Finding aid created by: Ryan Lynch, OHA
Date: Jan 2009
|Mar 2009||converted to EAD, updated (MRC)|
Overview of the Collection
|Title:||Bea González Papers|
|Quantity:||2 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Bethaida "Bea" González was a school board member, Common Council president, and candidate for mayor in Syracuse, New York. Campaign materials including correspondence, donor lists, notes, news clippings, and other materials; programs, correspondence, plaques, and certificates; family photographs, general news articles about González, programs from events where González spoke, and materials related to other candidates in local and national campaigns in 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2008.|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Bethaida Carmen "Bea" González (1954- ) was the first Latina elected to the Syracuse (New York) School Board (1991) and Common Council (2001), and was a candidate for mayor of Syracuse in 2009.
Bea González was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico in 1954 but moved with her family to central New York when she was three years old. For nearly a decade, her migrant farmworker parents moved frequently; González estimates that she attended thirteen elementary schools. By the time she reached middle school, González’s father entered a construction laborers’ union and the family settled permanently in Syracuse. The first member of her family to receive a high school diploma, she received her B.A. in political science and Latin American studies from SUNY Binghamton and an MPA from Syracuse University. In 1984, González began working for Syracuse University as an academic advisor; since then, she has held various positions in the university’s administration including interim dean of the college (2004-2007) and dean of the college (2007-present).
Bea González became active in community and Latino politics in the 1980s; by the early 1990s, education had also become a priority. She participated in local committees and wards and was a member of the Association of Neighbors for Latino Advancement (ANCLA), Spanish Action League, and Latinos Concerned for Latino Advancement. In 1990, González served on the mayor’s Latino Task Force and the Minority Affairs Advisory Council for the city of Syracuse. More recently, she co-founded the Onondaga Latino Caucus.
In early 1991, Bea González's service on the mayor's Latino Task Force drew the attention of Mayor Thomas Young, who nominated González to the school board after the board’s president resigned. The first Hispanic to hold a citywide position, González was elected to the board later that year, becoming the first Latina elected to a citywide office in Syracuse. González served as a commissioner of education (school board member) until 1994, when she decided to take a hiatus from politics to focus on raising her son. She reentered politics in July 2001 when she was selected to fill the vacant position of Syracuse Common Council president, becoming the first Latina to serve on the Common Council. After beating her opponent in a democratic primary, González narrowly won a four-year term as council president in November 2001. She was reelected to her second and final term in 2005. In January 2009, she announced her candidacy for mayor of Syracuse.
The Bea González Papers consist primarily of materials from her 1991, 2001, and 2005 campaigns for Syracuse school board and Common Council president in addition to some of the many awards and honors that González has received in recent years. The campaign materials include correspondence, clippings, campaign postcards, donor lists, invitations, and endorsement materials in addition to programs, certificates, correspondence, and photos from events honoring González.
The collection includes programs from events where González spoke, and news clippings or complete publications where González is mentioned. Among the materials from other political campaigns are postcards, a letter from Senator Edward Kennedy thanking González for her assistance at a fundraiser for John Kerry, and correspondence, photos, and other memorabilia from the New York Electoral College of which González was a member in 2004 and 2008.
There are also a few personal items relating to Bea González and her family. Among them is a scrapbook containing school certificates, clippings, graded papers, a transcript, and other materials relating to Bea González and her siblings, Juan Jr., Lillian, Mary, Nereida, and Christine. Of interest are four 8x10 photos and one 5x7 photo that appear to depict Juan; a wedding photo that may picture González’s parents, Juan and Julia; and a certificate in Spanish, 1975, honoring Lillian for completion of the ninth grade bilingual program at Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School in Syracuse, reflecting relatively early bilingual education in Syracuse.
Collection is currently arranged alphabetically by subject and within that either chronologically or alphabetically.
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
The Onondaga Historical Association has several related collections:
Files of Latino Community Organizations and Individuals. Onondaga Historical Association 2006.122.
Records of ANCLA (Association of Neighbors for Latino Advancement) (Syracuse, NY). Onondaga Historical Association 2007.100.
Syracuse (N.Y.). -- Common Council.
Syracuse University. -- Higher Education Opportunity Program.
Syracuse University. -- University College.
Families -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Hispanic American women.
Hispanic Americans -- Education -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Hispanic Americans -- Politics and government -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Hispanic Americans -- Social life and customs -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Syracuse (N.Y.) -- Politics and government.
Genres and Forms
Clippings (information artifacts)
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Bea González Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Transfer from Onondaga Historical Association, 2009.
Awards and honors
|Awards and honors|
|Box 1||2004 June 17 Greater Syracuse Tenants Network Certificate of Appreciation awarded to Bea González|
|2004 July 17 Aleppo Court no. 140 Daughters of Isis Celebrity Luncheon honoring Bea González|
|Box 1||2004 September 23 Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Latin American Heritage History Month Certificate of Appreciation to Bea González|
|2005 March Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation honoring Bea González|
|Box 1||Correspondence and documentation 2004-2005|
|Box 1||Photographs 2005 March 1|
|Box 1||Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s proclamation 2005 March 1|
|Box 1||Notes for speech, unknown award (possibly Chancellor's citation) circa 2005|
|Box 1||2005 September 23 Spanish Action League of Onondaga County Certificates of Appreciation presented to Bea González and Syracuse University College, Syracuse Common Council|
|2005 October 23 Peace Action of CNY Peace Award presented to Bea González|
|Box 1||2006 February 25 Benjamin Banneker Club of Syracuse/Onondaga County Certificate of Appreciation to Bea González|
|Bea González, Common Council, 2001|
|Box 1||Ephemera 2001|
|Box 1||Notes 2001|
|Box 1||Voter information, events, endorsements 2001|
|Bea González, Common Council, 2005|
|Box 1||Certifuicate of election 21 Nov 2005|
|Box 1||Ephemera 2005|
|Box 1||Financial disclosure information, including donor lists 2005|
|Box 1||Fundraising 2005|
|Box 1||Internal correspondence 2005|
|Box 1||Letters of congratulations 2005|
|Box 1||Voter information, events, endorsements 2005|
|Presidential election, 2004|
|Box 1||Thank you note, photo from Senator Edward Kennedy to Bea González 2004 March 2|
|Presidential election, 2008|
|Box 1||Letter from Douglas Schell to Bea González, elector 2008 December 18|
|Syracuse, NY municipal elections|
|Box 1||Ephemera 2001, 2005|
|Box 1||Matthew Driscoll to Bea González 2005 June 3|
|Box 3||Button, "I Read Banned Books"|
|Box 1||Clippings about Bea González, Syracuse University|
|Box 1||Nicholas Reyes|
|Box 1||Miscellaneous - card (from son?); magnet for Don Juan Cafe; González family reunion invitation|
|Box 1||League of Women Voters - Christmas party invitation|
|Box 1||Master of Arts in Public Administration, Syracuse University 2004 August 27|
|Box 1||Neighborhood meetings 2005|
|Box 1||New York State Electoral College 2004-2005 - includes copy of certificate of acceptance, certificate stating election, nametags, notebook (with notes of SU meetings), folders for electors and their guests, photographs, proceedings (2 folders)|
|Box 1||Common Council, Bea González with Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá (damaged) 2005, 2006|
|Box 2||Negatives (35 mm, disc) - Bea González, Nicholas Reyes, others|
|Oversize 1||Upward Bound group photograph in front of White House - reverse has congratulatory letter to González, signed "Hank"|
|Box 2||General, collected by Bea González 2003-2006|
|Box 2||"The Illusion of Inclusion" City Council report, prepared by the office of Angel Ortiz, Philadelphia, PA Feb 2001|
|Oversize 1||The Pride of Syracuse and The Pride of Syracuse Latino covers featuring Bea González - galley proofs|
|Box 2||Miscellaneous, with mention of Bea González (entire publications) (2 folders)|
|Box 2||Miscellaneous, no apparent mention of Bea González (entire publications) 1995, 2001|
|Box 2||Clippings about Bea González 1991, 2001 (2 folders)|
|Box 2||Campaigns, Bea González 1991 - correspondence|
|Box 2||Campaigns, Bea González 2001 - correspondence|
|Box 2||Campaigns, Bea González 2001 - notes|
|Box 2||Campaigns, Bea González 2001 - voter information, events, endorsements|
|Box 2||Campaign petitions for Democratic, Liberal Parties (blank) 2001|
|Box 2||Common Council 12 Jul 2001 - swearing-in program and meeting agenda|
|Oversize 1||González family|
|Box 2||Miscellaneous 1991-2001|
|Box 2||"Coming Back together IV" Syracuse University, Bea González, workshop facilitator 1992 - includes photos|
|Box 2||Programs for events at which González spoke 2005-2006, undated - programs|
|Box 2||Minority business and city contracts|
|Box 3||Audiorecording, Bea González Y94FM 2001 October 3 (ID#: González_b_001)|
|Box 2||Miscellaneous - letter from NYS local retirement system; stain chart|