Taylor, Barbara: Open door policy


Barbara Taylor


Barbara Taylor: Well, when I first came to City Hall to work, it was when George Moscone was first mayor. And I was a newbie, I wasn't a very experienced reporter and being able to sit down and talk to a mayor was quite an experience for me. I was very young at the time and one of the things that struck me about him was his informality with reporters, how open he was. He had practically an open door policy, that I would be able to call, you know, just pick up the phone and call the press secretary. It was either Mel Wax(?) or Corey Bush or, you know, someone in in the press office and ask if I could come down and have a couple of minutes with mayor Moscone to talk about this or that, whatever the burning issue was at the moment. And invariably, they would say, ‘oh sure come on down’ and five minutes later I would be sitting down in the mayor's office talking to him. If you want to, you know, roll forward about twenty five years, the chances of doing that with literally any of the preceding mayors, although Dianne Feinstein was pretty good, it was just, you know, it was just something you didn't do. So he had this amazing open door policy. He was friendly, he was the kind of guy who didn't, he didn't have airs, he didn't act like he was the mayor and so everybody should bow down to him and that he should be treated with a certain amount of decorum. He just acted like a normal person. And that was my beginning experience of having, you know, a personal encounter with the mayor so I just assumed that was how mayors were. Well, of course, over the years I came to find out that he was the exception, not the rule and that most of them were pretty standoffish. They didn't have open door policies and they considered their time a heck of a lot more valuable than, you know, wasting it on a reporter who wanted a couple of quotes or to ask a couple of questions.


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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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