Guide to the Quentin Kopp Papers

Processed by Alicia Castaneda
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
© 2013
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Quentin Kopp Papers

Collection number: LP445

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Alicia Castaneda
Date Completed:
May 2013
Encoded by:
Cori Schmidtbauer
© 2013 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Quentin Kopp Papers
Dates: 1986-1998
Collection number: LP445
Creator: Quentin Kopp, California Legislator
Collection Size: 35 cubic feet
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: Quentin Kopp, Independent, served in the California State Senate from 1986 until 1998. His papers consist of 35 cubic feet of textual records and 5 audio cassettes and are organized into the following record series: Bill Files (1987-1998) and Hearing Files (1995-1998).
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information


While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

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], Quentin Kopp Papers, LP445:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition and Custodial History

The California State Archives acquired the Quentin Kopp Papers following his final term in the State Legislature.


Quentin Kopp, Independent, served in the California State Senate from 1986 until 1998. In a 1986 special election, he was elected to fill the seat vacated by John Foran after Foran's resignation. Kopp was the first non-incumbent Independent elected to the Senate since 1878. He represented the 8th Senatorial District (South San Francisco, Daly City, Millbrae, Hillsborough, Pacifica, Moss Beach and Burlingame), and after redistricting in 1991, his 8th Senatorial District grew to include San Francisco's Sunset and Richmond areas, as well as the City of San Mateo, the Farallon Islands, and part of Foster City. Kopp served in this position until reaching senate term limitations in 1998.
Quentin Kopp was born on August 11, 1928, in Syracuse, New York. After earning a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College in 1949, he went on to earn a law degree from Harvard University in 1952. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Kropp served in the United States armed forces as an Air Force lieutenant from 1952 until 1954. Following his military service, he began practicing law in San Francisco in 1955 and was a San Francisco supervisor from 1972 to 1986. Kopp is married to Mara Sitakers with whom he has three children, two sons, Shepard and Brad, and a daughter, Jennifer. In 1994, the Kopps created the Quentin and Mara Kopp Foundation, which facilitates funding to agencies serving the needy youth. He has also worked as a radio show host for KGO-AM 810 and was a frequent political commentator on KTVU-TV. His civic activities included his chairmanship on the Bay Area Super Bowl task force, which brought Super Bowl XIX to Stanford Stadium in 1985. He also served as President of the Barristers Club of San Francisco and was a member of the Marines Memorial Club as well. As a state legislator, Kopp was interested in revenue and taxation, operation of the courts, the environment, campaign reform, water issues, and especially transportation. He fought to have the San Francisco BART (Bay Area Regional Transit) system include service to the San Francisco International Airport, introduced a bill to create the California High-Speed Rail Commission and was a former board member of the California High Speed Rail Authority. He is one of the key proponents of the California High Speed Rail System. This rail system, if built, would lay 800 miles of track stretching from Sacramento to San Diego, linking major cities along the way utilizing trains that reach speeds of 220 miles per hour. Bill files concerning the California High Speed Rail project are not included in this collection, except for SB1420 from the 1995-1996 senate sessions. In 1998, Republican Governor Pete Wilson appointed Kopp to a Superior Court judgeship in San Mateo County. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 2004. Kopp continues to advocate for the California High Speed Rail system and is also a contributing political writer for the newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner.
During his term in the California Legislature, Kopp served on the following committees according to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks), Senate Final History, and Pocket Directory of the California Legislature;

State Senate, 1986-1998

  • Standing Committees
  • Agriculture and Water Resources, 1991-1998
  • Budget and Fiscal Review, 1991-1998
  • Criminal Procedure, 1995-1996
  • Defense Base Closures, 1991-1992
  • Finance, 1997-1998
  • Financial, Investment, and International Trade, 1991-1994
  • Housing and Land Use, 1995-1996
  • Housing and Urban Affairs, 1987-1989
  • Investment and International Trade, 1997-1998
  • Local Government, 1987-1996
  • Public Safety, 1997-1998
  • Revenue and Taxation, 1987-1998 (Vice Chair, 1997-1998)
  • Vice Chair, 1997-1998
  • Toxics and Public Safety Management, 1987-89
  • Transportation, 1989- 1998 (Chairman, 1989-1996)
  • Chairman, 1989-1996
  • Select Committees
  • AIDS, 1987-1989
  • Alameda Corridor, 1997-1998
  • Defense Base Closures, 1991-1994
  • Genetics and Public Policy, 1995-1998
  • Higher Education, 1997-1998
  • Information Services in the State Government, 1995-1996 (Chairman, 1995-1996)
  • Chairman, 1995-1996
  • Maritime Industry, 1991-1998
  • Mediation, 1995-1996
  • Northridge Earthquake, 1991-1996
  • Planning for California's Growth, 1987-1994
  • Prison Management, 1997-1998
  • Redevelopment, 1995-1998
  • Small Business Enterprises, 1989-1989
  • Southern California Water Districts Expenditure and Governance, 1997-1998
  • State Procurement and Expenditure Practices, 1991-1996
  • Technological Crime and the Consumer, 1997-1998
  • Upper Sacramento Valley Economic Resources and Rangeland Issues, 1987-1989
  • Voting Practices and Procedures, 1991-1994
  • Subcommittees
  • Legislative, Executive, Business, Transportation, and General Government, 1991-1994
  • Local Government Investments, 1995-1996
  • Special Committees
  • Entertainment Industry, 1991-1994
  • Joint Committees
  • Fairs Allocation and Classification. Continuous Existence, 1997-1998
  • Information Technology in State Government, 1991-1994 (Chairman, 1991-1994)
  • Chairman, 1991-1994
  • Joint Rule 40, 1991-1998
  • Legislative Audit, Continuous Existence, 1997-1998
  • Tort Liability, 1989-1990
  • Boards, Commissions, and Councils
  • Advisory Committee to Review Costs of the State and Local Criminal Justice System, 1987-1998
  • California Law Revision Commission, 1995-1998
  • California Transportation Commission, 1987-1998
  • Executive Steering Committee on the Superconducting Super Collider, 1989-1998
  • Public Works Board, 1987-1998
  • Rail Passenger Finance Committee, 1987-1998
  • Task Force on the Feasibility of a Creation of a Department to Regulate Credit Unions, 1989-1990

Scope and Content

The Quentin Kopp Papers consist of 35 cubic feet of textual records and 5 audio cassettes. These records cover the years of 1987 through 1998. The records are organized into the following record series: Bill Files (1987-1998) and Hearing Files (1995-1998). Bill Files document Quentin Kopp's legislative activity during his term as California State Legislator. The Hearing Files concern hearings regarding the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford Hospital merger.
Notable bills in this collection include SB1538 (1991-1992), SB2051 (1987-1988), and SB1098 (1997-1998). SB1538 sought to expand the Brown Act. The Brown Act (originally passed in 1953) requires that all meeting of the legislative body, including city councils, county boards, supervisors, school boards, and planning commissions be open and public. However, there were cases of legislative bodies that proved adept at circumventing the law. SB1538 aimed at closing the existing loop holes within the Brown Act. SB2051 (1987-1988) pertained to the policies of the Golden Gate Bridge, and SB 1098 (1997-1998) sought to prevent age discrimination in employment policies. Another bill of note is SB1420, (Chapter 796, 1996) which led to the creation of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and prescribed various powers of authority relative to planning, financing, operating, and contracting for the construction of a California high-speed rail system.


No further accruals are expected.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Kopp, Quentin Lewis, 1928-
California. Legislature. Senate
California Intercity High Speed Rail Commission

Series Descriptions


Series 1 Bill Files 1987-1998

Physical Description: 717 file folders, 1 audiocassette tape

Access Information

LP445:318 and LP445:334 are restricted. Release of these documents is prohibited under section 10546 of the Government Code, as they contain attorney-client privilege.

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.


Bill files are arranged chronologically by legislative session, then numerically by bill number.

Scope and Content Note

Bill Files were created by Quentin Kopp while he served as a state legislator from 1987 to 1998. The bill files may include bill analyses, amendments and resolutions, author's statements, testimony, press releases, newspaper clippings, correspondence, committee statements, amendments, analyses, letters and position statements in support or opposition, legislative counsel opinions, conflict letters, author's floor and committee statements, press releases, newspaper clipping, background information, and other documents regarding implementation.
The bills introduced by Senator Kopp pertain to a wide array of subjects including transportation, campaign reform, and revenue taxation. Senator Kopp was a leader in the efforts to promote and develop public transportation (SB300 of 1989-1990, SB1440 of 1991-1992, and SB1538 of 1997-1998), he worked to effect change in campaign reform (SB119 and SB120 of 1987-1988) as well as changing policy regarding revenue and taxation (SB1395 of 1989-1990 and SB82 of 1991-1992).
1987-1988 SB119-SB2857, SCA26-SCA31, SCR35-SCR97, SJR13-SJR46, SR30-SR42 (57ff) LP445:1-57
1989-1990 SB65-SB2829, SCA29-SCA50, SCR12-SCR111, SJR23-SJR51, SR39-SR66, SB36X-SB44X (131ff) LP445:58-188
1991-1992 SB3-SB2065, SCA1-SCA49, SCR77-SCR79, SJR1-SJR50 (136ff) LP445:189-324
1993-1994 SB2-SB2000 (85ff) LP445:325-410
1995-1996 SB2-SB2177, SCA10, SCR21-SCR67, SJR5-SJR48, SB14XX-SB19XX (165ff, 1 audio cassette) LP445:411-576
1997-1998 SB4-SB2063, SCA31-SCA32, SCR3-SCR13 (140ff) LP445:577-717

Series 2 Hearing Files 1995-1997

Physical Description: 16 file folders, 4 audiocassette tapes

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.


Hearing Files are arranged chronologically by hearing date.

Scope and Content Note

The UC Board of Regents considered merging the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center with Stanford Health Services in order to form a new non-profit entity, NewCo. Hearing Files in this collection document the investigation of the merger. State auditors conducted the investigation as mandated by senate bills of which Senator Kopp coauthored (SB1350 and SB1351, from the 1995-1996 session). These hearing files include testimony, transcripts, correspondence, and background information, and addressed subjects such as public comment, period concerns, University of California Regent concerns and student concerns (June 20, 1996), conflicts of interest (August 1, 1996), disclosure of records (November 15, 1996), and budget and fiscal reviews (April 4, 1997).