Finding Aid to the Gavin Christopher Newsom Papers, 2004-2011, SFH 496

Finding aid prepared by Tami J. Suzuki
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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


Series 1 Legislative and Subject Files 2004-2010

Scope and Contents

Includes Executive Directives, policy briefs and other policy papers, Powerpoint presentations, and research files maintained by more than one mayoral aide. Executive Directive matters include seismic strengthening of soft-story buildings, Sanctuary City policy, and recycling and resource conservation goals. Includes the transition team's report to Mayor-elect Newsom, and the mayor's "Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness."
Subjects include biotechnology, Department of Building Inspection reform, consolidation of city departments, technology matters including wireless broadband networking and fiberoptics, health insurance, and green policy matters such as solar power and composting.


Organized alphabetically by subject.
box 1

Accomplishments-Citywide Consolidation


Accomplishments, 2004-2011 [2010?]


Affordable Housing Initiative




American Express Golf Championship


America's Cup: Economic Impacts


Arts Commission Survey


Arts Task Force


Athletic Field Permit Policy


Auto Burglary Arrests


Avian Flu


Bay Bridge


Bay Delta Conservation Plan


Bayview Grocery Store/Fresh & Easy


Beacon Initiative (Youth and Family Centers)


Bicycle Milestones


Bill Graham Civic Auditorium




Bottled Water




Fiscal Year 2003-2004


FY 2006-2007


Instructions FY 2008-2009


Highlights FY 2008-2009


Building Inspection (Department of), Reform


Candlestick Park, Naming Rights


Car Share


2007 Census/Population Challenge


2010 Census


Centennial Park


Central Subway


Chicago Landscape Ordinance


Chief of Staff 2007


Children Youth and Families, Department of

Physical Description: 2 folder



Citistat Technology Systems


City College of San Francisco, Chinatown Campus


City Government Survey





Physical Description: 2 folders

Citybuild (Job Training)


Citywide Consolidation 2009

box 19

Civic Center Proposal

box 1

Civil Service Reform-Fiber Optics


Civil Service Reform 2005


Clean Streets/Graffiti


Clean Technology


Committee on Jobs


Communities of Opportunity

Physical Description: 2 folders

Community Choice (Energy) Aggregation


Community Development, Mayor's Office of


Community Investment, Mayor's Office of


Composting Law




Congestion Pricing (for Driving)


Contemporary Art Museum (Fisher) Project


Convention and Visitors Bureau


Criminal Justice, Mayor's Office of, Public Safety Reports


Cultural Competency Task Force Report


Disabled Parking Placards


Disaster Council


Doyle Drive


Eastern Neighborhoods


Economic Data 2007


Economic Development


Economic Impact of Small Business


Economic Strategy


Economic Trends


Electric Cars


Elimination of City Positions


Ellis Act Evictions


Emergency Room Statistics


Engineering Services Consolidation Findings 2005


Executive Directives 2004-2008

Physical Description: 2 folders

Fiber Optics

box 2

Film Commission-Pedestrian


Film Commission


Fire Department


Fire Hydrant Adapters


First 5/Children and Families Commission


Foreclosure Legislation Veto


General Plan: Housing


Golden Gate Park, Music Concourse Landmarking 2006


Golf Course Management Options




Grand Jury Reports (Civil) 2007


Great Streets


Green Landscaping Ordinance 2010


Green Policy Pledges 2005


Greening Initiative 2005


Health Insurance 2004


Healthcare: Defined Benefits Plan 2006


Healthy Kids (Insurance) Expansion 2004


Healthy San Francisco/Universal Healthcare 2006-2009

Physical Description: 2 folders




Physical Description: 4 folders

Homicide Rewards


Hospital Charity Care Report


Hotel Negotiations


Housing Authority

Physical Description: 2 folders

Housing, Mayor's Office of, and Redevelopment Agency Merger


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)


Human Trafficking


Hunters Point Community Youth Park


Hunters Point Naval Shipyard



Physical Description: 2 folders

Inauguration Program 2004




Israel Trip Thank Yous


Japantown Malls Sale (Kintetsu to 3D Investments) Covenants 2006


Jobs for Youth


John F. Kennedy Drive--Saturday Closures


Juvenile Hall Population


Juvenile Probation Inquiry 2009


Laura's Law


Legislation Introduced by Board, 2001-2003


Log Cabin Facilities


Lorraine Hansberry Theatre


McMillan (Sobering) Center


Major League Baseball All-Star Weekend 2007


Mayor's Public Transportation System Revenue Panel


Median Strips


Mental Health Board Presentation


Municipal Transportation (MUNI)

Physical Description: 3 folders

"Must Spend" Charter Amendment [2010]


Needle Exchange


Neighborhood Business Investment, "San Francisco DrillDown"


Neighborhood Parks Council




911 Reforms


Noncitizen Voting




"Shape Up"


Ocean Beach Vision Council


Oracle Open World




Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Interconnection Agreement 2005




Parking Authority Business Practices Assessment


Parking & Traffic, Department of




Payroll Tax Credit 2008


Pedestrian Safety

box 3





27-31: Cruise Terminal


48: Parking Lot A


70 Preservation


Planning Department Report 2004


Plastic Water Bottle Ban [2007?]


Police Department

Physical Description: 3 folders

Bologna Lawsuit 2009


Efficiency Plan, 2003-2006

Physical Description: 2 folders

Officer-Involved Shootings, Five-Year Study 2010


Organizational Assessment 2008

Physical Description: 2 folders

Racially Biased Policing Report [2005?]


Station Boundaries


Violence Reduction Strategy


Policy Briefs 2004


Policy Initiatives--Status 2004


Port Development Model


Potrero Power Plant Retrofit Study 2008


Public Art


Public Defender: Supplementary Funding 2009


Public Education Fund--Proposition H [2004]


Public Safety Statistics 2006

Physical Description: 2 folders

Public Utilities Commission


Public Works, Department of




Ranked-Choice Voting Lawsuit 2010


Recreation & Parks Department


Re-entry Council


Reinforcement-Based Leadership


Respite Facility (for Homeless)


Retiree Health Coverage 2008


Return to Residence


Rincon Hill Development


Ryan White Care Funding


St. Brigid's Church


Salary Give-Backs 2005


Same-Sex Marriage: Supreme Court Decision May 15, 2008


San Francisco General Hospital Rebuild


Santana, Carlos, Art Award


School Children's Correspondence

Physical Description: 4 folders

School District

Physical Description: 1 folder





School of the Arts (SOTA)


Teacher Home Purchase Program



Physical Description: 2 folders

School Visits by Mayor


Seniors and Disabled Adults


Sewage System


SF Safe City/Citysafe (Anti-Violence Initiative)


SFpark (Parking Management Program)

box 4

SFStat-Transbay Transit Center/Terminal



Physical Description: 3 folders

Shadow Initiative


Slow Food


Small Business Assistance Center


Solar Power Rebate


Special Events, Office of


State Budget


State of the City


Accomplishments 2005

Physical Description: 2 folders

Slides 2007


Slides 2009


Street Cleaning/SFClean Patrol


Street Repaving


Streets and Sidewalk Repair Plan


Substance Abuse Redesign


Sunday Streets 2010


Taxi Reform


Technology and Information Services (Department of, DTIS)--Reform


Tenderloin Cleaning


Thank You--Lunar New Year


Third Street Light Rail




Tourism Improvement District


Traffic Camera


Transbay Transit Center/Terminal 2007

Physical Description: 2 folders
box 19

Transbay Transit Center/Terminal Arts Program, 2010

box 7, folder 1-4

Transition Team Report to Mayor-elect Jan. 7, 2004

box 4

Transit Center District-Yerba Buena Cultural Facilities


Transit Center District


Transportation Agencies Merger


Treasure Island Development


Treasure Island Ramp


Tree of Hope


Union (IFPTE)-City Partnership


United Nations Global Center


United Nations Plaza Construction


U.S. Conference of Mayors


Urban Forestry


Urban Wind Power Recommendations


Vehicle Fleet Reduction


Violence Prevention Statistics




Water Transit Authority


Wireless Broadband Network


Workfoce Development, Office of Economic and


Working Families Credit


Yerba Buena Cultural Facilities


Series 2 Reports 2004-2009

Scope and Contents

Consists mainly of reports produced by City departments. Subjects include African American out-migration, homeless statistics, water quality protection, and workforce planning.


Organized alphabetically by subject.
box 4

African American-Budget


African-American Out-Migration Response [2009 or 2010]


Airport: Strategic Plan 2004-2008 2004


Balboa Park Station Area Plan, Public Review Draft 2002


Bay Bridge West Approach Seismic Retrofit Project 2008


Better Fields for Better Play [2006?]


Bicycle Plan, Citizens' Guide to the no date


Budget (Proposed) 2004

box 5

Budget-Financial Report


Budget (Proposed) 2005-2010

Physical Description: 6 Volumes

Building Inspection Department: Business Process Reengineering 2007


Capital Plan, 2007-2011

Physical Description: 4 Volumes

Catastrophic Earthquake Response Plan, Administrative Draft 2006

Physical Description: 3 folders

Children and Youth Needs Assessment 2002

Physical Description: 2 volume

Children Under 5 Years of Age in Poverty in San Francisco, 2000 2003


Controller's Recommendations, Status Report 2007

Physical Description: 2 folders

Dementia Care Strategy 2009

Physical Description: 2 Volumes

Domestic Violence Accountability Audit [2007?]


Economic Strategy 2007

Physical Description: 2 folders

Emergency Management Department: Final Report 2008


Emergency Operations Plan, Part I: Basic Plan 2005


Environmental Plan 2008


Financial Report, City and County 2005

box 6

Financial Report-Police


Financial Report, City and County 2007-2009

Physical Description: 2 Volumes

Grand Jury Reports, 2006-2008 2006-2008

Physical Description: 3 folders


Physical Description: 2 Volumes

Homeland Security 2008

Physical Description: 2 Volumes

Homeless Count 2009


Long-Term Care Strategic Plan 2004


Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI): Response to Grand Jury Report 2004


Municipal Water Department & Hetch Hetchy System History 2005


Ocean Beach Task Force Status 2000-2005


Planning Department Annual Report [2009]




Community Policing 2006


District Station Boundaries Analysis 2008


Foot Patrol Evaluation 2008

box 6 and 19

Port: Seawall Lot 337 and Pier 48 Proposals 2008

Physical Description: 2 items and 2 volumes
box 6

Public Health Department-Social Services for Women


Public Health Department


Acute and Long-Term Care Continuum 2005


Annual Report [2008]


Public Utilities Commission: Third Quarter Report April 2008


Public Works Department: Landscape Architect 2005


Real Property Owned by the City and County of San Francisco 2005


San Francisco: A City Connected to the Arts 1998


School District Capital Plan, 2010-2019 2009


SF Safe City 2006

Physical Description: 2 Volumes

SF Safe Summer 2006-2007


Social Services for Women, Directory 2005

box 7, volume 5

UN World Environment Day: Media Coverage 2005

box 7, volume 6

Violence Prevention Plan, 2008-2013 2008

box 7, volume 7

Water Quality Protection Plan 2008

box 7, volume 8

Workforce and Succession Planning Report 2009


Series 3 Press Conferences 2004-2011, bulk 2004-2010

Scope and Contents

Contains video of press conferences, also known as press availabilities, produced by SFGovTV, the city's government television station. Subjects include same-sex marriage, green/clean technology, Hunters Point clean-up, digital inclusion, accountability, solar power, Sanctuary City, eviction prevention and affordable housing, free wi-fi (wireless local area network), and bike sharing. Not all press conferences are covered by SFGovTV.
Notably, the 2008 State of the City message was released in ten segments, each approximately 45 minutes in length, on the mayor's YouTube channel, Many of his other press conferences are also available there, including his comments on the California Supreme Court's ruling (on Aug. 12, 2004) invalidating same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco. This press conference is in the collection on VHS, in black-and-white video.


Organized chronologically. Consult index for specific titles.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

On VHS videocassette (one) and DVDs.

Existence and Location of Copies

See as many of the press conferences are available on the mayor's YouTube channel.

Index of Titles

box 8


box 9


box 10


box 11


box 12


box 13


box 14


box 15



Series 4 Same-Sex Marriage Correspondence 2004-2009

Separated Material

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

Historical Note

Mayor Newsom declared same-sex marriage legal on Feb. 11, 2004. Nearly 4000 licenses were issued by Assessor-Recorder Mabel Teng until March 11, 2004, when the California Supreme Court halted the marriages. On Aug 12, 2004, the Court invalidated the unions. However, the same court overturned the state's ban on gay marriage on May 15, 2008, making California only the second state (after Massachusetts) to allow same-sex marriages. That November, voters passed Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment reinstating the ban. Same-sex marriage advocates sued the state of California. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a lower court's ruling to strike down the ban, legalizing same-sex marriages. Two days later, the Appeals Court announced that same-sex marriages could resume.

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence received by the Mayor following his declaration of legal marriages between same-sex couples in 2004, and following the California Supreme Court ruling on May 15, 2008, overturning the state's ban on gay marriage (of Aug. 12, 2004). The 2008 correspondence is largely E-mails congratulating the mayor. A few E-mails on other topics are included within the 2008 messages.


Organized chronologically by year.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Includes two computer discs (CDs).

Related Materials

See also video of the mayor's press conferences.
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.
box 16

Postcards 2004

box 16, box 17

Letters 2004

box 17

E-mail 2004

box 18

Supreme Court Decision May 15, 2008

box 18

Del Martin Memorial Program 2008

box 18

Lisa Spengel and Alana Morris Wedding, Performed by Mayor 2008

box 18

Danny Hamann CD 2008

box 18

Dianna Grayer CD 2009

box 18

Mark Leno Repeal of Proposition 8, Senate Resolution 7 [2009?]

box 18

Proposition 8/Anti Same-Sex Marriage Letters 2008-2009

box 18

Letters Supporting Same-Sex Marriage, with Mayor's Response 2008

box 18

Letters Supporting Same-Sex Marriage 2009

box 18, box 7, folder 9-18

E-mail May 2008

box 19

Certificates of Recognition 2008

box 15

Series 5 Office of Protocol

Scope and Contents

Gifts from the Mayor.

Holiday Ornaments

Physical Description: 4 items

Silk Scarves

Physical Description: 2 items