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Michael S. Bernick archive, 1970-2015
Bernick, Michael, 1952-
Contributing Institution
California State Library
California History Section Picture Catalog
Rights Information
Restricted. Scanned materials available in this record are for personal research viewing only.
Born on October 1, 1952, Michael S. Bernick is best known for his involvement and achievements in the fields of job training, economic development, public transit, transit villages, and employment law in California. He grew up in Los Angeles, where he attended John Hancock Elementary School, John Burroghs Junior High School, and Fairfax High School, from which he graduated in 1970. Following high school, Bernick attended Harvard University and graduated in 1974. He then went on to receive a B. Phil from Oxford Universiy-Balliol College. Subsequently, he moved back to California to attend law school at UC Berkeley. He spent his third year of law school in Washington D.C. to work on a monograph on Judge J. Skelly Wright, although only a portion of the manuscript went on to be published as an article in Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.
Upon graduating from law school, Bernick began his first job at Alameda County Training and Employment Board (CETA) in Hayward, CA, but he only stayed there a few months before moving to San Francisco to work for Arriba Juntos. Through Leandro Soto, Arriba Juntos's executive director, Bernick met Bill Russell Shapiro and Walter Johnson, who were starting a group called San Francisco Renaissance. In February 1982, Bernick became one of Renaissance's first three employees, and he later went on to become its executive director. That same year, he ran for the San Francisco Community College Board, but was unsuccessful.
Bernick left Renaissance in October 1986 and joined the public finance section of Arnelle and Hastie law firm in 1987, where he worked on employment law and small business matters. In 1988, Bernick ran for the BART Board of Directors and won. He stayed with the board until 1996, and during those years he also served as the director. Even after leaving BART, Bernick continued to be involved in transit-based development projects in California and throughout the country.
In 1999, newly-elected Governor Gray Davis appointed him director of the Employment Development Department, where he stayed until a few months after Davis was recalled in 2003. As EDD Director, he focused on job training and employment projects, including the Welfare-to-Work programs that emerged after the federal welfare reform of 1996. After leaving EDD, Bernick joined HNTB, a national engineering firm, as counsel for the transit division. He also joined the Milken Institute as a fellow of employment research. In 2005, he joined the Sedgwick, Deter, Moran & Arnold law firm, later renamed Sedgwish LLP, also as counsel. In 2009 and onwards, he wrote for the California political blog Fox & Hounds, and he worked on various transit-oriented development and employment projects throughout California.
The Michael S. Bernick Collection contains the papers and writings of Michael Bernick throughout his lifetime, particularly from 1982 and onwards. The collection is organized by entities with which Bernick was involved, such as San Francisco Renaissance Center, the BART Board of Directors, Arnelle & Hastie, the Employment Development Department, Gray Davis Controller's Office, and the UC Berkeley National Transit Access Center. The collection also contains collected literature on employment and transit issues, as well as some of Bernick's personal materials and BART campaign materials. The collection has been rearranged from its original state, with the help of Mr. Bernick himself, but the contents of each folder are in the original order.
Series 1, San Francisco Renaissance Center: This series contains material related to or created by the San Francisco Renaissance Center. There are six subseries. Subseries 1.1 contains SFRC's early materials from 1979-1981, including much of the founding documents and correspondence. Subseries 1.2 contains items from the SFR Research Center, organized by project or organization title. Subseries 1.3 contains folders organized alphabetically by various training initiatives and businesses run by SFR from 1982-1986. Subseries 1.4 contains clippings related to SFR and employment in San Francisco organized chronologically. Subseries 1.5 pertains to conferences and talks from 1982-1986 attended by Bernick or other SFR employees. Subseries 1.6 contains materials related to meetings with organizations in SFR's network; it is organized alphabetically by organization name.
Series 2 - Arnelle & Hastie (1987 ́ 1999). The materials in Series 2 relate to Michael Bernick ́s years with Arnelle & Hastie law firm between 1987 and 1999. It is divided into three subseries by type and arranged in alphabetical order or by date: Correspondence, files by date, and files by subject, respectively. Topics include employment development, projects for the Department of Insurance, public finance, and public productivity.
Series 3 - Controller Gray Davis ́s Office (1987-1991). Series 3 pertains to Bernick ́s work as a contractor for Controller Gray Davis ́s Office between 1987 and 1991. It primarily relates to Davis ́s campaign, homeless housing, infrastructure, tax reform, land use, and growth control. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by subject.
Series 4 ́ BART Board: The contents of this series deal with Michael Bernick ́s tenure as a member of the BART Board of Directors from 1988 to 1996. There are ten sub-series. Series 4.1 pertains to the BART extensive plan to Marin and contains articles and correspondence relating to it. Series 4.2 has materials dealing with the BART Domestic Partners program. Series 4.3 contains items about the BART extension project to the San Francisco Airport. Series 4.4 consists of articles and correspondence about the BART Commuter Rail expansions. Series 4.5 encompasses poems written about BART. Series 4.6 contains documents, articles and correspondence related to BART ́s efforts to increase their public power. Series 4.7 consists of items dealing with BART issues from 1988-1991, topics included are BART Extension plans, Post 1989 Earthquake performance, productivity measures, and Transit parking. Series 4.8 has materials dealing with BART issues from 1992-1994 and has topics that cover the Mission Street Station Rehabilitation project, the proposal for San Mateo to join the BART district, and the Morrison Knudsen rail car contract and dispute. Series 4.9 pertains to BART issues from 1995-1996 and covers such topics as the introduction of smart card technology, the dedication of Leandro Soto Square, and the Powell Street Turnaround project. Series 4.10 consists of materials relating to the BART Strike of 1997.
Series 5 - Transit Villages: Series five consists of items dealing with Michael Bernick ́s efforts and research to develop transit villages, which were to focus higher-density mixed use development, especially housing, within a quarter mile radius of BART stations in order to maximize transit ridership and minimize car use. Series 5.1 consists of articles and correspondence relating to Bernick ́s research and implementation of the transit villages. Series 5.2 contains materials involving the Transit Oriented Development projects in Sacramento and Santa Clara counties and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Series 5.3 has items dealing with the development of the state Interregional rail line and the creation of links between these lines and residential and commercial properties. Series 5.4 encompasses materials from the National Transit Access Centers symposiums in LA and the San Francisco Bay Area in 1992 and 1993. Series 5.5 is made up of articles and publications on transit villages by Bernick and other authors. Series 5.6 has items that explore the role and expansion of transit villages in the 21st century. Series 5.7 pertains to transit village projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and deals with the development of transit villages in West Oakland, Richmond, and Redwood City.
Series 6-Employment Development Department The contents of this series are related to Michael Bernick ́s time as Director of the Employment Development Depart (EDD) under governor Gray Davis from 1999-2004. There are seven subseries with subseries 6.1 containing items related to a book project that Michael Bernick was writing in the early 1990 ́s on the history of the department and job training programs in California. The contents of subseries 6.2 pertain to letters and memos written by Mr. Bernick and sent to him by various parties and organizations as well as correspondence with EDD employers and Bernick ́s personal calendars. Subseries 6.3 consists of files related to the briefings that Mr. Bernick received from various employees on topics such as Welfare to Work, Unemployment Insurance, and job training programs. Subseries 6.4 has files related to the work that EDD does dealing with unemployment, education, and job training. Subseries 6.5 consists of chron files that cover the day to day operations of EDD as well as letters of support for Michael Bernick ́s confirmation and appointments and the creation of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Subseries 6.6 has referrals from the Governor's office dealing with unemployment and EDD's responses. Subseries 6.7 contains an oversized scrapbook given to Mr. Bernick by George Toll the director of the Long Beach office of EDD. The scrapbook is a history of the department under Toll ́s time as director ranging from 1937-1967.
Series 7 consists of items dealing with the various campaigns that Michael Bernick helped with in addition to those where he ran for public office himself. Subseries 7.1 contain files regarding his campaign for the San Francisco Community College Board in 1982. Subseries 7.2 encompasses files and records dealing with Bernick ́s role in the Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club, The Walter Mondale Presidential campaign, Quentin Kopp ́s run for State Senate, Kevin Star ́s campaign for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and others. Subseries 7.3 includes articles and documents relating to Bernick ́s successful campaign for the BART board of directors in 1988. Subseries 7.4 deals with Bernick ́s reelection to the BART board in 1992 and subseries 7.5 contains items on his third campaign to the BART board in 1996. Subseries 7.6 is made up of documents relating to California campaigns from 1984-1998 including Bernick ́s run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1991, the Frank Jordan San Francisco mayoral campaign of 1991, Kathleen Brown ́s run for governor in 1994, John Molinari ́s bid for mayor of San Francisco in 1987 and Dianne Feinstein ́s campaign for governor in 1990 and then for the United States senate in 1992. Subseries 7.7 is comprised of lists of contributors to various campaigns that Michael Bernick worked on from 1998 to 1996.
Series 9-Personal items.
This collection is a work in progress. Other material will be added to the finding aid and catalog record as it is processed.
This is a companion collection to the Michael S. bernick writings, boxes 3945-3954.
Michael S. Bernick;
Restricted. Scanned materials available in this record are for personal research viewing only.
California State Library, California History Room
51 archival boxes ; 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.
San Francisco Renaissance Center
California Employment Development Department
UC Berkeley National Transit Access Center
Arnelle & Hastie
California. Office of State Controller--1987-1991
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)--1988-1996
Employment development--California
Occupational training
Social enterprise businesses
Inner city entrepreneurship
Railroads--United States
Transit-oriented development
Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
Time Period
United States
San Francisco (Calif.)

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