Brown, Willie: Moscone's appointments


Willie Brown: George Moscone wins the race of mayor of San Francisco, and that unleashed the dogs, so-to-speak because George had a different idea on who should govern this city. The city is governed by a series of boards and commissions, and those are directly appointed by the mayor. Or at least they were directly appointed by the mayor until this new group of progressives came along, and started invading the mayor’s prerogatives. Schoolboard members were appointed by the mayor when there would be a vacancy, and so you had all kinds of new things thrust upon the city by Moscone’s ascendancy to the mayorship. For example, the Planning Department underwent a radical change almost overnight because George put on the people to serve on there who never would have been selected to serve on anything. Even Alioto didn’t have the courage to go beyond the traditional kind of people to serve on the Planning Commission. George went where nowhere else had gone. One who had been one-half, in my opinion, of the “Save Golden Gate Park. Stop the freeway” movement, Sue Beerman became his most, I think, long-term serving member of the Planning Commission. A woman named Eina Dearman, wife of my law partner at that time John Dearman, became the second seat. So you have the first African-American on that body. George put the first Asian on that body. George did all those things without, frankly, lifting a finger of heavy-duty lifting. It was just all natural for George. He didn’t have a screening committee giving him advice here and there. His screening was his immediate associates and his staff doing that kind of work. So you had the diversity of the city without any great pronouncement beginning to evidence itself in the governing of the city, and the people who did govern the city.


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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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