Del Carlo, Larry: Agent of change


Larry Del Carlo: I think that George Moscone was a change agent in San Francisco, and if you look at what has happened since then in other cities, I think just politics in general in the whole country have become more transparent, more inclusive. Not everywhere. We’ve always had mayors in San Francisco that were national leaders. It could be through the United States Conference of Mayors. We’ve had past mayors who were president of the US Conference of Mayors. I don’t think George was, but he was active and had a leadership role. The Mayor of San Francisco always gets national attention. The media wants to focus in on San Francisco. Some because they think it’s a cool quirky place or San Francisco values or whatever. When George Moscone got elected he was seen nationally as a very liberal mayor by those that were polite, and he was seen as a crazy left-wing radical by those that weren’t as polite, so there was a lot of attention on his administration. I think one of the things that got a great deal of national attention was the city strike. I can’t remember the year. I might have been 76 or 75 just after George got elected. Here’s this city employee strike that shuts down the city. I still remember this funny story that George had a few of his inner kitchen cabinet people that were now working in the administration. The administration was still in a transition and George wasn’t gonna cross the picket line which meant he couldn’t go to work because now his office is in City Hall and City Hall was surrounded by picketers and truck drivers blowing their horns. It was a huge strike and it got national attention. So what George and his innermost confidants decided they were gonna do is they got a TV and they got a deck of cards and they camped out at City Hall. They never left during the strike so they didn’t have to cross the picket line. They slept there, they worked there, but they never left so they didn’t have to come back again across the picket line. He was very supportive of labor. He was one of the politicians that I think understood how and why he was successful, and he remembered who made him successful and he was very loyal to his base. I always really had a lot of respect for him because of that, and I learned from him to be loyal myself and not to forget who helped you get where you are. George was pretty darn good at that, and he wasn’t gonna do anything to cross labor or anybody else that helped him get there. He’s very, very sensitive to that and respectful of the folks that supported him.


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

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