Supes advance erasing Justin Herman’s name from plaza

A resolution urging the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to remove the name of Justin Herman from the plaza at the intersection of Market Street and The Embarcadero is moving forward to the full Board of Supervisors.

The board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee approved the resolution on Monday, which has support from all 11 supervisors.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the sponsor of the resolution, said Herman’s name symbolized an unfortunate time in The City’s history:

“It’s really a name that is symbolic of a remarkably unfortunate period in San Francisco’s history that led to massive displacement of thousands of people.”

The California Redevelopment Act of 1945 allowed cities to create redevelopment areas or “urban renewal” to deal with “urban blight.”

During Herman’s time as director, he oversaw the second phase of the redevelopment project of the Western Edition. Approximately 4,000 residents and businesses were displaced, and 60 square blocks bulldozed, according to the proposed resolution.

Peskin said Herman was not only to blame, but also passed supervisors, board presidents and mayors who were in office while Herman the director of The City’s redevelopment agency.

The resolution states that the plaza be named for a “honored resident, that this person should embody San Francisco values of equity, inclusion and forward-thinking.”

Until a new name is agreed on, the resolution calls for the plaza to be referred to as the Embarcadero Plaza.