The Beverly Hodghead papers consist primarily of about forty speeches. The majority of
these are devoted to explaining the Berkeley city charter. Other speeches consider the
roles of citizens in support of municipal government, the annexation of Berkeley by
Oakland and the creation of a dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley to provide a water source
for San Francisco.
Mr. Beverly Lacy Hodghead (1865-1928)was mayor of Berkeley(Calif.) from 1909 to 1911. An
attorney and politically active Progressive Democrat, Hodghead was instrumental in the
development a new charter for the city of Berkeley (1909). Berkeley's city charter, based
on that of Galveston, Texas, promoted government as a sound business operation with
knowledgeable commissioners, rather than one of partisan politics where city positions
are given out as favors. Changes included: a primary election in which all nominations
were made by non-partisan petition; a small council with each councilman elected at-large
and serving as a commissioner of a department; and, ultimate veto power to the people
through the initiative, referendum or recall.