In Recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the assassinations of
Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk
I rise to pay tribute to the memory of two of San Francisco's great
and most beloved heroes.
century ago, on November 27, 1978, two of San Francisco's best and
brightest were assassinated in a dark week for our city.
reeling from the Jonestown Massacre only days before--the worst
mass murder-suicide in American history and the murder of Bay Area
Congressman Leo Ryan--San Francisco was dealt a catastrophic blow.
and personally it was a horrific tragedy. San Francisco lost two
great progressive leaders, two champions of human rights.
Moscone, our beloved Mayor, was a hero of the poor and the working
class. A native San Franciscan, civil rights leader, State Assemblyman,
State Senator, and Mayor, he devoted his life to serve his City
of San Francisco, and his State of California. The devoted husband
of Gina Moscone and father of four beautiful children, Jennifer,
Rebecca, Jonathan and Christopher, he was taken from us in the prime
of his life.
Milk, originally from New York, was a local merchant, the owner
of a camera shop. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,
he was the first openly gay elected official in California, and
only the second in the nation. He was a neighborhood leader and
a passionate advocate for seniors and all minorities.
men were exuberant, expansive, compassionate, and enormously popular
political leaders. They were visionaries.
Moscone and Harvey Milk instigated a historic transformation of
San Francisco political life, pioneering an open, participatory
government, accessible to all, especially those who never before
had been included. For the first time neighborhood and ethnic community
activists, and openly gay men and lesbians were appointed to positions
of power and authority. The number of women in leadership positions
expanded dramatically. No longer were public policy decisions the
exclusive province of the wealthy and powerful.
and Harvey transformed the political and social culture of San Francisco
for all time. They were beacons of hope to people who had felt alienated
from and neglected by City Hall. They incubated a new generation
of talented public servants, who have gone on to secure San Francisco's
position today as a national model of enlightenment and progressive
anniversary of the tragic events of November 27, 1978 gives San
Franciscans an opportunity to reflect on the unique contributions
George Moscone and Harvey Milk made to bettering the lives of us
all. These extraordinary men continue to inspire us as we strive
for a society that provides unlimited and equal opportunities for
all our diverse citizens.
will forget George Moscone and Harvey Milk. We are grateful for
their lives, and we honor their immeasurable contributions to our
city, our state and our nation."