Willie Brown Bridge: Lawsuit Imminent

Willie Brown, back when he and his potential namesake bridge were on the younger side
The legislative fast-tracking of a resolution to rename the western span of the Bay Bridge after Willie Brown inspired an outpouring of complaints and lamentations.

Now, apparently, comes the inevitable lawsuit.

Longtime city good government and disability rights activist Bob Planthold says that, come tomorrow, attorneys Whitney Leigh and Lee Hepner will file his suit in San Francisco Superior Court "opposing the violations of process and rules" by State Senate Majority Leader Darryl Steinberg and Sen. Mark Deasulnier, the chair of the senate's Transportation and Housing Committee.

"It's clear that the legislators didn't want to listen to the public by their suspending the rules and slipping this through," says Planthold. "The public interest wasn't as important as ingratiating themselves with one of their own. They could only do this by suspending the rules."

See Also: Politicos Really Don't Want Bay Bridge to Be Named after Willie Brown

Joe Eskenazi
Activist cries foul...
Among those rules suspended -- as pointed out in letters penned, respectively, by Supervisor John Avalos and a triple-header from former Board Presidents Matt Gonzalez, Quentin Kopp, and Aaron Peskin -- are Brown still being among the living; the name-change resolution not being attached to a legislator governing the Bay Bridge's district; and the lack of a "community consensus" on this move.

"This is really gonna happen," says Hepner, who anticipates filing Thursday morning.

Planthold's pending suit also takes issue with the fast-tracking of ACR-65 even though "this matter was not urgent."

Gov. Jerry Brown has inveighed against renaming the bridge -- though the move does not need his approval to come about. On the other hand, since ACR-65 is merely a resolution urging the name-change -- and is non-binding -- it may well simply exist on paper, and never upon the Bay Bridge in question.

Planthold is planning a 2 p.m. press conference Thursday at the law firm's 744 Montgomery Street office.

My Voice Nation Help
aliasetc topcommenter

Just rename it "the bridge"


So glad to hear someone is trying to stop this. Slick Willie should not have the bridge named after him. This infuriates me. Mr. DeSaulnier is going to hear from me also as he is a longtime local politician in my area.


This is great news. Do not want this bridge named after Slick Willie and am disheartened to hear a representative from my area, DeSaulnier, is responsible for this.

Jessica Tovar
Jessica Tovar

somebody needs to put an end to this nightmare. there are more important issues in the bay. naming the bridge after gentrification brown is an insult to injury.

Larry Robinson
Larry Robinson

Emperor Norton Bridge! Tom Ammiano and Senator Leno haven't even acknowledged my e-mails to their offices opposing renaming the bridge for Willie Brown.

Now Trending

San Francisco Concert Tickets

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.