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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Material
  • Processing Information
  • Conservation Note
  • Separated Material
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Technical Requirements

  • Title: Gavin Christopher Newsom Papers
    Date (inclusive): 2004-2011
    Date (bulk): Bulk 2004-2010
    Identifier/Call Number: SFH 496
    Creator: Newsom, Gavin Christopher, 1967-
    Physical Description: 20 Cubic Feet (17 boxes, 1 manuscripts boxes, 1 oversized box)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: This collection documents the mayoral career of Gavin Newsom, who served as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco, from Jan. 8, 2004 to Jan. 11, 2011.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored on site.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items. Photographs can be photographed but cannot be photocopied.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gavin Newsom Papers, (SFH 489), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.


    Marriage Equality/Proposition 8 correspondence was received from City Hall in 2010. Additional paper records were transferred on Jan. 7, 2011. Video records were transferred from SFGovTV on Dec. 4, 2010 and Oct. 3, 2011, and from the library's Government Information Center on Oct. 13, 2017.

    Related Material

    Researchers are encouraged to see the San Francisco History Center's subject and biographical files, other Mayoral Papers, and Mayoral Gifts; and to check the library catalog for related materials. See also SFH 89, San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder Same-Sex Marriage Licenses for the same-sex marriage licenses issued from Feb. 12, 2004 to March 11, 2004 and later invalidated.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tami J. Suzuki.

    Conservation Note

    During processing, the collection was re-housed in acid-free boxes and folders.

    Separated Material

    The photographic book, We Do, A Celebration of Gay and Lesbian Marriage, c2004, was transferred to the library catalog.

    Biographical Note

    Gavin Christopher Newsom is a businessman and Governor of California (2019- ). He was the state's Lieutenant Governor (2011-2019). He served as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco (2004-2011), and prior to that, as a San Francisco supervisor (1997 to 2004).
    The future politician was born October 10, 1967 in San Francisco to William and Tessa Newsom. His father was an attorney and later, a state appeals court judge, with longstanding political and financial ties. The Newsoms divorced in 1972. Gavin played baseball at Santa Clara University and graduated with a degree in political science. Soon after, he and investors including longtime family friend Gordon Getty founded the PlumpJack Associates and opened the PlumpJack Winery.
    He got his political start in 1996, when then-Mayor Willie Brown appointed Newsom to the Parking and Traffic Commission. The following year, he was appointed to the Board of Supervisors, serving to January of 2004. Newsom described himself then as a social liberal and fiscal watchdog. While supervisor, he supported the controversial but successful 2002 "Care not Cash" ballot measure, which replaced cash payments with in-kind services for homeless adults.
    Campaigning for mayor as a "problem solver" and stressing customer service and efficiency by city departments, Newsom won the Nov. 4, 2003 runoff election with 53 percent of the vote as a moderate, over Matt Gonzalez, the progressive board president and Green Party candidate. Newsom took office on Jan. 8, 2004 at the age of 36, the youngest in 100 years. He cut his financial ties to his San Francisco businesses after he was elected.
    One month after taking office, he authorized legalization of same-sex marriage, in violation of state law. He was heralded as a new star of the Democratic Party. Heated national debate followed, and he is widely credited with accelerating the marriage equality movement which led to the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide 11 years later.
    Newsom was included in Time Magazine's "People Who Mattered" in 2004. Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes, and Newsweek highlighted the mayor's inaugural year. The New Yorker profiled him (Oct. 4, 2004) in "Going Places, An ambitious young mayor takes San Francisco," calling him a policy wonk who was proud of bringing about dramatic change.
    During his first year in office, he appointed the city's first female police and fire chiefs, and shared his "Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness." He went on to create Project Homeless Connect and the Homeless Outreach Team to deal with chronic homelessness. In 2007, he launched Healthy San Francisco, the first universal access health care program in the country. He used labor concessions, higher fees, reduced overtime, and 350 layoffs to address an historic $483 million budget deficit in 2010.
    Early in his mayoral career, Newsom revealed to students with dyslexia that he suffers from the same disease but works hard to overcome this challenge. He has since shared that the learning issue caused him to strengthen other skills, and has given him empathy.
    In 2007, Newsom admitted an earlier affair with a married staffer. He sought and received alcohol counseling. He recently called the transgression the great regret in his life.
    He was easily reelected in 2007. In April 2009 he was the first candidate to announce a run for governor, but withdrew from the race six months later. (Jerry Brown was elected governor in 2010.) Newsom then filed to run for lieutenant governor and was elected in November of 2010. He took office on Jan. 10, 2011. (The following day, Edwin M. Lee, the city administrator, took office as mayor to serve Newsom's remaining term.) In February of 2015, Newsom again became the first declared candidate for governor, saying serving as mayor of San Francisco provided a good training ground. He was elected governor on Nov. 6, 2018, and sworn in on Jan. 7, 2019.
    In his personal life, Newsom married Kimberly Guilfoyle, then a San Francisco assistant district attorney, on Dec. 8, 2001. They divorced in March 2006. Newsom and Jennifer Seibel married on July 26, 2008. She is a film producer and actor; they have four children.

    Scope and Contents

    Documents the mayoral career of Gavin Newsom, who served as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco, from Jan. 8, 2004 to Jan. 11, 2011. Included are policy initiatives, subject files, city government reports, constituent correspondence regarding same sex marriage, and video recordings of press conferences. Speeches, press releases, photographs, and campaign materials are not included.
    Subjects include accountability, homelessness, Department of Building Inspection and Police Department reform, wireless broadband networking and digital inclusion, universal access to health insurance, clean technology, African American out-migration, Sanctuary City, water quality protection, Hunters Point clean-up, workforce planning, and affordable housing.


    Organized into five series: Series 1. Legislative and Subject Files; Series 2. Reports; Series 3. Press Conferences; Series 4. Same-Sex Marriage Correspondence; and Series 5. Office of Protocol.
    Legislative and Subject Files and Reports are organized alphabetically. Press Conferences and Same-Sex Marriage Correspondence are organized chronologically.

    Technical Requirements

    Includes CDs and DVDs.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    City planning -- California -- San Francisco.
    Homelessness -- Government policy -- California -- San Francisco.
    Mayors -- California -- San Francisco.
    San Francisco (Calif.) -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
    Same-sex marriage -- California -- San Francisco.
    Urban policy -- California -- San Francisco.
    Newsom, Gavin Christopher, 1967- -- Archives