On Monday afternoon Mayor Edwin M. Lee participated in a ceremonial renaming of Middle Drive East in Golden Gate Park in honor of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to celebrate her 25 years of public service to our City and its residents. Leader Pelosi represents California’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes most of San Francisco including Golden Gate Park, Bayview to Bernal Heights, Chinatown to the Castro, the Mission to the Marina, and North Beach to Noe Valley. In her 25 years of service, Leader Pelosi has transformed San Francisco by preserving public lands and parks, expanding transit, protecting the Bay and the environment and ensuring affordable housing.
“San Franciscans have benefitted immensely from Leader Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, passion and commitment to San Francisco and our nation,” said Mayor Lee. “She is a trailblazer who has fought for the residents of our City from jobs to healthcare and HIV/AIDS to affordable housing and a more sustainable environment to critical infrastructure and transportation funding that we will celebrate for many generations to come.”
Middle Drive East is the main pathway to some of the most celebrated destinations in Golden Gate Park including the National AIDS Memorial Grove, California Academy of Sciences, Botanical Garden, Japanese Tea Garden, popular family recreation sites. All these locations attest to Leader Pelosi’s leadership and contributions to crucial social issues including the fight against HIV/AIDS across the nation and around the world, commitment to strengthening our school system, pressing for legislation to combat climate change and moving toward energy independence, and building an economy and a society that supports “families earning, children learning.”
“Leader Nancy Pelosi is celebrated as she leads the way to legislate pioneering initiatives that change our country,” said SF Recreation and Park Commission President Mark Buell. “It is befitting to rename a historic pathway within the celebrated Golden Gate Park destinations after Leader Pelosi.”
After the Army closed the Presidio of San Francisco, a former military post from 1776 to 1994, Leader Pelosi led the fight to preserve the Presidio for the residents of San Francisco and passed a bill creating the Presidio Trust, with the twin goals of preserving the essence of a magnificent national park and achieving economic self-sufficiency. Leader Pelosi’s work in the Presidio can be seen from the trails and overlooks, to the Main Parade Ground, with the Walt Disney Family Museum and Futures without Violence, along with the Letterman Digital Arts Center and the Japanese American Historical Society’s future Military Intelligences Service Historic Learning Center. Thanks to Leader Pelosi’s advocacy in securing millions in federal funds, the barren, broken asphalt of Crissy Field Air Field became Presidio’s spectacular front window to the San Francisco Bay with public walkways, restored dunes and wetlands, the Crissy Field Center and spectacular spaces for recreation beloved by people and dogs alike.
After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Leader Pelosi worked to ensure her constituents received timely assistance, joining her California colleagues to secure a $3.45 billion earthquake relief package, raising the Small Business Administration loan cap and leading efforts to restore City Hall and the American Conservatory Theater’s Geary Theater.
Leader Pelosi has fought to improve bus and rail transit, walking, biking, and transit-oriented development while creating vibrant livable communities. Over the past 25 years, she was instrumental in extending BART to the SFO Airport, creating the Third Street Light Rail and the Central Subway, securing $400 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds allowing the Transbay Transit Center to break ground, assisting the seismic and security upgrade of the Golden Gate Bridge, renovating Doyle Drive / Presidio Parkway, and putting San Franciscans back to work on these projects and through San Francisco JOB NOW!.
As an advocate for affordable housing and services for the homeless, Leader Pelosi has been critical in securing federal funds to rehabilitate public housing units at Hunters View, Sunnydale and Alice Griffith and was instrumental in the creation of Housing Opportunities for people with AIDS (HOPWA). She has also supported projects such as the Veterans Commons housing project at 150 Otis Street, renovating Nihonmachi Terrace in Japantown, the Kelly Cullen Community and clinic for the chronically homeless at 220 Golden Gate, and a new San Francisco Federal Building at Mission and 7thStreets, one of the greenest federal buildings in the country.
Since its closure by the U.S. Navy in 1974, the Hunters Point Shipyard has been a neglected and contaminated neighbor to the Bayview / Hunters Point Community. Leader Pelosi has helped secure over $750 million to clean up contamination and transform the former shipyard into a source of jobs and economic development, parks and open space and affordable housing for the community.
At Treasure Island, a man-made island in the Bay between San Francisco and Oakland, Leader Pelosi was crucial in finding a path forward to redeveloping the former Navy base, helping to secure an agreement that will allow the City to quickly move forward with substantial redevelopment plans that include essential infrastructure, open space, affordable housing and extensive commercial activities.
In 2007, Leader Pelosi was elected as the first woman in American history to serve as Speaker of the House, and under her leadership, the 111th Congress was heralded as “one of the most productive Congresses in history” by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. In the 111th Congress, Leader Pelosi also led the Congress in passing strong Wall Street reforms to rein in big banks and protect consumers as well as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expands educational opportunities and reforms the financial aid system to save billions of taxpayers’ dollars.
In addition, Leader Pelosi has made energy security her flagship issue, enacting comprehensive energy legislation in 2007 that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and making an historic commitment to American home grown biofuels. Leader Pelosi passed into law groundbreaking legislation including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability of women and all workers to access our judicial system to fight pay discrimination, legislation to provide health care for 11 million American children, national service legislation and hate crimes legislation.
In late 2010, Leader Pelosi led the Congress in passing child nutrition and food safety legislation as well as repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.