, 2, and 10 are further subdivided by subseries.
    • Series 1. Planning and Evaluation
    • Subseries 1.1 Founding Documents
    • Subseries 1.2 Planning Resources
    • Subseries 1.3 Campaign Proposals from Consultants
    • Series 2. Administration
    • Subseries 2.1 Board of Directors
    • Subseries 2.2 Executive Director
    • Subseries 2.3 Correspondence
    • Subseries 2.4 Staff and Volunteers
    • Subseries 2.5 Staff Reports
    • Subseries 2.6 Field Staff Reports
    • Subseries 2.7 Field Volunteer Reports
    • Subseries 2.8 Activities
    • Subseries 2.9 Financial Records
    • Subseries 2.10 Miscellany
    • Subseries 2.11 Press Coverage of Campaign
    • Series 3. Training
    • Series 4. Promotion
    • Series 5. Fundraising
    • Series 6. No on Knight Campaign Allies
    • Series 7. Knight Campaign and Supporters
    • Series 8. Topical Files
    • Series 9. Photographs
    • Series 10. Audio, Video, and Digital Records
    • Subseries 10.1 Audiotapes
    • Subseries 10.2 Videotapes
    • Subseries 10.3 Compact Disks (CDs)
    • Series 11. Artifacts
    • Series 12. Oversize Flat Documents and Artifacts

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Same-sex marriage
    Californians for Fairness
    Knight, William J. "Pete"
    Marshall, Mike
    Decision Research Corporation
    Levinson, Kathy

    Related Material

    Related Collections at GLBTHS Paula Lichtenberg Papers (1989-1) These papers include Lichtenberg's records of the Bay Area Coalition Against the Briggs Initiative (BACABI), of which she was Co-chair.
    Dan Noonan Scrapbook (1990-5) This is an oversized scrapbook that documents late 1970s gay and lesbian activities in Sonoma County, including the local "No on 6" (Briggs Initiative) Committee.
    Committee for Contemporary Family Values (1993-3) These are records from a group set up to help defeat the Oregon and Colorado "traditional values" initiatives of 1992.
    Amber Hollibaugh Slides (1994-13) These slides were used by Hollibaugh in a slide show presented to grassroots groups formed to fight the 1977 Briggs Initiative.
    Campaign for Responsible AIDS Action (1995-26) A defunct organization from Santa Cruz which formed to oppose state propositions 96 (requiring people to report exposure to AIDS virus) and 102 (AIDS Reporting Initiative) in the 1988 election.
    Stanley Hadden Papers (1997-33) Records of the former legislative aide to State Senator Daniel Roberti. Hadden was one of the earliest people to respond to the AIDS crisis on the state level. He authored or co-authored most of the AIDS-related legislation in California. Other record groups in this collection are AIDS-related records of two of Hadden=s major allies, Bruce Decker and G.W. Levi Kamel. The records of these three men are an extremely rich documentation of AIDS activism in California during the most critical period, 1981 through 1991. Included are records related to statewide organizing fighting anti-gay, AIDS-related propositions and initiatives such as the 1986 LaRouche Initiative (Prop 64) and 1988's Prop 96 and Prop 102, attempts to require mandatory reporting of people with AIDS. As this collection has not been processed, it is currently difficult to assess the extent or significance of these records.
    Steve Taravella Audiotapes (1998-5) Twenty seven audiotapes containing interviews with various leaders in the statewide organization No on 64/Stop La Rouche of 1986. Most of those interviewed were from Southern California.