Mayor’s travel raises city’s profile — and his

In recent years, Mayor Gavin Newsom has jetted around the globe spreading the gospel of San Francisco to foreign businessmen, lobbying Washington, D.C., politicos and global municipal leaders while raising his national and global profile as he prepares for life after City Hall.

From Manila, Philippines, to the District of Columbia to Davos, Switzerland, and Israel, the charismatic, 40-year-old mayor has swapped worldly ideas, honed his national platforms and built alliances that might someday serve as a springboard to higher office.

Developing a network of ideas between regions is undoubtedly a focus of such trips, according to University of San Francisco political professor Corey Cook.

Cook said the boost to the mayor’s profile is “clearly a byproduct” of the travels.

An Examiner review of Newsom’s public schedule and acting-mayor appointments reveal that he has picked up his travel during the last two years.

Some of the trips have been viewed with skepticism by his critics. In January 2007, members of the Board of Supervisors blasted Newsom for choosing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. He also took a personal trip to Hawaii in November, just days following the Cosco Busan oil spill.

Since September 2006, he has made several visits to New York City, including a trip to participate in former President Bill Clinton’s annual Global Initiative gathering. In 2007, he flew to Davos, Chicago, the British Virgin Islands and Osaka, Japan, among other places, according to his office.

He has visited Washington, D.C., at least three times to meet with Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which has helped bring federal funds to The City, according to his office.

Additionally, the mayor also dropped in to Iowa and Nevada in 2007 and Texas in 2008 to lend support to the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Newsom will be at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami from today through Monday.

Newsom defended his travel, saying lobbying for San Francisco outside of The City was “a big part of being mayor.”

“I usually think people look askew at [the travel] and they criticize it,” he said. “But when you look at when we go back to D.C. and we’re advocating to not stop Ryan White [AIDS] care, we were able to deliver.”

Garry South, a Democratic political consultant who worked for former Gov. Gray Davis, said travel and being an ambassador are necessary components of being “a governor or a mayor.”

dsmith@sfexaminer.com

The City’s high-profile ambassador

Mayor Gavin Newsom has made at least 30 trips out of the state since 2005, for both personal reasons and city business. Among trips he has taken as mayor:

2005

Ireland, Shanghai, Hong Kong

2006

Davos, Switzerland; Manila, Philippines; New York City

2007

Utah; Davos, Switzerland; Osaka, Japan; Chicago; New York City; Washington, D.C.

2008

Israel; Davos, Switzerland; Washington, D.C.; Texas

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

Most Read