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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign Is Now a Nonprofit

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM

click to enlarge undies.jpg
The Western Span of the Bay Bridge was rechristened for former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in February, but that doesn't mean San Franciscans are copping to the new name.

Asked if he'd accepted the Willie L. Brown Bridge as a such, former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin promptly demurred. In August 2013, he drafted a letter of protest with fellow former Supervisors Matt Gonzalez and Quentin Kopp, asking Sen. Darrell Steinberg to avoid "Browning out" a beloved piece of transit architecture. The letter evidently fell on deaf ears. A subsequent lawsuit by good-government activist Bob Planthold was ultimately aborted.

But others still haven't abandoned the fight. Fans of the famed San Francisco eccentric Emperor Norton, who launched a petition last year for the Western span to be named after their guy, are still hoping for a victory. But this time they've set their sights higher: After all, why reverse the Willie L. Brown Western Span coronation, when San Francisco could just rename its entire Bay Bridge for Norton?

And now, the Emperor's Bridge Campaign is a nonprofit public benefit corporation.

In an email to announce the news, campaign spokesman John Lumea insists that his group's seemingly star-crossed bridge-renaming effort is "not nearly as quixotic as it may sound!" 

But that won't be the sole purpose of the nonprofit, he adds. Its "larger mission" will include historic research, education, and advocacy, in hope of building the world's definitive Emperor Norton archive.

The campaign will host a holiday party, the Second Annual Tannenbaum Toast, at House of Shields from 4-6 p.m. on December 14. (Click here for details.)

Incidentally, another group of enthusiasts has also been selling Norton-themed swag, including T-shirts and undies.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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