Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Joe Bodovitz: Founding Director of the Bay Conservation Development Commission and the California Coastal Commission

Interviewee(s):
Bodovitz, Joseph
Interviewer(s):
Meeker, Martin
Title:
Joe Bodovitz: Founding Director of the Bay Conservation Development Commission and the California Coastal Commission
Abstract:
Joseph Bodovitz was born Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1930. He attended Northwestern University, where he studied English Literature, served in the US Navy during the Korean War, and then completed a graduate degree in journalism at Columbia University. In 1956 he accepted a job as a reporter with the San Francisco Examiner, reporting on crime, politics, and eventually urban redevelopment. He then took a position with SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) where he launched their newsletter. In 1964 he was enlisted to lead the team drafting the Bay Plan, which resulted in the creation of the San Francisco Bay Conversation and Development Commission (BCDC) by the state legislature in 1969. Bodovitz was hired as the first executive director of BCDC. In 1972 he was hired by the newly-established California Coastal Commission to be its first executive director. He left the Coastal Commission in 1979 and shortly thereafter was named executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission, a position he held until 1986. He served as head of the California Environmental Trust and then as the project director for BayVision 2020, which created a plan for a regional Bay Area government. In this interview, Bodovitz details the creation of the BCDC and how it established itself into a respected state agency; he also discusses the first eight years of the Coastal Commission and how he helped craft a strategy for managing such a huge public resource – the California coastline. He further discusses utilities deregulation in the 1980s and the changing context for environmental regulation through the 1990s.
Subject area(s):
Natural Resources, Agriculture, and the Environment
Politics, Law, and Policy
Interview date(s):
2015
Project:
Natural Resources, Agriculture, and the Environment - Individual Interviews
Oskicat record:
b23422050
Rights:
Bodovitz, Joseph. "Joe Bodovitz: Founding Director of the Bay Conservation Development Commission and the California Coastal Commission." Interview by Martin Meeker in 2015. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2015.