Burton, John: Moscone diversity legacy


John Burton: What’s George Moscone’s lasting contribution to the city? Well, he changed the name of Funston Playground. He opened City Hall to the people. He was the first mayor to bring commissioners in from outside downtown, the Planning Commission, the Police Commission. I mean, heretofore the City Commissions all looked like George or looked like me. There’d be a token – there’d be Jefferson Beaver – African American, at that time he was just a negro, now an African American, Jeff’s dead, he’s an SNL guy – there’d be a token Chinese American, there may or may not have even been a Latino. George is the first guy to open up City Hall to the neighborhoods and the community. And you could never go back. I don’t give a damn. I mean, when Frank Jordan was elected and Frank was “the conservative”; only in San Francisco. Nobody could go back. John Barbagelata got elected. He couldn’t go back. Quentin Kopp couldn’t go back. Frank Jordan put Gays on commission. Nobody could be mayor without having their commission reflect the makeup of the city. Asians, African Americans, Latino, Irish, Italians, not many Yugoslavs left – at least not on Potrero Hill – but Gays, Lesbians. That’s what he did.


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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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