The San Francisco Board of Supervisors honored the man who advised city leaders through Harvey Milk’s succession to marriage equality this Tuesday by declaring October 23, 2013 as “Buck Delventhal Day.”
District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced Government Team Chief Attorney Burk E. “Buck” Delventhal, 70, who has been advising members of the City Attorney’s office since 1970, during the usual Recognition of Commendations. However, Delventhal’s recognition brought numerous board members to the mic to thank him for his outstanding duty.
President David Chiu thanked Delventhal on behalf of the entire staff and wanted to recognize Delventhal for his recent receipt of two honorable legal awards.
“You’ve helped us deal with legal matters and trained entire generations of public advocates in the country,” said Chiu. “You’re truly a lawyer’s lawyer.”
Delventhal, who has served the city since George Moscone was in office, has received two prestigious legal awards. The International Municipal Lawyer’s Association honored him with the Charles S. Rhyne Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given to attorneys by the IMLA, and the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award, which recognizes a public law practitioner with an honorable reputation and high ethical standards.
“He’s seen it all,” said Wiener. “He remains calm and gives great advice.”
While Wiener introduced Delventhal’s extensive history with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, he also reminisced about how Delventhal contributed to his career.
“He has a complete encyclopedia knowledge of municipal code,” said Wiener. “When I didn’t want to do research and be lazy, I’d call Buck. I stopped double-checking the facts because he was right 100 percent of the time.”
Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos also moved forward to speak and thank Delventhal for his contribution to the City’s municipal law.
“It’s really hard to imagine the city attorney’s office without Buck,” said Supervisor Campos.
President David Chiu even joked, “I was thinking of amending Supervisor Wiener’s resolution to request that the city attorney’s office photocopy your brain.”
According to Wiener, Delventhal has provided counsel for numerous lawyers and has argued before the California Supreme Court, California Courts of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, making him the most sought after counsel throughout the state.
“Buck, you’re such a treasure, not only for the city attorney’s office, but for the city of San Francisco,” said Wiener.
Delventhal stood at the podium throughout the recognition glowing and couldn’t help but smile proudly.
“I’d like to thank you all for allowing me to sponsor this community and all this board for the challenging work you’ve sent my way,” said Delventhal.
Delventhal mentioned the joys of his early days like bringing Dianne Feinstein into office and fighting for marriage equality for all California residents.
“Every minute that I’ve been in this building, we all know that if one person is going to know the answers, it will be you,” said Chiu. “You have answered so many of your questions and you have helped us deal with many legal conundrums.”
Though Delventhal was being recognized, he went on to thank the Board of Supervisors and the City for their support.
“I’ve loved this city since a child,” said Delventhal. “My grandparents and great, great grandparents were here. I was so excited about getting the job, I didn’t ask about the salary. And 43 years later, I’m happy to come to work.”