Newsom’s Commemorative Stamp

by on April 18, 2004

It turns out our assessment of media coverage of Mayor Newsom’s first 100 days was premature.

On Friday, April 16, the Examiner provided a second day of “first 100″ coverage that featured a huge Newsom photo that took up more than half of the front page. The paper also included a two-page pullout section that chronicled key days among the first 100. Overall, the Friday Examiner included nearly a dozen Newsom photos, two stories on Newsom, and an editorial on the new mayor.

It was the type of saturation coverage one typically associates with a politician who has either been elected president, or assassinated while in office.

But our local media can go further. We therefore urge the Chronicle and Examiner to promote a postage stamp commemorating Gavin Newsom’s first 100 days as San Francisco’s mayor. The stamp would allow all San Francisco residents to show their support for the mayor. It could be
sold at City Hall and in front of supermarkets with proceedings going to fund youth programs in Bayview-Hunters Point.

Some think a commemorative coin is a more lasting tribute, but such is too expensive and could involve a time-consuming debate over its design. A stamp can be produced in a day at most print shops, and only has room for the mayor’s face.

Focusing on a mayor’s first 100 days raises the stakes for the next 100. It may be hard for our local media to keep the good times rolling.

For example, the Business Times reported last week that Amgen, the world’s largest independent biotechnology corporation, has apparently dropped plans to build a research facility at Mission Bay. Losing the facility is a blow to the city’s hopes for attracting similar companies to the area. Although the Amgen story goes to the heart of the city’s economic future, it was ignored by our daily media, which is content to focus only on the positives since Newsom assumed office.