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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 5, 2007 11:54 PM. The previous post in this blog was Whole Foods board sticks with wacky Mackey. The next post in this blog is Somebody noticed. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Wro-o-o-o-ong -- do it again!

I see that Fireman Randy is blowing the whistle on the wildly unpopular Cesar Chavez Boulevard project. The process is flawed, he says, and needs to restart from scratch. "There’s a message being sent that [the street to be renamed] is Interstate, and if it’s not, you’re a racist." Really? You don't say.

This comes the same day that the Polish-American community in the affected North Portland neighborhood declares its strong opposition to the name change for Interstate Avenue. Coincidence? I leave it for you to decide.

If the West Hills Saltzmanites who instigated this P.C. exercise won't let us rename a street on Council Crest for Chavez, how about the new chi-chi Public Market that the city is spending zillions on? You know -- farmers' market... farm workers?

Oh, that one's got to be named after slain civil rights leader James Beard. I get it.

Comments (12)

"Leonard is fine with having a process that’s not following the official procedure to a T"

I'll have to remember that next time I visit Bureau of Dev Services to get a permit (yeah, right). I think he meant to say Randy Leonard doesn't have to follow official procedure to a T.

Nice of him to stay in front of this. Looks like he already promised them a Cesar Chavez street now he just needs to find neighborhood where people don't care either way and he can force it on.

It would be nice if they'd thought this out before we lost Portland Boulevard--and I mean no disrespect to Rosa Parks, who was heroic--because it's the only Portland Boulevard we had. And this is, um, Portland, you know?

One alternative to wiping out current street names (and their own history) would be to focus on avenues--we have lots of them, and I don't think there's as much attachment to the numbers.

Of course, if they were trying to re-name NW 23rd Cesar Chavez Avenue, I'm sure there would be some sprited discussion...

TomR,
I think Portland Boulevard in Portland is a little redundant, and we can live without it. I don't know what Rosa Parks has to do with Portland, though. As for NW 23d, I think NW Caesar Salad would be more appropriate.

If they want it so bad, maybe they should rename the Portland Building after Caesar Chavez. Or City Hall.
Actually, Hugo Chavez would probably be more appropriate for City Hall.

To me, and to many of my neighbors, this is not about a fear of change, nor is it a "NIMY" thing and it's not, not, NOT about race, it's about losing a piece of out personal sense of history and place. It's about attachment to our home, our past and the local flavor of our neighborhood. Interstate Avenue may have appeared to other neighborhoods to be just a strip of "roach motels" with a seedy past and a bland name, but this has been my home and a vibrant, diverse neighborhood for 30 years.

I am also insulted by The Mayor's Public Policy Assistant, Jared Spencer's assertion that "If there is an assumption that a home or business owner will be affected in a way other than a mailing address change (Accck… what a hassle) than naturally, there are assumptions/prejudgments that are at least partially related to race." This shows his superficial understanding of the issue and disconnect with the community he's supposed to be serving. Calling your opponents names (racists)if they disagree in order to confuse the issue is one of the oldest political tricks in the book -- effective, but insulting and arrogant. I'd feel the same way if they were proposing changing the name to something as racially neutral and regionally appropriate as "Columbia Ave" or "Pacifica Blvd". Simply put, I LIKE the name "Interstate Avenue" and want to keep it. The assumption of racism is a shallow, mean and cheap shot.

In all honesty, my feelings about the name change itself are not nearly as intense as my negative reaction to the way it's being shoved down our throats. This feels to me like a done deal, a decision that we've never had a say in, and all the discussion is just to give us something to do while the new street signs are being printed.

I find myself wondering what Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks would think.

I think that the mayor should give up his city purchased Prius and ride the bus around town just as low income people do then he might be able to relate to those you found inspiration in the work of Mr. Chavez.

BGTI

What would be the best way to get involved in the opposition to the name change?

I think re-naming streets for controversial political figures is a really, really bad idea. But if we're going to do it, I'm excited about my own street-re-naming project--all the "letter" streets. Let's name them for later-day Republican heroes (since in Portland Republicans definitely are a powerless minority group):

Ankeny=(Roger) Ailes Avenue
Burnside=(George W.) Bush Blvd., of course (and if we can't rename Burnside, maybe we can re-name the street Jack's house is on)
Couch=(Dick) Cheney Blvd. (but we'll keep the street in an undisclosed location, and no, even I won't suggest Ann Coulter Court)
Davis=(Bob) Dole Ave. (nice guy, but since he never won, it is only Ave. and not Blvd.)
Everett=(Ike) Eisenhower Blvd.
Flanders=(Gennifer) Flowers Lane (no more need be said)
Glisan=(Alan) Greenspan (despite recent heresies-may re-re-name for Guilliani if things go well, or maybe Gingrich or Goldwater)
Hoyt=(Sean) Hannity Street (no left turns permitted)
Irving=(Frank) Ivancie Ave. (a local character, who probably wasn't even a Republican, but compared to the more recent mayors, was at least not a big leftie)
Johnson=(William) Jefferson Street (D. Louisiana--just a reminder that democrat politicians are corrupt too)
Kearney=(Jack) Kemp Ave (bless his holy name, the father of Kemp-Roth and reducing federal tax rates to promote economic growth)
Lovejoy=(Rush) Limbaugh Avenue (zoned for no drugstores)
Marshall=(Rupert) Murdoch Lane (who says we don't like foreigners)
Northrup=(Richard) Nixon (but we won't fix the potholes)
Overton=(Bill) O'Reilly Blvd (not sure he fits as a Republican, but "O"s are tricky)
Pettygrove=(General) Petraus Parkway
Quimby=(Dan) Quayle Street (didn't think I could find a Q did you)
Raleigh=what else-(Ronald) Reagan Blvd. (we'd happily re-name all the streets Ronald Reagan Blvd, but it would be confusing to drive anywhere)
Savier=(Arnold) Schwartzenegger Street (yea, we have Hollywood too)
Thurman=(Clarence) Thomas Street (there's your diversity)
U, V, W, X, Y, Z=who cares

Well, I grew up off of Portland Boulevard and it IS part of my history, and of this city's. I wish that the renaming of that lovely street had been part of public discourse. Why not name new streets and buildings after various folks rather than changing existing street names. Rosa Parks is deserving of recognition in this city, and if we had to rename a state to do so, why not have called it Rosa Parks Boulevard? To me, "Way" connotes a little street, much the same as "Lane" does.

Keep Interstate, give us back Portland Boulevard. Name something else for other heroes we want to honor, but please preserve our history in the process.

W= Winston Churchill Way

Looks like he already promised them a Cesar Chavez street now he just needs to find neighborhood where people don't care either way and he can force it on.

Wasnt the mayor going to build a day laborer pick up station in Portland somewhere? Maybe name that after Chavez? Seems more fitting.

Good for Randy for jumping in. I haven't watched it closely, but it looks like the whole process was botched.

I thought they should have named a transit station in honor of Rosa Parks. Made more sense to me than a street.

Seems to me there ought to be some sort of historical connection between the thing being renamed (street, park, whatever) and the person being honored. I don't see the historical connection between Chavez and the city of Portland.


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