EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 Emperor Norton | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'Emperor Norton'

The Emperor Norton Bridge

norton.cartoonNow that we have a new span on the Bay Bridge apparently we have to name it. There are members of the NAACP in Southern California who think we should make an exception to the rule of not naming large structures after living people and name it after Willie Brown.

Don’t get me wrong, while I’m one of the few, I actually like Willie Brown. The man has style. The man has an attitude. He has so much attitude that if he was in favor of it being named after him he would have said something already. I guess that’s all part of being a kid born in Minneola, Texas and moving to San Francisco.

So functionally, by saying nothing I think we can take that as a no vote from Willie Brown. It’s part of the passive-agressive way politicians work in that it’s not always what they say, but what they don’t say. Our Governor, Jerry Brown who apparently didn’t learn the passive-agressive technique has just come right out and said he doesn’t like the idea.

So while the people of Southern California think they know what’s best for San Francisco, we need to come up with a counter attack to put the boobs of silicone valley in their place.

I strongly stand with the members of E Clampus Vitus who want the bridge named after Emperor Joshua Abraham Norton. This is a man who in 1859 proclaimed himself to be the Emperor of the United States of America and Protector Of Mexico. The man made his own money that people actually accepted around San Francisco. This is the type of guy that should have a bridge named after him.

As a matter of fact, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is unofficially named the Emperor Norton Bridge. There’s even a plaque on the San Francisco side stating this. Why can’t the politicians see this? We don’t have people like Emperor Norton anymore in the Bay Area and I think that we need people like that to symbolize the rough and tumble, do it yourself kind of mentality that made San Francisco what it is. Not the Mark Zuckerberg’s or Steve Job’s types who are in Silicon Valley, but the real people that San Francisco had who made a difference. There is no Emperor Norton Hotel, Bar or even Restaurant in San Francisco and if there’s a small chance I missed it then it needs to be more in the forefront than in the background as long as they’re doing a good job of representing him.

We are on the eve of the naming of the bridge so I suggest that you email Governor Brown, Mayor Lee and Mayor Quan and let them know that the bridge deserves a proper name.

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No Public Funds for Politicians!

I am beginning to really get fed up with politicians. When Gavin Newsom left for the Lt. Governor’s position he ended up leaving us in a state of chaos. I read an article today that really horrified me. It said that San Francisco would be paying out $6-8 million dollars in campaign funds to anyone who runs for mayor and raises at least $25,000.

Here’s how it works. If you get $25k in contributions, the city will give you double that amount. If you bring in $125k you’ll get $450k from the San Francisco and if you get  $500k in private funds you’ll get an additional $800k from the city.

Let’s make it a little bit worse. The new rules call for a $1.3 million spending limit per candidate, but if just one campaign – or even an independent expenditure committee, which isn’t subject to the same limits – breaks the cap, all candidates may all be able to get even more money from the city.

Many candidates are already well on their way. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has collected $250,000 in private donations, state Sen. Leland Yee has raised $165,000, and businesswoman Joanna Rees has brought in $150,000. Other candidates who have already qualified for public cash are former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, $100,000, and Controller Phil Ting, $50,000.

The city’s deficit is expected to reach $750 million dollars this year so I suppose adding another $6-8 million won’t help. I’ve done a little math here. Gavin Newsom tried to put into effect his own version of the old JobsNow program which reimbursed employers for the payroll of unemployed parents, but that didn’t work too well. If you took that money and put it into $40k/year jobs it would get 200 people off of unemployment. Not a very big deal in a city of 850,000 people. OK how about this, take that money and divide it equally to all the San Francisco public schools and how much would they get? Almost $51,000 per school.

Our schools are short on cash. My daughter’s teacher has to ask parents if they can donate supplies because she doesn’t have the funding to purchase them. I bet she wouldn’t have to ask for donations from the parents if the money was distributed. Hell, she even had to go out and buy paint to repaint her classroom by herself.

This is wrong and I’m putting a call out to our new Mayor Ed Lee to do the right thing and stop this. Anyone who can fill out the paperwork and raise $25k in funds will get $50k free of charge from the city and that is wrong. This is one of the biggest problems we have to fix and we have to fix it NOW!