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Willie Over Troubled Waters

September 6, 2013

I’d honestly like to thank the California State Legislature for even considering naming part of the Bay Bridge after Willie Brown. It makes our efforts to properly name it after Emperor Norton seem absolutely reasonable in comparison.

Thanks go to Andrew over at SFist for saving me from writing what certainly would have been a diatribe on my part. Read and absorb:

Since we first mentioned it last month the petition to rename the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after Emperor Norton I has accumulated roughly 2,800 signatures in support of the effort. The Sacramento-based effort to rename the West Span after Willie Brown, on the other hand, is a steaming load of crap being forced upon the Bay by glad-handing pols in the state capitol, eager to bestow an honor on a man responsible for grossly inflating the costs of the new span. We cannot allow any portion of the Bay Bridge to be named for Willie Lewis Brown Jr.

The State Assembly has already voted for it (including Phil Ting who really should know better. Ammiano abstained.) It’s been dubiously fast tracked and will go to the State Senate on *Monday*, so here’s what what you need to do TODAY:

CALL you state senator and tell them to vote no on ACR-65 “The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge.” (If you want to mention that the entire bridge should be named after Emperor Norton, please do so.)

CALL your state assembly member to express your displeasure if they voted for ACR-65.

In April, the Senate Transportation Committee: committee adopted a policy on naming highways and structures, which states a few conditions which are obviously not being met. Call the members:

Senator Mark DeSaulnier (Chair)
Senator Ted Gaines (Vice Chair)
Senator Jim Beall
Senator Anthony Cannella
Senator Cathleen Galgiani
Senator Ben Hueso
Senator Ricardo Lara
Senator Carol Liu
Senator Fran Pavley
Senator Richard Roth
Senator Mark Wyland

and remind them of what they agreed to 5 months ago:

b) The person being honored must be deceased.

Willie Brown is alive.

d) The author or co-author of the measure must represent the district in which the facility is located, and the measure must identify the specific highway segment or structure being named.

The bill was authored by an Assembly member from Southern California.

f) The proposed designation must reflect a community consensus and be without local opposition.

See this blog, SFist, the Chronicle, and the thousands of locals who signed the Emperor Norton Bay Bridge poll.

g) The proposed designation may not supersede an existing designation unless the sponsor can document that a good faith effort has uncovered no opposition to rescinding the prior designation.

We oppose. The western span is already named after former mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph. If it’s going to be renamed to anything, Emperor Norton is the obvious choice.

If you live in Senate or Assembly district of San Francisco or Oakland that touches the bridge, call your representatives and ask that they, as representatives of relevant districts, can propose a resolution to name the Bay Bridge after Emperor Norton.

And if you want to print these out and hand them out in Sacramento, feel free.


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