New Board Appointee Prompts City Hall To Make Old Chamber
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 23, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--In 1999, when San Francisco's City Hall underwent a $300 million renovation and restoration, designers were applauded for how they made the historic building accessible to people with disabilities. All of the entrances into the 88-year-old building were made wheelchair-accessible, along with the offices, bathrooms and public hearing rooms.
Even the mayor's private shower is accessible.
It appeared that perhaps the only place not made accessible was the president's dais in the Board of Supervisors chamber, which could only be reached by climbing a set of five stairs. State preservation authorities gave city officials special permission to leave the raised platform as it was, with the understanding that the accessibility problem would be corrected later on.
That time has come.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has appointed Michela Alioto-Pier to replace him as District 2 supervisor. Alioto-Pier uses a wheelchair because she is paralyzed below her waist.
Even though she isn't the board president, supervisors often meet with the president at his desk, or replace the president when he or she is absent.
Susan Mizner, acting director of the Mayor's Office on Disability, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the platform will now be made accessible, whether or not Alioto-Pier requests it.