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Never a pushover, John Burton can be rolled over, now.

It's OK.

A strip of State Highway Route 35 in San Francisco was named in honor of the longtime politician and current California Democratic Party chairman late last week, in the final days of this year's legislative session.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who pushed the idea of honoring Burton, said the new John Burton Highway is a two-mile section of road beside a Sloat Boulevard home where Burton once lived as a child.

The John L. Burton Revocable Trust continues to own a residence at 8 Sloat Boulevard, according to a Google search. But Burton now lives on Potrero Hill, according to Ma.

Ma, a former Burton aide who affectionately refers to him as her "political dad," said the longtime politician is a deserving recipient of the naming honor because of decades spent in public service.

The Burton provision was amended into Senate Concurrent Resolution 93 by state Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego. The measure also named a bridge over Interstate 905 in honor of Randy Sanchez, a 37-year-old CalTrans worker killed in a 2004 motorcycle crash while traveling to work.

Burton's political career has included long stints in Congress and in the state Assembly and Senate, where he was president pro tem when forced out by term limits in 2004. He caused a stir at the Democratic National Convention this week when he likened Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbles.

In recent years, Burton has founded and served as volunteer chairman of the John Burton Foundation For Children Without Homes, dedicated to sparking broad change in the state's foster care and child welfare systems.

Most Senate Republicans voted in favor of SCR 93, but a majority of their Assembly GOP colleagues voted against it.

Burton is a colorful personality known for sprinkling his conversations with four-letter words. Everyone jokes that the Legislature's naming honor should have contained at least one expletive, Ma joked.

"Too bad his middle initial wasn't 'F,'" she quipped.


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