All 11 San Francisco supervisors approved a resolution on Tuesday urging the Recreation and Park Department to remove Justin Herman’s name from the plaza at the intersection of the Embarcadero and Market Street.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the sponsor of the resolution, said the removal of Herman’s name was more about “misguided” policies in the U.S. during the time Herman was director of The City’s redevelopment agency:
“This was not just about Justin Herman. This was about a national misguided policy that we commonly refer to then and now as urban renewal, which resulted in the decimation of communities here in San Francisco and urban America.”
The resolution cited that Herman was in charge of the second phase of the redeveloping the Western Edition, which resulted in the displacement of over 4,000 residents and businesses, and 60 square blocks demolished.
Peskin added that the resolution acknowledges The City’s dark chapter and a chapter of moving forward in choosing a new name for the plaza.
Board President London Breed said that the name change was long overdue. Breed had grown up in the Western Edition, and said Herman’s name in the community was a negative one:
“It may not have the best paint jobs on the homes, but it was a community.”
The final decision to remove Herman’s name from the plaza will made by the Rec and Park Commission, who will take up the proposal at their October meeting, said Peskin.
Peskin said he looks forward to a robust conversation on the person who will replace Herman’s name.
The resolution said for now call it the Embarcadero Plaza until a name is chosen.