The Buzz: Bay Bridge's western span to be named for Willie Brown?

June 17, 2013 

1W17BUZZ

Then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, center, talks with then-Gov. Pete Wilson after Wilson signed a bill doubling tolls on Bay Area bridges in August 1997 to fund seismic upgrades. At left is then-Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco.

THOR SWIFT — Associated Press file, 1997

Bay Bridge's western span to honor Willie Brown?

While controversy continues over construction of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, a group of legislators is working on a new name for the western portion.

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 65 seeks to recognize former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, who also served two terms as mayor of San Francisco, by naming the western span the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge.

"He was able to bridge all kinds of people, and I think he is very deserving of this," said Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino.

Brown was mayor of San Francisco when Gov. Pete Wilson signed legislation doubling tolls of five Bay Area bridges to fund seismic upgrading and repairs on the Bay Bridge in 1997. Brown battled with lawmakers over the design and location of the new span, which led to years of delays.

In a column in the San Francisco Chronicle in February, Brown said it was worth the wait.

"I and all the other officials who resisted the plain-brown-wrapper, cars-only bridge that would have been foisted on us were doing our jobs – standing up for the interests of the people we represented," he wrote.

And look what we got out of it – a span that is as magnificent as any in the world. And a bike lane to boot!"

TODAY AT THE CAPITOL

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"#NSAcalledtotellme my floor speech sucked."

ASSEMBLYMAN JEFF GORELL, R-Camarillo, just one of the Assembly members who made use Friday of the NSA leak – and a related hashtag on Twitter – for some dark humor

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