With the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birthday (February 6) only days away, one San Diego resident is officially launching a new proposal to rename the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge in honor of the 40th President of the United States.
Vince Vasquez, a San Diego County resident and think tank public policy analyst, has gathered more than 200 petition signatures in support of a Ronald Reagan Memorial Bridge in San Diego County. Vasquez intends to gather more than 1,000 signatures over the next few weeks on the Reagan-Coronado Memorial Bridge website, www.ronaldreaganbridge.com, and present them to elected officials shortly after the beginning of the Reagan Centennial Celebration.
“Throughout his life, Ronald Reagan had a special bond with San Diego, and he connected with thousands of local residents over three decades of public service,” said Vince Vasquez. “Dedicating a memorial bridge now is a fitting tribute to Reagan’s legacy, and an important education tool for future generations.”
Research completed this year found that Ronald Reagan’s ties to the San Diego region extended beyond his presidency:
- The 1957 film “Hellcats of the Navy,” which featured Ronald Reagan and his future wife Nancy Davis, was filmed in San Diego. It was the only film that starred both Ron and Nancy.
- On August 1969, then-Governor Reagan gave the dedication speech for the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.
- Reagan was a frequent visitor to the Hotel Del Coronado during his terms as governor and president, and held events at the iconic hotel, including a meeting with the President of Mexico in 1986.
- Reagan won the majority of votes in San Diego County in the 1966 and 1970 gubernatorial elections, as well as the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections.
- Ronald Reagan ended both of his presidential campaigns in San Diego
California State Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad) and State Senator Mark Wyland (R-San Diego) have expressed their support for the concept of the Ronald Reagan-Coronado Bridge.
“I’ve been encouraged by the groundswell of public support in San Diego for a Reagan Memorial Bridge,” said Vasquez. “President Reagan meant so much to San Diego, and he officially opened the Coronado Bridge to the public more than 40 years ago. Now is the time for a Reagan Memorial Bridge in our community. I’m confident that local elected officials will be supportive of a future bridge dedication.”