Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, right, smiles as he talks with Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, after the Senate approved the resolution he was carrying to rename the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. ACR65, by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, the resolution naming the western span the “Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge,” was passed by the Senate on a a 26-7 vote. It was approved previously by the Assembly. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Legislature on Thursday approved naming the iconic western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, a towering California political figure who is both revered and reviled.
Brown was the Assembly’s first black speaker and the longest-serving speaker in state history, presiding over the 80-member house from 1980 to 1995.
His tenure, political acumen and ironclad grasp on one house of the Legislature made him the most powerful state politician of his time, next to the governor.
“He was like a Michael Jordan or a Magic Johnson or a Larry Bird. … He made other Login to read more