By Sarah Phelan
News that former San Francisco Sup. Sue Bierman died Monday afternoon after her car crashed into a dumpster in the Cole Valley, got the current supervisors sharing memories of her at the August 8 Board of Supes meeting.
Sup. Gerardo Sandoval said “volumes could be written about the accomplishments” of this woman, who was “probably a grandmother/sister figure to many of us.”
Sup. Aaron Peskin called her “an incredible person, an FDR-type Democrat,” who was behind the demolition of the old Embarcadero freeway.”Said Sup. Ross Mirkarimi, “she was a hero in so many battles in San Francisco..most recently, when we were trying to bring attention to excessive, disproportionate closure of schools, Sue Bierman and her daughter were on the front line. She was very disarming, but very strong. I will miss her dearly.”
Sup. Sean Elsbernd acknowledged that “should she and I have served on the board together, we would have had a few disagreements. I’ll miss her look.”
Sup. Tom Ammiano recalled how,”When Carole Migden put on lipstick, Sue would follow, You knew something was going to happen, as if a secret handhske was involved…I don’t know if there’s a highway to heaven, but thanks to Sue it ain’t a freeway.”
Sup. Dufty remembered how she had a lot of influence over Mayor Willie Brown. “If you heard him cussing at Sue, you knew she’d won one over him.”
Sup. Alioto-Pier, noting how she and Bierman often did not agree when they were both on the Port Commission said, “She very eloquently told you, she was very forceful, she was always the first person to call, it was dismaying to hear her voice on the machine, saying, “michela,” in a shaky voice.
Sup. Daly said she was the champion of young adults–and renters.
‘She understood what made San Francisco great.”
And Gloria Young, clerk of the board, recalled trying to get Bierman, who served on the board from 1992-2000, to vacate her office at noon on the day she was termed out, so to tidy up before the new supe [Peskin] arrived.
“Absolutely not,” bierman is said to have said. “I’ll be working until the end of the day, It’s immportant to acknowledge thew constituents who put us in office.”
“And she left me with a big stack of books,” added Peskin. “They’re still on the shelf.”
By Sarah Phelan