Willie Brown Jr. former San Francisco mayor speaks to the large crowd during his annual “The Breakfast Club” that raised money for the Willie Brown Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service on Friday, Oct. 13, 2006 in San Francisco.. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III’s (D-Los Angeles) measure to name the western span of the Bay Bridge, the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge, was recently approved by the California State Legislature. The resolution, ACR 65, was approved by the State Senate on a 26 to 7 vote. The State Assembly previously approved the measure on a vote of 68 to 0. Resolutions by the Legislature do not require signature of the Governor.
Willie L. Brown, Jr. was elected to represent San Francisco as a member of the California State Assembly from 1965 to 1995. During his tenure, Brown held a number of high ranking leadership positions and was elected as speaker of California State Assembly from 1980 to 1995. Brown was the longest serving speaker and the first African American speaker in California history.
After completing his service in the State Assembly, Brown was elected to serve as the 41st mayor of the city and county of San Francisco from 1996 to 2004. As mayor, he restructured the city’s transit system, expanded affordable housing programs, created a model juvenile justice system and spearheaded the expansion of the University of California, San Francisco campus.
“[The Legislature’s decision] to name the western span of the Bay Bridge the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge is a fitting and worthy tribute to one of California’s greatest public servants,” said Hall.
“I especially want to thank Senators Mark Leno and Leland Yee along with Assemblymember Phil Ting and legislators from throughout the Bay Area for their support of this important resolution. Willie Brown personifies the California Dream: that with hard work, fearless determination and faith, anything can be accomplished. This designation is only a small token of respect and gratitude to one of California’s greatest sons.”
The California NAACP will lead a private fundraising effort to pay for signs to be erected at the entrances of the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge. That effort and the erection of the signs are scheduled to be completed in 2014.