Brown, Willie: Moscone and Barbagelata


Willie Brown: George decided that he wanted to run for Mayor for sure. Don Bradley eagerly signed on, and that’s when 54 Mint Street really became the ground zero for the shifting of political power in San Francisco. Don Bradley ran Moscone’s campaign. The opposition on the western side of the city put up a guy name Barbagelata, a member of the Board of Supervisors, as the opponent to George Moscone, and we won that campaign. We won it because Phil Burton and all of what Phil Burton could bring to the table went in George Moscone’s direction. The newspapers were kinder to Moscone than they were to Barbagelata. Barbagelata was a step back in time and Moscone was the change agent as we now know you can be, and Barack Obama has so handsomely proved it. Moscone didn’t call it change, but that’s really what it was because for the first time you really had an active racial minority constituency going out to vote for somebody, and in this case it was for Moscone. You had an environmental movement going out to vote not yet as organized because it was pretty much the esoterics in the Sierra Club and the Save the Bay people, but nevertheless they were for George Moscone. You had the elderly all for George Moscone with great enthusiasm. You had the community south of Market area that had now become fewer Irish Catholics and fewer Irish people period, and they were for George Moscone. Whatever the progressive movement if they existed at that time was for George Moscone. And so George Moscone ended up beating Barbagelata. The architect of the campaign was Don Bradley.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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