Board of Supervisors said to reconsider berthing
of USS Iowa in San Francisco
US Navy photo
November 13, 2005
The berthing of the USS Iowa in San Francisco will have a second
voyage in upcoming weeks. After renewed discussions with the Mayor's
Office and several Supervisors, Merylin Wong, President of the
Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific, told the Sentinel, "there
has been a noticeable change of heart."
Merylin Wong aboard a launch that ferried distinguised visitors
to and from the USS
Abraham Lincoln on Veterans Day
According to Wong, Board President Aaron Peskin, who resolved
his swing vote indecision by voting against the proposal in July,
hinted his support for the new proposal. He cautioned more preparation
work may be needed to convince other previously dissenting Supervisors
to vote favorably a second time around, but is encouraged by the
Wong characterized the discussion with Peskin as, "constructive."
At the first hearing, Supervisors used present day issues to
condemn the 1942 historic relic's berthing in San Francisco. The
Pentagon's "don't ask don't tell" policy and the Bush
administration's occupation of Iraq were featured talking points
that helped persuade Supervisors to vote, 8-3, against the orginal
The action taken by the Board of Supervisors, however, drew national
attention after Wong and Supervisor Ammiano appeared on The Daily
Show. The show, known for its good-natured character assassination
and lampooning style, poked fun at Ammiano and Wong, but stirred
a more serious debate about San Francisco's lack of heart by punishing
World War Two heroes with present-day unrelated issues and rhetoric.
In a recent discussion between Wong and Supervisor McGoldrick,
McGoldrick suggested the USS Iowa could be used as, "a center
for conflict resolution." In another discussion with Wong,
Supervisor Maxwell suggested the USS Iowa could be used as a command
and control center in the event of a disaster.
And, according to Wong, the berthing of the USS Iowa has won
the support of San Francisco's LGBT community. That support is
expected to find its way into the thinking and reevaluation by
both Supervisor Ammiano and Supervisor Dufty who voted against
the orginal proposal.
In discussing the new proposal with the Mayor, Wong stated Newsom
is, "warmly receptive to bringing the historic ship to San
Francisco," and is "assured" by the proposal's
risk-free financials and its diversity provision; "celebrating
the service of patriotic Americans who chose to volunteer service
to the military despite the hostility within the organization."
Mayor Newsom travels to Des Moines today to give a speech to
the Iowa Democratic Party. The subject of the USS Iowa being berthed
in San Francisco is expected to be a featured topic of discussion
among the Iowan caucus.
The Sentinel will endeavor to highlight the Mayor's speech in