Which Alioto is Which? An Infographic

A lot of Aliotos are running for running for office again, so here’s a handy infographic explaining who the heck each one of them is.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Joe Alioto Veronese is not currently running for office. He is totally running for office! Veronese “took out papers Dec. 18 that allow him to start raising money for a possible run” for San Francisco District Attorney election in Nov. 2019. SF Weekly regrets the error and has replaced the above photo of Mayor Joe Alioto with one that is grainier but more accurate.

This year’s elections bring the Alioto family political dynasty back on to the ballot. Who are these people named Alioto? For decades, this family of politicians, lawyers, and fishing company operators dominated San Francisco politics and helped shape a city.

None of them has held elective office here in nearly ten years. But since there may be a bunch of them back on the ballot in 2018 and 2019, SF Weekly has prepared the handy infographic above to help sort out a lotta Aliotos, with brief explanations of each one’s background below.


Dead, not running for office

Joe Alioto was the 36th mayor of San Francisco, and was elected twice in 1967 and 1971. He was instrumental in the building of BART and the Embarcadero Center, though had many mafia allegations (none ever proven!)

Fun Fact: Alioto was sued by two of his own sons and his granddaughter in 1991 over how they’d split the money in their law firm’s successful defense of the Raiders leaving Oakland for L.A. The granddaughter who sued him also appears on this list and chart.


Running for Mayor in June 2018

Mayor Alioto’s daughter Angela was twice elected to the Board of Supervisors, and was Board president from 1993-95. She has previously run for mayor in 1991 and 2003, and she’s the author of San Francisco’s original sanctuary city legislation that still creates so much controversy today.   

Fun Fact: As an attorney, Ms. Alioto represented Ralph “The Razor” Barbieri in his wrongful termination suit against KNBR sports radio. Despite his name and Joe Pesci-like voice, Mr. Barbieri has no known mafia allegations.


Possibly running for District 2 Supervisor in November 2018

Mayor Alioto’s granddaughter Michela (the one who sued him) was appointed to the Board of Supervisors in 2004 when Gavin Newsom was elected mayor. She was then elected to that District 2 seat twice, and is considering another run at it. An opponent is crafting a term limit measure that would keep her out of the race.

Fun Fact: If they named a pier after her, it would be called the Michela Alioto-Pier Pier. That would just be hilarious.


Possibly running for District Attorney in November 2019

Mayor Alioto’s grandson Joe Alioto Veronese was appointed as an S.F. Fire Commissioner last April, and has also served on the S.F. Police Commission. He “quietly took out papers Dec. 18 that allow him to start raising money for a possible run” for San Francisco district attorney, according to the Chronicle.

Fun Fact: The S.F. Fire Commission currently has a racism and hazing scandal on its plate.


Mayor Joe Alioto’s last name appears on Fisherman’s Wharf standbys Alioto’s Restaurant and the Alioto-Lazio Fish Company. But both were founded separately by prior generations of the family, and the two businesses are now run by separate parties. Alioto’s Restaurant was operated by Mayor Alioto’s younger cousin, a different Joe Alioto, who passed away in 2011.

Fun Fact: Legend has it that Alioto’s Restaurant was the first establishment ever to serve Cioppino.

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