Eugene “Gus” Newport

Eugene “Gus” Newport

Former Mayor, Berkeley, California

Visiting Scholar 2006-2007

Hosted by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP)

Eugene “Gus” Newport is a lifelong community activist and the former Mayor of Berkeley, California


Eugene “Gus” Newport is a lifelong community activist and the former Mayor of Berkeley, California (1979-1986). As an independent consultant, he provides TA in the areas of community and economic development, policy development through a history of analysis, community organizing strategies and organizational and systems development.

In the 60’s Mr. Newport became chair of the Monroe County Non Partisan Political League (MCNPPL) the largest Civil Rights organization in his home town, Rochester, NY, which worked to combat police brutality, job discrimination and voter registration to assure the election of people of color.  During this period Mr. Newport became involved with the political movements of Daisy Bates, Malcom X and Adam Clayton Powell.

Mr. Newport's activism and consulting work continue to traverse local, national, and international borders. He has worked in several capacities for federal, state, county and municipal governments, nonprofit agencies and the private sector. From 1980 to 1986, he was the Vice-President from the U.S. to the World Peace Council and served on several United Nation committees, including The Committee against Apartheid and the Committee on The Question of Palestine. Mr. Newport has assisted the city of Fresno, California in a community planning process and the Iowa West Foundation (Council Bluffs, Iowa) in a community transformation strategy.  As Program Director of the Vanguard Foundation and consultant to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, he assisted in community planning, organizing and policy development, in the recovery and re-building work in New Orleans and the Delta region post Katrina. He has served as a consultant to the East Bay funders (a foundation partnership), the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Jacobs Family Foundation, Ford and the Annie E. Casey foundation. 

Other past directorships include: Institute of Community Economics; Community Building Support Center for the Urban Strategies Council; Partnership for Neighborhood Initiatives (PNI) Palm Beach County, FL; and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), Boston, MA.  

He has served on: the Advisory Board of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; the Advisory Board of the US Conference of Mayors; and the Board of Overseers of the Graduate Program in Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University. 

His academic involvement includes: first “Fellow” of the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation; first Senior Fellow of the William Monroe Trotter Institute at the University of Massachusetts- Boston; Lecturer-in-Residence at the University of California, Santa Cruz; faculty member at Portland State University (HUD Senior Managers seminars) and at the Yale Community Fellows Program. Mr. Newport delivered the commencement speech at Heidelberg University’s graduation in May of 2009 and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

As an MLK Scholar, he was hosted by MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he co-taught the graduate Springfield practicum in re-building disenfranchised inner-city communities.