Willie Brown name sought for Bay Bridge span

He was a popular mayor of San Francisco and served for 30 years in the California State Assembly. Now, he may have a portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge named after him.

Under a resolution introduced this week by a Los Angeles lawmaker, the western side of the bridge — the stretch that connects San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island — would be named the  “Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge.”

The measure — Assembly Concurrent Resolution 65 — was introduced Wednesday by Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, and co-authored by ten other lawmakers. In the resolution, the lawmakers describe Brown as:

“… widely regarded as one of the most influential politicians of the late 20th century, and has been at the center of California politics, government, and civic life for an astonishing four decades.”

The proposed name would not include the new eastern section of the bridge, which is facing a possible delay in its planned Labor Day opening because of problems with anchor rods — huge bolts designed to secure the bridge in an earthquake — and other issues.

If the resolution is approved, it would the first time lawmakers have given an official name to the bridge.

The resolution does not need the governor’s signature to take effect. Funding for new signs on the bridge would come from donations, and not state money.

Brown — a Democrat — served as mayor of San Francisco beginning in 1996  before being “termed out” after two terms in 2004.

Before coming the city’s mayor he was a member of state Assembly from 1965 through 1995. For 15 of those years he served as Speaker — the longest-serving Speaker in California history.