tv [untitled] January 19, 2012 4:31am-5:01am PST
hellman. he asked what i thought was a living wage. i mentioned a figure well in excess of what i would be possible. he countered with a significantly lower number. i countered with a cost-of- living escalator. the great voters of san francisco enacted the best and most comprehensive living wage ordinance at that time, and now thousands of workers in san francisco can afford to stay in our great and diverse city because warren hellman agreed that every single person deserve to live in san francisco who wanted to, and every worker deserved to be able to support their family while doing so. i did not know then that warren hellman had contributed millions of dollars to the arts are that he created, along with his daughter and son-in-law, the san francisco free medical clinic. it turned out that warren hellman also agrees that every san franciscan deserve to have access to quality medical care.
ucsf and uc berkeley deliver better quality, higher education because of his generosity. but it turns out that he also thinks that every child in san francisco deserves a quality public education. he has generously contributed to and led every bond measure and parcel tax to improve our schools. in between those measures, he helped to lead our efforts to rebuild the san francisco general hospital and laguna honda. it turns out that every older person deserves quality nursing care as well. she ended by saying, but i intend to learn to play the banjo, and while i may never be good, my effort will teach my children the value of hard work, discipline, and fun. i will remind them to be generous and lend their talent and their resources to making the world a better place. i will ask them to stand up for workers, as warren recently did with the passage of proposition c.
i will ask them to treat everyone with respect and generosity and a plot others for their creativity and coming in. i will ask them to practice gratitude. we will go to, and i am going to modify this, too hellman hollow, and i will bring the banjo and fix some bluegrass tune that warren e. there sang or road, because the best i can hope for them is that they will be just like warren when they grow up. as for me, i am never going to grow up, just like warren. i mention these things because the best thing campus -- encapsulates, from my view, the warren hellman i know, want to encourage the adoption of this resolution, and i want to ask the general manager to weigh in. >> delight, mr. president. commissioners, it is a great honor to support the resolution to rename speedway meadow after
warren hellman. i want to thank supervisor elsbernd for his leadership and initiative in partnership with the department and the family and with this commission in making this moment happen. it has been said that golden gate park is in many ways the heart and lungs of this great city. the canopy, landscapes, legs, gardens offer an oasis from the urban world. the attraction stimulate our minds, and the ball fields and playgrounds allow the child in all of us to thrive. ♪ >> turned that down a little bit. the creation 141 years ago out of sand dunes is nothing short of a horticultural and engineering miracle, for which the park's most prominent forefathers' halt a secret status and the parks community. it is important note that over the last century and a half, generations of politicians, a philanthropist, park advocates,
and every day park users have helped make golden gate park what it is today, the park endures because it involved. today, you consider at it -- adding warren hellman, recognizing golden gate park. he is all those things. and for the reasons stated by you, commissioner buell, the mayor, and it's a policy, feinstein, and others who have said in a letters, he should get his honor. this is a deserving tribute to mention the man who is understood, like few others, the important role our parks play. he has over time, money, love, wit, a genius to our treasured open space, stimulating part advocacy, improving infrastructure, increasing part philanthropy, and posting one heck of a festival every year for the last -- every year.
bluegrass is given millions of people access an excursion to an unforgettable and iconic memory and an immeasurable joy of music and community. in the mustang urban landscape in america. through his vision and the philanthropy, he has created deep reserve of honest and good will for the parks and sentences go. the hardly strictly era in golden gate park is been a golden age in this part history, for short. like with any park issue, some will disagree with the decision to read date -- to rename speedway meadow, but history suggests it might be politically fitting. in the early 20's century, it was named for speed road, a very exclusive horse racetrack build through the middle of the park. a century later, we consider naming the meadow again. this time, for a man who raced horses, but he has given the park one of its most inclusive attractions.
warren once told the "wall street journal" i wish the united states was speedway meadow. we have hundreds of thousands of people at the festival there probably disagree on many things, and release support each other, a kind to each other, facilitating each other's and dormant. wouldn't it be great if parts are people together no matter their release -- believes? at the very least, in hellman hollow, they do. i want to conclude in the most fitting and perhaps embarrassing tribute i know. this is a somewhat melancholy moment, so i thought i would end it with a song. i am under no illusions here and offer this with great apologies to this country's bluegrass heroes. here it goes. and i am going to wear my hat, because every time i see warren in the park during the festival,
and they can wear it. ♪ >> he comes with a banjo on his knee to goes quite a big party as the sun sets on the meadows there is a stretch of people can you believe is hardly strictly free thank you for letting the golden gate park with a banjo on your niehaknee ♪ thank you. >> and i think we're going to begin the public testimony by asking the number one citizen in san francisco, mayor ed lee, to present. >> good morning, everyone. thank you very much for allowing me to speak for you.
director ginsberg, thank you very much. wonderful staff and friends of warren helman, thank you very much. this is the first commission i have appeared before committees that sure for me to come before you at the invitation of the special resolution. i want to count myself as a friend of warren hellman, but to also know officially that i come before you in support of this resolution to change the name of speedway meadow and to consider it to be renamed in his honor as warren hollow, and i know that warren would greatly appreciate this. but i, as a citizen of this city, in my capacity as mayor, want to do what i could to at least present a token of our appreciation for what warren has done for our city.
as presented already, maybe not in the best musical voice -- [laughter] but certainly with the great spirit that i feel and our citizens feel -- gino, warren has done such wonderful things. he has been a great citizen. we know him, of course, most recently, as the one that has been a big creator of the partly stricken bluegrass, that wonderful concert, not only with the best of music, but it is up for free for all of our visitors, citizens, and residents. and i would note, too, that it has become a tremendous economic boom for all of the small businesses in and around golden gate park. so we had a fine balance of such large numbers of people turning out for the happy, happy occasion. but even before then, we have seen warren's exemplary citizenry and his philanthropy
being exhibited throughout our whole education system. and that is why our school district unanimously supported this resolution. i have been at very, very many occasions and events and celebrations where he and his family's philanthropy and interests and support for not only improving education for everyone, but for focusing on the gaps were kids are at, where they need to get more support to catch up. again, demonstrating his understanding. most recently, some of you join me in a yearlong effort to reform our pension program in the city. i cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to work alongside warren and commissioner elsbernd and so many of our labor representatives to do something for our city that demonstrated his love for our city, making sure that we're not only taking care of education, not only
creating an exciting love for music, but also taking care to make sure our city continued its success. part of that success was an expertise that warren already had, the financial success of the city. that is why the pension reform was so important. and he did it in the old warren hellman fashion. he brought everybody together. he helped me accomplish a characteristic that i am still trying to earn, and that is bringing everybody together and sending they all believe in. with that, i would like for you to consider and humbly ask this commission to also, in unison, as much as you can come to support this resolution, and to exhibit before you as my first commission my personal interest in supporting this change and exhibiting our love for someone who has exhibited his love for the city for so many years. thank you very much. commissioner buell: thank you,
mr. mayor. we're honored by your presence. with that, shall we entertain public testimony? >> i am going to read of the cards, come forward please. nancy, and jimmy, nancy, don, ryan, and hydra mendoza. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is nancy connor, and i speak from two perspectives. as a longtime park volunteer with san francisco parks trust, now the parks alliance and with the golden gate park concourse authority. these remarks will be redundant to what has already been set, but they are certainly heartfelt. there is no greater park hero in san francisco than warren hellman, and renaming speedway meadow in honor of him would be a well-deserved tribute.
this honor is not just for his amazing generosity to parks. his gift of music, his civic veal, and his leadership for a number of part bond efforts, so there's no one i know of who has done more in this regard. but it is just as much for is actual level of parks and his incredible effort to make park work for everyone. just as he is an open and includes a person, so, too, as he helped golden gate park accessible to all. i am sure you remember the time in the mid-1990s and but the california academy of sciences and the museum are planning to leave the park. two camps of park lovers are facing off, those who wanted to preserve cultural traditions in the park and others. in the midst of a heated controversy in 1998, warren stepped in to build consensus and back a compromise, -- proposition to build an underground garage in the music concourse area with private
funds and provide millions of dollars for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. even though it passed by the voters come implementation was not easy. warren was maligned and pressed and public meetings. costs grew substantially because of legal challenges. there were many times when some of less passionate about parts would have thrown in the towel, but warren stuck it out on a meeting every challenge with a solution. in the end, he won over most every critic. his gift of the garage has had exciting dividends. the academy museum thrives. a park shuttle connects the park. the fountain's flow. benches abound. new trees have been added. the band shell shines. today, his revitalization of the music concourse area is enjoyed by an ever increasing number of people. surely there is no greater friend and hero for golden gate park. thank you. commissioner buell: thank you. >> next speaker, please.
>> good morning qr i am nancy hellman bectal, i am here to speak in favor of this, obviously. i am is slightly prejudice, as you noticed my middle name. everything that has been said before, i would really ago. i think there is nobody who has done more for san francisco than my brother. also, he has got as much back to -- from san francisco is to get to the city. he is a tremendous philanthropist. he loves the city. he was the people. as you heard from a number of people along the way, he was never afraid to tackle controversy, whether it was the garage or whether it was when he was the head of mills college,
and he ended out on saturday night live, being kind of a blocked by people, but he was never afraid of that. he got things done in a collaborative way. he loves hellman hollow, formally known as speedway meadow. thank you. and look forward to hearing your vote. commissioner buell: thank you, nancy. >> hello, i am the production manager for hardly strictly bluegrass and have been for the past 10 years. i want to get a quick endorsement from all the guys that we worked with. i got a number of calls and e- mails from my co-workers who are working all over the country right now, and a bunch of them heard about this.
they basically were hoping was going to come down and give our full support and endorsement. this is a group of folks who spend a lot of time in the dirt, building stages, working late hours, and it can be an easily jaded crew, but i can tell you that warren has created a sense of community with all these folks. it is incredibly diverse, incredibly talented group of folks who disagree on just about everything else except for this. except for the fact that warren has given everyone a great gift. in the event that we work is easily the most fun and most beloved event that all of us work all year long around the world and around the country. i just want to give my endorsement from my buddies who are in the trenches helping put on another festival, and i hope
it goes forth. thank you. commissioner buell: thank you very much. i want to list -- >> i have a few more names added to the list. >> hello, i have the privilege of being warren's partners in the festival. a long time ago, we said at a table and he said to me, do the we can put on the bluegrass festival in golden gate park? and i said, yeah. he said, i'd like hazel dickens. i said, i do, too. there is 13. i guess we better invite emmylou. it turned into 13,000. we have gone from there. this man is gracious. he is a cranky. he disagrees. he gets his own way quite a bit. he is a pleasure to work with.
he knows which battles to fight and which to let go that he has put on one incredible gift for an amazing city. musically, he has put our city back on the map. he has made san francisco a definite -- a destination again. with his work, we have helped rebuild parts of the park. we have put an irrigation in the park to approve the meadows. -- to improve the metals. we love the park. unbeknownst to you, i have felt it was hellman hollow over the last 15 years. this man, the giving. this man still thinks it is a gift to him, the festival.
and knowing that the city could acknowledge this -- i do not know how many of you know that hot dog is the best to get out of him. his biggest claim is hot dog. if you get two hot dogs, it is the moon. if he hears that this goes through, it will be hot dog, hot dog. n that i would want to hear from this man. i love this man with my heart, and the festival was more than i can give. it is a constant work in progress. [bell rings] i mean, the neighbors have problems. we're working on them. but i really, really, really want to see this. thank you. >> my name is jimmy dale
gilmore. [applause] commissioner buell: sorry about my song. [laughter] >> i love this city -- i speak as an outsider here. i have been coming here since the late 1960's. i think i used to sleep on some of the streets that he owned. [laughter] this is -- i live in austin, that this is still my favorite city. i felt like i have been privileged, quite a strange stroke of fate to become actual friends with a genuinely great person.
and i think honoring warren in any way possible is a real good idea. i have a sort of innate prejudice against rich people, and i did not even realize until i became conscious of id, as i realized how wrong it was. warren -- was introduced to warren, and i did not know who he was. he is just a great guide that i thought was a promoter of the festival. a promoter of a festival. and we just had this common love of music and also a very silly sense of humor. i am trying to encapsulates the big here. he is such an important part of my life in the last 10 years.
i just would not have wanted it to happen without him. and the idea of honoring warren -- and i have to say, his family, too, because in every way, warren has exemplified what a truly great person is. he is -- [bell rings] uh-oh, is that my time? [laughter] commissioner buell: go ahead, you can finish that remark. >> all of his family and friends that i have met are just people i got to travel with warren. i got to become really close friends with him. it remained always that he -- i
cannot find words. when i found out about this happening, it's a fluke, a coincidence, that i happen to be in town for this today. if there is any way that warren can be recognized publicly for what he is, i would want to be a part of that. i would urge everybody to approve of this. i love speedway meadow, too. [laughter] i spend a lot of time there. i do not think i slept there. i spent a lot of time there. i think it would be honoring its golden gate park and san
francisco to name it after warren. president buell: thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. good morning, president buell, commissioners. i served as the education adviser. more importantly, i am a friend of warren hellman and i am honored to be here in support of their resolution. on tuesday night, the full board of education unanimously supported a resolution in support of your resolution. he has been an incredible champion for education over the last several years, many, many years. i can recall one of our early morning breakfast meetings. he is one of the few people i wake up early for. many of you know, this is when you get the best of warren,
early in the morning. it was one of those moments where it was like, wow, it would be amazing. his only objective was to expose our kids to something else, to get them to love bluegrass the way that he loved the bluegrass. we have been doing it for quite a few years now. every year, it gets better and better and more exciting. now our middle school kids ask when they get to go. i remember the first bus that they brought over and the thank you notes warren received. "thank you for the beautiful bus and for the hot dogs" and nothing about the festival. [laughter] now, about the music, dance, and being out in the open to experience this.
it has been tremendous. we are very proud. we have also experienced warren supporting mission high school in ways they have not seen. i have been able to sit on the committee with warren to see three successful bonds for our school district that will help improve all the facilities, prop h, and then the quality teacher act, which pays our teachers more, primarily because of his support and help. he has taught me so much about giving, loving, and about being. i'm honored to be here today on behalf of the 56,000 children that the unified school district represents, and to thank warren. needless to say, we hope you will pass this resolution, as well. mary richards ishere.
she has been coordinating the festival with warren's team every year for the last six years. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> i'm sorry to say that i did not follow the rules. i am honored and privileged to be here to support the renaming of speedway meadow to hellman hallow. i will close my short remarks with that. as part of my work and the district, i have been working in the district as a teacher, administrator, and now in support of all students, always in support of all students and families for the past 18 years. one of my privileges has been coordinating the hardly strict tly bluegrass festival.
when the production staff came up -- i have a great relationship with the production staff that i work with. i have a little bit of ocd, too. i'm a member of the san francisco community. i have been going to the festival for the last eight years. i have seen the transformation of the park. they clean up when they are gone. it is miraculously. from 12:00 midnight until the next morning, you would never even know that millions of people have that incredible experience. for me and my car with the school district, there's an extraordinary opportunity for our kids. there is no "no." it is such an efficiently run event for most important is the safety of our kids and the optimum experience. they have both. i want to share a couple of comments with you. i know warren