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Inventory of the Daniel E. Boatwright Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • California State Assembly, 1973-1980
  • California State Senate, 1981-1996
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Other Repositories

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Daniel E. Boatwright Papers
    Dates: 1973-1996
    Collection number: LP354
    Creator: Daniel E. Boatwright, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 4 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Daniel E. Boatwright, Democrat, served the California Legislature as a State Assembly Member from 1973-1980 and as a State Senator from 1981-1996. The Daniel E. Boatwright Papers consist of 4 cubic feet of records reflecting Boatwright's legislative activities during his 24-year legislative career. The records consist solely of Bill Files documenting the legislation authored by Boatwright from 1973-1996.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Daniel E. Boatwright Papers, LP357:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Daniel E. Boatwright Papers following his final term in the State Legislature.


    Daniel Eugene Boatwright, Democrat, served in the California Legislature as a State Assembly Member from 1973-1980 and as a State Senator from 1981-1996. During Boatwright's twenty-four year career as a legislator, he represented the greater portion of Contra Costa County including the cities of Brentwood, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, and Walnut Creek. In 1972, Daniel Boatwright was elected to the 10th California State Assembly District. During his first legislative session in office, 1973-1974, the 10th Assembly District encompassed central and eastern Contra Costa County including the cities of Brentwood, Concord, and Walnut Creek. Boatwright served the 10th District during his entire tenure in the Assembly. Elected to the Senate in 1980, Boatwright entered office for the following legislative session, 1981-1982, representing the 7th Senate District, which represented practically the same region of Contra Costa County as his Assembly District. Senatorial redistricting in 1990 extended the 7th District to include a small portion of northeastern Alameda County, comprised of cities such as Livermore and Pleasanton. Throughout his career, Boatwright primarily represented Contra Costa County and the large housing tracts, office parks, and oil refineries along the south banks of the Suisun Bay and Sacramento River that operated within his district's limits (Who's Who in the California Legislature, 1991, p.20 and 1995, p.15).
    Born in Harrison, Arkansas in 1930, Daniel Boatwright moved with his parents, four sisters, and one brother establishing residence in Vallejo, California in 1938. Boatwright attended public schools in Vallejo and shortly after graduating from high school; he joined the United States Army in 1948. In the Army, Boatwright served his country as a combat infantryman in the 7th Infantry Division in Korea from 1950 to 1951. Following his honorable discharge from the Army in 1952, Boatwright returned to Vallejo where he attended Vallejo Junior College. While at Vallejo Junior College, he received a true taste of governmental leadership as he earned appointment as President of the California Junior College Student Government Organization, an organization that represented over 60 California Junior Colleges in organizing student affairs on campus. Later, Boatwright moved on to the University of California, Berkeley where he received his Baccalaureate degree in Political Science in 1956. It only took him three more years to earn his Jurist Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, accomplishing that feat in 1959 (Legislative Handbook: Members of the California Legislature, 1973, p.10).
    Boatwright quickly began his career as an attorney going to work as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County, which he followed up by entering private law practice, eventually opening his own law firm in Concord in 1970. Boatwright was a member of the California, Contra Costa, and Mount Diablo Bar Associations. During this time, Boatwright met and married his first wife Gina Hilbert, a registered nurse, with whom he had three sons, Danny, David, and Donald. Boatwright is currently married to Teresa Boatwright. In 1966, Boatwright was elected to the Concord City Council and simultaneously elected mayor, the first freshman council member ever elected mayor in Concord. Boatwright served as mayor from 1966 to 1968 and remained on the city council until his election to the California State Assembly. Furthermore, Boatwright helped found the County Criminal Justice Agency, the Concord AAU Swim Club in Contra Costa County, and in 1974, he was the recipient of the Sierra Club's "Wildlife Conservationist of the Year" award (California Legislature at Sacramento, 1975, p.189).
    In the 1972 General Election, Boatwright was first elected to the Assembly from the 10th Assembly District. The 1974 and 1976 elections demonstrate Boatwright's political popularity because, according to the California Legislature Handbook of 1977-1978, he was re-elected with the largest number of votes achieved statewide by any Democratic assembly member during those two elections. Boatwright chaired the top fiscal and budget-writing Assembly Committee on Ways and Means from 1976 to 1980. At the time of his appointment in 1976, he was the least tenured legislator ever named to head that powerful committee. In 1980, Boatwright decided to run for election to the state senate and in that general election, he was elected to the 7th Senate District by a substantial margin.
    In the Senate, Boatwright's legislative interests fully honed in on fiscal activity and fiscal responsibility in state government. As the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on State Procurement and Expenditure Practices, Boatwright led investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption and monetary waste in state government programs. Furthermore, Boatwright chaired the Revenue and Taxation Committee as well as the top finance committee of the Senate, the Appropriations Committee in 1986. With that appointment, according to the California Legislature at Sacramento handbook of 1994, Boatwright became the only legislator to have chaired the top fiscal committees of both houses of legislature, the Ways and Means committee in the Assembly and the Appropriations Committee in the Senate. Throughout his legislative career, Boatwright continued to establish himself as a leader on issues that addressed property tax relief, closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, limits on government spending, promoting the use of alcohol fuels and other alternative energy sources in California, improving water quality and the environment, and providing funding for research of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Boatwright left office in 1996 because of term limits.
    Following his distinguished twenty-four year career in office, Daniel Boatwright remained active and influential in politics and policy becoming a registered lobbyist in December 1996. According to his web-profile, Boatwright serves as general counsel to Sacramento Advocates, Inc., a prominent State Capitol lobbying firm established in 1990 by Boatwright's former committee consultant and chief of staff Barry S. Brokaw (http://www.sacramentoadvocates.com/boatwright.html, accessed 18 July 2006). According to recent news articles, Boatwright still devotes a great deal of time to community sporting and charitable activities, especially towards continued research of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In 1991, the California SIDS Conference established a Senator Daniel E. Boatwright Award for distinguished service in the fight against SIDS. The award acknowledges individuals in the California SIDS community who have performed extraordinary public service towards the treatment of SIDS. The Boatwright Award remains the most prestigious SIDS award given in California and is named for Boatwright because of his influential legislation regarding treatment of SIDS parents and standardizing examinations of SIDS cases.
    According to the Assembly and Senate Final History books, 1973-1996, Boatwright served on the following committees, commissions, and boards during his legislative tenure:

    California State Assembly, 1973-1980

    • Standing Committees
    • Constitutional Amendments, 1979-1980
    • Intergovernmental Relations, 1975-1976
    • Judiciary, 1973-1974
    • Resources and Land Use, 1973-1974
    • Revenue and Taxation, 1973-1975
    • *Chair, 1975
    • Rules, 1979-1980
    • Water, 1975-1976
    • Water, Parks, and Wildlife; 1977-1980
    • Ways and Means, 1975-1980
    • *Chair, 1976-1980
    • Subcommittees
    • Number 4 of Ways and Means on Commerce, Labor, and State Administration, 1979-1980
    • Number 5 of Ways and Means on Employee Benefits, 1977-1980
    • Select Committees
    • Regulatory Oversight, 1979-1980
    • *Chair, 1979-1980
    • Joint Committees
    • Legislative Audit, 1975-1980
    • Legislative Budget, 1975-1980
    • Special Committees, Boards, Commissions, and Councils
    • California Information Systems Implementation, 1977-1980
    • Commission on the Status of Women, 1973-1974
    • Policy Research Management, 1977-1978
    • Wildlife Conservation Board, 1977-1980

    California State Senate, 1981-1996

    • Standing Committees
    • Appropriations, 1985-1988
    • *Chair, 1986-1987
    • Banking and Commerce, 1983-1990
    • Banking, Commerce, and International Trade, 1991-1996
    • Bonded Indebtedness and Methods of Financing, 1987-1990
    • *Chair, 1987-1988
    • Budget and Fiscal Review, 1991-1996
    • Business and Professions, 1991-1996
    • *Chair, 1991-1996
    • Criminal Procedure, 1995-1996
    • Elections, 1985-1988
    • Elections and Reapportionment, 1981-1984; 1989-1996
    • *Chair, 1981-1982
    • Finance, 1981-1984
    • Finance, Investment, and International Trade, 1993-1994
    • Housing and Urban Affairs, 1985-1986
    • Industrial Relations, 1981-1982
    • Natural Resources and Wildlife, 1981-1992
    • Revenue and Taxation, 1981-1996
    • *Chair, 1983-1985
    • Transportation, 1993-1996
    • Subcommittees
    • Creation or Expansion of Scope of Practice, 1995-1996
    • Crimes against Children, 1995-1996
    • Efficiency and Effectiveness in State Boards and Commissions, 1991-1994
    • Prison Construction, 1995-1996
    • Sports, 1991-1996
    • *Chair, 1991-1996
    • Number 4 of Budget and Fiscal Review on Legislative, Executive, Business, Transportation, Housing, and General Government, 1991-1992
    • *Chair, 1991-1992
    • Number 4 of Finance on Resources and Corrections, 1981-1982
    • Number 4 of Finance on Resources and Criminal Justice, 1983-1984
    • Select Committees
    • Auburn Dam Project, 1983-1984
    • California's Wine Industry, 1995-1996
    • State Procurement and Expenditures Practices, 1983-1996
    • *Chair, 1983-1996
    • Tourism and Aviation, 1987-1990
    • Joint Committees
    • Prison Constructions and Operations, 1983-1996
    • *Chair, 1993-1996
    • Rules, 1993-1996
    • Sunset Review, 1995-1996

    Scope and Content

    The Daniel E. Boatwright Papers consist of 79 file folders housed in 4 cubic feet that represent Boatwright's activities and legislative priorities during his twenty-four years of service in the California State Legislature. These papers consist solely of bill files that record legislation authored by Boatwright during his tenure in office from 1973 to 1996. The bill files are comprised primarily of textual documents although the occasional file will contain photographs and/or negatives relevant to the context of a particular bill.
    The bill files are records kept by Boatwright and his staff on legislation that he authored and introduced. They offer a glimpse into Boatwright's effective lawmaking skills that led to the passing of more than 350 laws in his distinguished legislative career. Boatwright's legislative interests resided in fiscal matters consisting of closing tax loopholes for the wealthy (SB29, 1991-1992), eliminating income taxes for the working poor, and other fiscal measures amending the tax codes such as SB2252 (Ch. 1348, 1990). Additionally, Boatwright advocated limits on government spending as seen in his legislation (for example: ACA2, 1979-1980) and in his role as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on State Procurement and Expenditure Practices, which investigated fraud and corruption in state government spending.
    Further topics of interests for Boatwright included introducing legislation to improve the environment, air quality, and water quality. One of Boatwright's principal concerns during the better part of the 1970s and 1980s was endorsing alternative fuel sources - including SB140 (Ch. 37, 1983) - that used gasoline blended with 10 percent ethyl alcohol for improved fuel economy and air quality. Moreover, Boatwright authored bills creating emission standards and air pollution restraints. Water issues also concerned Boatwright during his time in office as he authored several pieces of legislation regarding metering water usage such as SB229 (Ch. 407, 1991), protecting water wildlife habitats, and ensuring quality drinking water for the citizens of Contra Costa County through SCR55 (Res. Ch. 39, 1990).
    Among other subjects that researchers might discover in the Boatwright papers are local issues concerning Contra Costa County, development of public transportation systems, consumer protection policies, and fair employment practices. The legislative papers of Daniel Eugene Boatwright demonstrate the tremendous range of the legislator's effectiveness in creating legislation as well as his primary concerns for introducing the legislation. Each of the 79 file folders provides excellent insights into the lengthy legislative career and activities of Assembly Member and Senator Boatwright.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Boatwright, Daniel E.
    Government Spending, Waste in
    Gasohol Law and legislation
    Air Pollution California
    Water quality California
    California. Senate. Select Committee on State Procurement and Expenditure Practices
    Contra Costa County (Calif.)

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    For further information regarding Boatwright's work in the state legislature, please consult the committee files of the various committees that he chaired.

    Other Repositories

    Additional records relating to Daniel E. Boatwright may be found in the Paul Gann Archive at the California State Library, 900 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.