New Willie Brown signs unveiled on Bay Bridge's western span

The bridge-naming ceremony for the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge took place Tuesday in what you might call "classic Willie Brown" style.
February 11, 2014 5:54:06 PM PST
It's official -- half of the Bay Bridge is now called the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge. The bridge-naming ceremony took place on Treasure Island Tuesday in a style you might call "classic Willie brown."

Remember how many people referred to Willie Brown as "da mayor?" Well on Tuesday, he said he really wouldn't mind if people started called it "da mayor's bridge." The signs -- two of them -- went up, finally making it official after early opposition to naming the bridge after the former speaker of the California Assembly and former mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown. Los Angeles Assemblyman Isadore Hall was the person who introduced the legislation. "He will be and is the only African American in the state of California with a bridge or any state structure named after him," he said. Brown selected the day for the ceremony because it would have been his mother's birthday and after days of heavy rain, the fact that it was a sunny day had everything to do with her. "I kept being very comfortable. We're doing it on my mother's birthday. And they said, 'What does that mean?' I said, 'You don't know that old woman. She's got a relationship with the lord.'" Brown said. Several family members were by his side along with lawmakers and those who made it into the world of politics because of Brown's influence. "Thank you for being outspoken but more important than anything else, thank you for always being outstanding. This is your day. You deserve it," Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom said. The bridge is one of the most traveled bridges in the United States. "And I will continue to be delighted and I do, and I will practice bragging rights every time I get a chance," Brown said. At 79-years-old and retired, Brown is still considered very influential in California politics.

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