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50 years in 50 weeks: 1983: Ross appointed to bridge board

by BAR staff

Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive  

Bay Area Reporter founding publisher Bob Ross was appointed to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District Board of Directors. Our March 3, 1983 article noted that Ross was the first openly gay person named to the district by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which appoints several of the directors. The vote was 10-1, with board President Wendy Nelder in opposition, which LGBTQ political observers took as a move against the community. The article quoted Nelder as saying she would dissent, but she did not offer a reason, other than to quip that the B.A.R. stated that Nelder's father, former San Francisco Police Chief Alfred J. Nelder, "bought the election for me." The elder Nelder later served on the Board of Supervisors, followed by a stint on the police commission. Ross went on to serve on the bridge board for many years, including as its president. To view the issue, click here.

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