Over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown and several past presidents of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, state lawmakers have approved a measure asking that the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge be renamed for former San Francisco Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
The measure, a joint resolution that will does not require the governor’s signature, breaks a legislative prohibition against naming roadways for living people.
It also comes over strong objections from many San Francisco leaders, who criticized the move to rename the span after the controversial Democrat.
In the end, the Senate cast a bipartisan 26-7 vote to support the resolution, which requests that Caltrans rename the bridge in Brown’s honor.
Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) presented the motion, saying Brown built bridges between groups as Assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco. “Willie Lewis Brown Jr. took other [Assembly] members and made them better,” Wright said.
Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) said Brown was a good politician, but he said the naming goes against a policy to name structures after people only after they have died.
He noted former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner had a good record of public service before he was accused by several women of sexual harassment.
“If we had named something for Bob we would regret it today,” Anderson told his colleagues.