Finding aid to the Jack Morrison Papers, 1962-1988 (bulk 1966-1969)

Finding aid prepared by Tami J. Suzuki
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4567
December 2008

Title: Jack Morrison Papers
Date (bulk): 1966-1969
Date (inclusive): 1962-1988
Collection Identifier: SFH 24
Creator: Morrison, Jack, 1922-1991
Physical Description: 2 boxes (1.33 cubic feet)
Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 557-4567
Abstract: Memoranda, notes, reports, resolutions, correspondence, and newspaper clippings documenting Morrison's service as a San Francisco Supervisor, particularly during his second term from 1966-1969. Includes some post-supervisorial, civic and consultant business activities.
Physical Location: The collection is stored off-site. A minimum of two working days' notice is required for use.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to the San Francisco Public Library. 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 and the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jack Morrison Papers (SFH 24), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Related Materials

Researchers are encouraged to see also the San Francisco Charter Commission Records (SFH 25), the San Francisco History Center's poster collection, subject and biographical files, Mayoral Papers, and the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection; and to check the library catalog for related materials. Some items have been moved to the library’s book collection.


The Jack Morrison Papers were donated to the San Francisco Public Library by his widow, Jane Morrison, in two accessions, in 2005 and 2008.

Biographical/Historical note

Jack Morrison was a central figure in the founding and growth of liberal Democratic and neighborhood organizations that came to dominate San Francisco's political life. Known as a grass-roots-citizen-politician who stood for principle, integrity, and comity in civic life, Morrison was a pioneer in urban environmentalism, leading successful fights to protect the San Francisco waterfront from overdevelopment and to increase accessibility to Golden Gate Park. He led the fight against downtown development and the move to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway. He also advocated for the less-fortunate.
Born in 1922 in Mustang, Colorado, Morrison grew up on a farm in Missouri, served in the Navy during World War II, and received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. After completing a Master's degree in creative writing at Stanford University, he spent 10 years as a journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle, covering city and state government. Elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1961, he served two terms until 1969. As chairman of the Supervisors' Social Services Committee, Morrison authored legislation establishing the San Francisco Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Commission. He ran, unsucessfully, for mayor against Joseph Alioto in 1967. See the History Center's poster collection for campaign posters.
Following his years on the Board of Supervisors, he served on the Port Commission, the 1980 Charter Revision Committee (as Vice Chair), Social Services Commission, Mayor's Blue Ribbon Laguna Honda Hospital Long-Range Planning Committee, San Francisco Equal Opportunity Council, and the Governor's California Study Commission on Mental Retardation. He served on numerous boards including the Family Service Agency of San Francisco, YMCA, Council for Civic Unity, and San Francisco Tomorrow. He was also an instructor in urban policy and urban communication at San Francisco State University.
Morrison was married to Jane Morrison, who is a past Women's Chair for the California Democratic Party, past chair and current member of the San Francisco Democratic Party (County Central Committee), and past president of San Francisco Tomorrow. She also served 13 years on the City's Human Service Commission, chaired the Friends of Human Rights Commission, and was president of the Port's Waterfront Advisory Committee. Jane was the community affairs and editorial director for KNBR-NBC Radio for 17 years, managing groundbreaking affirmative action programs. A longtime champion for a cleaner environment, working families, and public transportation, she continues her advocacy for high-speed rail.
Jack Morrison died on Dec. 7, 1991. Mayor Art Agnos described Morrison as the "embodiment of public service…He always spoke to the values and principles that have made San Francisco known as a city of conscience and his contributions left this city better than when he found it."

Scope and Contents

This collection documents Morrison's service as a San Francisco Supervisor, especially during his second term (1966-1969). The donor mentioned that a number of documents were discarded. Also covered are some post-supervisorial, civic and consultant business activities. During this period, the city was experiencing tension in many areas, particularly over growth and redevelopment issues.
Materials include memoranda, notes, reports, resolutions, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. Subjects include waterfront development and the Port, freeways, housing, gun control, and redevelopment. Of special interest are Morrison's Charter Revision Commission journal entries, including notes documenting his personal direct mail efforts on behalf of the campaign, and an entry (on Aug. 17, 1980) noting his happiness with the overall charter document but also listing its deficiencies. The measure, Proposition A, failed by a vote of 46 percent to 54 percent on Nov. 4, 1980 but was the basis for the eventual successful charter reform measure, Proposition E, on Nov. 7, 1995.


The material is organized into one series, Legislative and Issue Files, which is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Morrison, Jack, 1922-1991 -- Archives
San Francisco (Calif.). Board of Supervisors.
City planning--California--San Francisco
Land use--California--San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)--Politics and government--20th century
Urban renewal--California--San Francisco
Waterfronts--California--San Francisco


Legislative and Issue Files, 1962-1988 (bulk 1966-1969)

Box 1, Folder 1

Charter Revision Commission Campaign, 1978

Box 1, Folder 2

Charter Commission Journal, 1978-1980

Box 1, Folder 3

Commissions, Committee on, 1988

Box 1, Folder 4

Community Organization, 1970

Box 1, Folder 5

Economic Opportunity Council, 1965-1968

Box 1, Folder 6

Federally Assisted Code Enforcement (FACE), Alamo Square, 1967-1968

Box 1, Folder 7

Ferry Boat Study, 1968-1969

Box 1, Folder 8

Freeway, Southern Embarcadero, 1966

Box 1, Folder 9

Garfield Park, 1969

Box 1, Folder 10

Golden Gate Bridge, 1966-1968

Box 1, Folder 11

Gun Control Ordinance, 1968

Box 1, Folder 12

Haight Ashbury, 1968

Box 1, Folder 13

Highway Beautification Act, 1967

Box 1, Folder 14

Housing, 1965-1968

Box 1, Folder 15

Human Rights, 1967-1968

Box 1, Folder 16

Hunters Point Freeway, 1962-1964

Box 1, Folder 17

Marina District Constituent Correspondence, 1968

Box 1, Folder 18

Model Cities, Notes, [19--]

Box 1, Folder 19

Northern Waterfront, 1968

Box 1, Folder 20

Port, 1967-1979

Box 1, Folder 21

Port Commission Goals and Objectives, 1980

Box 1, Folder 22

Project Thresholds, 1978-1979

Box 1, Folder 23

Redevelopment, Area A-2, 1963-1969

Box 1, Folder 24

Redevelopment, Hunters Point, 1962-1968

Box 1, Folder 25

Regional Government, ca. 1973

Box 1, Folder 26

San Francisco State College, 1968-1969

Box 1, Folder 27

School District, Bilingual Education: Tagalog, 1969

Box 1, Folder 28

Sign Ordinance, 1965-1968

Box 1, Folder 29

Social Services Committee, 1968

Box 1, Folder 30

Social Services, Department of, 1967-1968

Box 1, Folder 31

Speaking Engagements, 1969

Box 1, Folder 32

Sutro Baths Purchase, 1967

Box 1, Folder 33

Symphony Orchestra Strike, 1967-1968

Box 2, Folder 1

Taxes, 1965-1968

Box 2, Folder 2

Theater Janitors Dispute, 1969

Box 2, Folder 3

Transportation, 1968-1969

Box 2, Folder 4

Tri-Partite Transportation Committee, 1967-1968

Box 2, Folder 5

Undergrounding Utilities, 1967-1968

Box 2, Folder 7

Yerba Buena Center, 1976-1979

Box 2, Folder 8

Zoning, 1968

Box 2, Folder 9

Zoning, R-3, 1963-1964

Box 2, Folder 10

Zoo Admission, [1968?]


Appendix A: Titles Transferred to the San Francisco Public Library's Book Collection


BART & the ghettos, San Francisco: Bay Area Rapid Transit District, 1969


The Case for Open Space, San Francisco: People for Open Space in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1969


A County Profile, Oakland: Arthur D. Little, Incorporated for United Way of the Bay Area, 1977


Haight-Ashbury Housing Study, San Francisco: San Francisco Department of City Planning, 1972


Inside City Hall, San Francisco: League of Women Voters of San Francisco, 1980


Preliminary Survey of Historical Cultural Resources, Northeastern Waterfront: Buildings, Piers, and Belt Line, San Francisco: Roger R. and Nancy L. Olmsted for Northeastern Waterfront Advisory Committee , 1978


Wisconsin War Housing Site Study, San Francisco: Community Design Center, University of California Extension for the Potrero Hill Community , [1967]