Daughters of Coit Tower Artists Join Forces to Kickoff Yes on B Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, May 8, 2012                                                           

News Release


With election day four weeks from today and early voting at San Francisco City Hall now underway, Coit Tower supporters joined daughters of the original Coit Tower mural artists this morning on the steps of Coit Tower to officially launch the campaign for Proposition B, a measure on the June 5th SF ballot aimed at preserving Coit Tower. 

“The Coit Tower murals are a powerful reminder that publicly funded art can create enormous value that lasts for generations,” said Dr. Gray Brechin, Project Scholar at UC Berkeley's Living New Deal Project.  “That’s why it is so incredibly important that San Franciscans act now to protect this invaluable art from the damage it is suffering from.”

Joining Dr. Brechin at Coit Tower this morning were John Rizzo, Political Chair of the SF Sierra Club, Jayne Oldfield Blatchly, daughter of Coit Tower artist Otis Oldfield, who painted the Coit Tower painting “San Francisco Bay,” Ruth Gottstein, daughter of Coit Tower artist Bernard Zakheim, who painted the mural “Library,” and Mary Lou Cockcroft, niece of Coit Tower artist William Hesthal, who painted the mural “Railroad and Shipping.”  They discussed the importance of Coit Tower and its New Deal-era murals to San Francisco and talked about the neglect, decay, and lax oversight that has led to increasing problems at Coit Tower, such as lead paint peeling from the ceiling, poor lighting, water leaks seeping through and corroding the murals, and gashes damaging the fragile frescoes.          

If approved by city voters next month, Proposition B will put in place a new policy directing city officials to protect Coit Tower and its murals by prioritizing the funds raised at Coit Tower for preserving the murals, protecting the Coit Tower building, and beautifying Pioneer Park around Coit Tower and by strictly limiting commercial activities and private events at Coit Tower to maintain Coit Tower as a public place. 

Proposition B has been endorsed by a wide range of organizations from across San Francisco including the Sierra Club, the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, the West of Twin Peaks Central Council, the Labor Council, and the Democratic Party. 

Early voting is now underway at City Hall, where polls are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday on the ground floor near the Department of Elections.  Voters can get more information about Prop. B by visiting www.ProtectCoitTower.org

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