Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid of the Dominic L. Cortese Collection
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (57.43 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dominic L. Cortese collection
    Dates: 1969-1988
    Bulk Dates: 1974-1975
    Collection number: 2012-006
    Creator: Cortese, Dominic L.
    Collection Size: 5 folders
    Repository: Santa Clara County Archives.
    San Jose, CA 95112-2527
    Abstract: The Dominic L. Cortese Collection consists of photographs, a press release, newspaper clippings, speeches, and correspondence that document his time as Santa Clara County Supervisor from 1969 to 1980.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English Italian


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the copyright holder for publication or quotation.

    Preferred Citation

    Dominic L. Cortese collection, 2012-006, Santa Clara County Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was transferred by Dominic L. Cortese to the Archives in 2012.


    Dominic L. Cortese, a native of San Jose and son of an Italian immigrant farmer, served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1969 until 1980. It was his first election attempt during a period of heavy social unrest, and involved an extremely active campaign which led to his defeat of an entrenched sixteen-year incumbent. Cortese won two subsequent re-elections and during his tenure chaired the Board three times. He also chaired the Local Agency Formation District twice, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation District (which he was instrumental in creating) twice, and the Local Criminal Justice Planning Board created by Governor Ronald Reagan. He served as the Board's representative on the Regional Air Quality Board, the Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission, and ABAG. He was the Board's delegate to the local Economic Opportunity Commission (Federal War on Poverty). When the EOC was under threat of takeover by the Federal government, Cortese along with two other local officials founded the Economic and Social Opportunities Commission (ESO).
    Cortese was asked to meet with President Jimmy Carter during the 1979 oil crisis after his proposal to nationalize the oil companies was adopted by his Board and other cities and counties throughout the state. He was a founding member of the California Association of LAFCOS and was its President twice. From 1969 through 1980, the Board created the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Drug Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Human Relations Commission. When the Angela Davis trial was assigned there, the County became the focus of international attention. Santa Clara County was one of the first major public entities to establish a smoking ban in restaurants along with one of the first comprehensive recycling programs in the country. The establishment of a central building permit center received national recognition. The Board asked the electorate to establish an extensive countywide rural parks program which allowed for the acquisition of numerous regional type parks. The program is still in existence.
    Cortese also served on the California State Assembly from 1980 to 1996. His son, Dave Cortese, has served as County Supervisor of District 3 since 2008.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Dominic L. Cortese Collection consists of photographs, a press release, newspaper clippings, speeches, and correspondence that document his time as Santa Clara County Supervisor from 1969 to 1980.


    This collection is arranged into five series: Photographs, Press Release, Newspaper Clippings, Speeches, and Correspondence. Each series is arranged chronologically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Board of Supervisors (Santa Clara County, Calif.)
    Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
    Cortese, Dominic L.
    Press releases
    Speeches, addresses, etc.