Willie Brown Bridge: A Political Boss Marks His Territory

Categories: Politics
willie_brown_bridge.jpg
Mike Koozmin/San Francisco Examiner
Read it and weep
In a gala ceremony today, the Western Span of the Bay Bridge -- the gorgeous, arching structure that swells to encompass your entire sightline as you exit the Yerba Buena tunnel and lets you know that, now, you're somewhere -- was named after former Mayor Willie Brown. 

Rechristening a perfectly good bridge after the city's most ostentatious influence-peddler, a man who now wields more power than he did as an elected official with none of the pesky accountability, has been deemed "controversial." 

It's not. 

For that to be the case, there would have to be some controversy. But, other than the NAACP officials who proposed renaming the bridge after Brown, it's hard to conceive of anyone wanting this. Other than the state lawmakers who obeisantly rammed through the legislation honoring the former "Ayatollah of the Assembly" with rapidity befitting an oncoming hurricane and near-unanimous votes recalling Soviet parliamentary procedures, it's hard to think of anyone who thinks this is necessary. 

And yet, it happened.

There's no shortage of sour grapes consolations for those displeased by the events of this day. 

The most bandied-about reassurance is that no one will call the bridge The Willie Brown Bridge, just as surely as no one refers to Highway 380 as the Quentin Kopp Freeway, or sees fit to refer by name to the myriad thoroughfares named after fallen CHP officers. 

That's undoubtedly true, and Willie Brown is far too smart not to realize this. So it's interesting that he told The Examiner that his -- again, undoubtedly true -- reputation as the "Ayatollah of the Assembly" didn't "have anything to do with reality." Instead, a farcical and transparently rule-breaking power play to rename a portion of a bridge after him "is reality." 

No. That's, obviously, the very opposite of the truth. Here's reality: 

No one is going to call this structure "The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge." But it is. 

No one is going to call this city "Willie L. Brown, Jr.'s City." But it is. 

And that's the case regardless of whether you put up a sign saying it's so. 

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63 comments
Don Wurzel
Don Wurzel

I would prefer the Tower of Power Bridge. (Back to Oakland)

Jessica Rothman
Jessica Rothman

How about Feinstein bridge. She did a lot for the city and the State!

TWAT
TWAT

WTF and why?

Mike George
Mike George

At least they named the classic, older, kinda run down, but not as controversial part after this old man. Seems less than fair! Except for the controversial part!

Eric Carlson
Eric Carlson

It will always be "the Bay Bridge" If I recall correctly at some point they named part of the bridge after Mayor/ Governor rolph....... IGNORED

Jesús Pedroza
Jesús Pedroza

Stupidest name of any bridge given, EVER! Sorry, but honestly what is wrong with "The Bay Bridge"? Hell or even Yerba Buena, well since it freaking originally only spanned to Yerba Buena/Treasure Island!

Anne-Marie Dumaresq
Anne-Marie Dumaresq

Is this bridge not for "the people"?? Who the hell got to decide on naming it after this self-centered asshole?? The People?... No we did not.

Earl Marty Price
Earl Marty Price

No disrespect but the name of the two cities was enough . Give him a street in his town

Darryl Manco
Darryl Manco

Can I stick my fist down my throat and projectile?

Daniel Rivera
Daniel Rivera

Might as well change it to "Batch Bridge" I've helped Willie Brown and that dude is a Dick, just trying to mark his territory

Lolly Andros
Lolly Andros

The old builders are rolling in their graves!! Shameful! Bring it up for the people as a vote!!

Glenn Blackmore
Glenn Blackmore

Great, named after one of the most corrupt disgraces in California history, see Little Timmy corruption pays :(

Steven Lull
Steven Lull

Army Street is still Army Street. The bay bridge will always be the Bay Bridge....unless you're a transplanted newbie. Period.

Leisa Brunner
Leisa Brunner

It will still be they bay bridge. Why after him? He is not friendly.

Charles Caldwell
Charles Caldwell

I remember him doing Coke backstage with the famous Clotherman Wilkes Bashford.

Olde Blu Genes
Olde Blu Genes

Id rather see it called Humphrey the Humpback Whale Bridge!!

Jacqueline Raque
Jacqueline Raque

Should be the Emperor Norton Bay Bridge. Was his proclamation in 1872.

Dawne Santopietro
Dawne Santopietro

No matter what they do, it will always be the Bay Bridge, simple as that!!!

Dante Forrest
Dante Forrest

Why was there a need to change the name of the bridge?

Chris Coghlan
Chris Coghlan

He marked his territory like a male dog, except he did it out of greed and power. He sold out our town for a few bucks and a fancy hat.

Judy Briggs
Judy Briggs

The comments pretty well sum up my feelings!

Fred Rinne
Fred Rinne

A sleazy piece of shit, just like the ex mayor.

Mel Greene
Mel Greene

Couldn't come up with a better name than his? Really? Exactly what the hell did he do that makes him special?

Lori Glumac
Lori Glumac

should have been named after Herb Caen

Daniel Whittaker
Daniel Whittaker

HORRIBLE. NO NO NO NO NO. This man was a horrible mayor that sold the city out to the highest bidder EVERY chance he could and started the destruction of the wonderful diverse character of this city. He decimated non-profit and affordable spaces in SOMA and sided with douchebag, a-hole, expensive loft renters when they complained about the night club noise they moved right next door to. This is an abomination.

patrick_connors
patrick_connors

Thanks, Phil Ting!! Thanks, Mark Leno!!


I'm never gonna forget you for this!!

Rob Blomberg
Rob Blomberg

The Eastern Span maybe... The Western, suspension span will always be 'the Old Gray Lady' to me.

Hendog Muller
Hendog Muller

WTF NO, thats just fuc%ing stupid, they should actually name it after an engineer or someone who actually gives a shit about the city.

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