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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Willie Brown Bridge: Lawsuit Imminent

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Willie Brown, back when he and his potential namesake bridge were on the younger side - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • 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

click to enlarge Activist cries foul... - JOE ESKENAZI
  • 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.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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