The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

to honor the life + advance the legacy of Emperor Norton

Campaign a Sign of Civic Health, Says Essayist

Thanks to our friend, Julian Lozos, for flagging a recent piece at San Francisco-focused online magazine The Bold Italic, in which writer Sara Brody cites our movement, specifically, as one healthy indicator that — despite the doomsday predictions of some who are wringing their hands the hardest over San Francisco's latest gentrification wave — San Francisco is not on the verge of losing its soul.

Here's the quote in the context of Brody's full introduction to the piece:

Like many San Francisco natives, I’m worried about the latest wave of gentrification, but I also have faith that the city will ride it out.

What worries me more is when I hear natives and longtime residents talking about moving somewhere else because they feel the city has somehow changed irreparably. It hasn’t. A community that petitions to rename the Bay Bridge the Emperor Norton Bay Bridge is one remarkably in touch with its history, and I see traces of each San Francisco "phase" wherever I go, whether it’s the Barbary Coast, the Summer of Love, the Castro in its heyday, or countless others. We’re not "losing" our city; rather, we’re piling new things atop the old, as we always have.


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Of course, I would push back a little against the suggestion that what we are doing here is solely "a San Francisco thing." To be sure, there are many who have responded positively to this Campaign, out of a kind of San Francisco patriotism. But it might surprise some to learn that the effort to name the Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton has strong support from all across the Bay Area; all over California; and, indeed, all around the country. The breadth of our coalition is its real strength.

The larger point, however, is this...

Never mind that The Emperor's Bridge Campaign wasn't called out by name. The fact that a writer, apparently on her own steam, cited this Campaign on one of the most widely read local culture Web sites, in an article on a topic that is not directly related to the Campaign, is yet another sign that we are making an impression — and that the impression is continuing to get deeper.

Thanks, everybody!


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