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Monday, April 20, 2009

Chávez target: 39th Avenue

KGW just reported that the City of Portland's historical panel has made its choice: 39th Avenue should become Chávez Boulevard. The folks along 39th have, too -- 694 opposed and 91 in favor of renaming their street. Another Portland happy time is just around the corner.

Comments (37)

I think there is great opportunity here to memorialize those who have influenced other cities. We should be enthusiastically in favor of feel goodery with little added value. I have chosen 18 streets, the new Saturday Market, any new bridge, 34 manholes and 3 homeless people that I feel would do more service if they were renamed to make my own slim constituency happy.

Could it be that the people choosing 39th are charter members of NIMBY.

Sin dudo, este sera un fracaso general. Creo que los miembros del communidad Latino, no tienen ningun interes en est subjeto.

"Could it be that the people choosing 39th are charter members of NIMBY."

Or it could be that they don't understand the burning need to rename ANY street after Chavéz, and that they are the only ones being given voice to, since they actually live on 39th.

Why can't they name this transit-only boondoggle bridge after him again?

How about renaming the new Saturday Market after him?

If the city wants to remame it, then the city should cover all expenses incurred by the change for all parties involved.

David Gilmore's comment (charter members of Nimby) is yet another example of the tendency to demonize opposition to the Chavez groups re-naming effort.

Meanwhile the (now funded) pedestrian bridge across the Willamette that could bring Cesar E. Chavez's name front and center in Portland remains unnamed.

Will the City Council show the leadership required to effect a compromise that allows winners without losers, or will it be another example of what was once called the "Portland Process" continued decline?

I have a feeling I know, but I would be happy to be proved wrong.

I own a business on 39th and I am furious that I and other taxpayers will have to pay for naming 39th after an mexican dictator.

The new Saturday Market looks like a huge bus stop. I am curious if they have funds for a shopping cart lock-up area and a methadone clinic?

The street naming debacle is a no-win for the businesses and people along the street.

"I own a business on 39th and I am furious that I and other taxpayers will have to pay for naming 39th after an mexican dictator."

Idiot comments like these make renaming 39th that much easier. Renaming streets, let alone numbered streets, is a terrible idea, worthy of ferocity, but at least get your facts straight.

How about rename either Rosa Parks blvd. or MLK blvd. after Caeser Chavez? It would probably cause less confusion with long-time Portlanders.

RE: Renaming

On a recent visit to New York City, I found many of the numbered streets and avenues with dual names on many of the street signs.

Sports people, politicians, volunteers, etc. were all honored by having their name emblazened on many streets in the core business districts.

Problem solved simply with the addition of commemorative signage.

I know this has been suggested before at city council testimony. Just don't quite understand why it isn't being seriously considered.

Avenue of the Americas comes to mind as one of the only streets where the new name has replaced the original name - 6th avenue. See: http://www.thecityreview.com/sixthav.html

I own a business on 39th and I am furious that I and other taxpayers will have to pay for naming 39th after an mexican dictator.


If this commenter really owns a business on 39th, I would eat my hat.

the story is simple:

(1) a group--from outside Portland--has an agenda. This wasn't initiated by a resident.

(2) City Council members, recognizing a high-profile opportunity when they see one, get forcibly behind it.

(3) This is not about Cesar Chavez, or racial equality. at all.

(4) given 1 and 2, citizen support (or lack of it) is irrelevant. ignore the lip service paid to it.

Some answers to the above questions here:


Updated Feb. 23, 2009.

Note: One person can initiate a process to effect change and impact a large population. An 87% representation of the group most directly impacted by the unnecessary change apparently have no voice.

Why not rename the Mayor? It might mitigate the stench of the current one, and as a Permanent Tribute, by ordinance all future Mayors would ex officio be renamed Cesar Chavez (with all the little accent marks I can't find on my keyboard).

Jon's idea, have the city absorb all the costs, or, as he doesn't realize, that means taxpayers in Portland like me and jackie.

Oh no, I completely realize that. That was my point. I think if the city had to pay for it, it wouldn't happen.

But worst case, it would happen, and the people who are being affected wouldnt have to shoulder all the costs when they are being railroaded.

I'm with Morbius, except I'd take one step further: let's rename City Council.

something like this:

The Cesar E. Chavez Memorial City Council.

doesn't that sound nice?

If the Chávez fans really want to make the case, they should sponsor a tour of all the places in Portland that Chávez gave speeches, held rallies, and organized communities.

What's that you say? Chávez never actually set foot in Portland.


Let's honor someone with actual Portland roots. Rose Friedman went to Lincoln HS and Reed College. She and her husband, Milton, have made tangible and intellectual contributions to the betterment of individuals worldwide. I propose renaming a street after Rose and Milton Friedman.

All of these aggressive and emotionally manipulative maneuvers from City Hall sure seem familiar. Wouldn't be surprised as we get closer to the recall if we start hearing more alarming terrorist "chatter" that will elevate the threat level to Yellow.

I can't wait to sign the recall petition.

Big surprise. They chose a street on the east side of the river and not NW 23rd or 21st. For any boondogle it is always best to minimize the political clout of target of opportunity.

Nice to see the Marta Guembes minions aka The Mexican Mafia flooding the comment section...... LOL !!

Does Caesar Chavez have any connection to Portland? None that I can find.

Does Portland have any connection to Caesar Chavez? Oh look, a couple do-gooding P.C. advocates railroaded the Council and SE Portland into naming a street after him, mucking up one of the few places in portland where the street naming and numbering system actually makes sense.

That surely will make white folks more amenable to affirmative action and the Chicano cause, erasing the legacy of racism in Oregon. (Notice the sarcasm?)

Instead of symbolic gestures that anger most everyone involved, especially those of us from the neighborhood, why not do something more useful with your time, Professor Carrasco et al.?

Host a seminar on the legacy of chicano oppression if you must, and gain a few law student converts. You're not going to win many hearts or minds with a street sign, and those you win through signage won't be worth having.

If the idea is putting Chavez front and center in an honorable way, the Guembes (Hillsboro) group would take the moral high ground and jump on the more prominent honor of naming the new pedestrian bridge connecting the east and west sections of Portland after him.

This intrinsically unfair and expensive process is not about memoralizing Chavez in a way that makes sense, however. It's about getting their way. Guembes reinforced that position by stating that, OK, they'd take the bridge or a park too AFTER they get a street renamed.

I don't know but I would guess that the 2,500 signatures (criminal, when compared with the number of signatures required to block an action initiated by a group composed of many who do not even live in Portland) came from outlying areas and from nowhere near 39th, Broadway or Grand.

The height of idiocy . . . a reporter on KATU yesterday evening stood in front of the new Safeway store in SW, claiming that Chavez had held a rally there.

I'm speechless.

Yeah...Grand. Why not Grand?

The 'other half' of the Grand-Union couplet is now MLKJr Blvd. So, why not have a "progressive reformer couplet" and rename Grand after Cesar Chavez....with all the little diacritical marks and everything.

I don't really care one way or another, but I sure hope it whips up a lot of people really upset with Sammy and the Council. Particularly right before the whole recall process gets warmed up.

The same with the whole Coliseum thing, too. I hope they piss off the maximum number of voting citizens.

The more angry citizens, the more motivated petitioners. The more motivated petitioners, the more signatures gathered. The more signatures gathered, the more likely that Sammy will actually stand for recall.

Won't THAT be fun?

I do like the idea of renaming the Mayor as the Cesar Chavez of Portland.

Boycott in Men's Room!

Lettuce talk, 'cause I think it would be grape.

As for Uncle Milty...I don't care if Rose came from Portland, that many does not deserve anything other than derision.

I've been trickled down on one too many times for me to find Milton Friedman anything other than cause for expletives. He fashioned the economic philosophy that guided the kleptoplutocrats who just had their twit voted out of office. Pure and unadulterated fiduciary irresponsibility and rationale for the plundering of the public treasury and the defrauding of the American public is no reason to memorialize the man, or his wife, with a street naming. For him, we might consider renaming a sewerage outfall along the Willamette River for uncle Milty. It would be far more fitting, in my opinion.

godfry you obviously know nothing about the Friedman's. You can hardly call the actions and policies of Bush and the other Republicans actions that the Friedman's would have supported. Even Reagan only took half his advice, which is why it didn't work.

Sorry, Joey. I got my economics degree in 1976, when Uncle Milty was at his zenith.

The core of the Reagan-Bush-Bush economic debacle is rooted in Friedmanite monetarism. Alan Greenspan, the man who ran the Federal Reserve for years, was a craven acolyte of Friedman, and he just admitted to a Congressional committee that he was a prisoner of his own misguided dogma that led him to make misguided decisions. That dogma? Friedman's dicta.

How can Greenspan be a follower of Friedman when heading up an institution that Friedman despised? If Friedman had his way the Federal Reserve would have been abolished. Remember this quote?

"...One unsolved economic problem of the day is how to get rid of the Federal Reserve..."

-- Milton Friedman

I'm sure Bush and Reagan would tell you they were fans and followers of Friedman as well, but it just wasn't true. Friedman's recipe for economic prosperity is simple, low taxes and low spending. Which administration has ever done that?

The Milton Friedman Memorial City Council.

There ya go! We'd be much better off if he were running the CoP.

Considering that he's dead...yeah, I'll agree. He'd be better than the majority of the current lot. But only because he's dead.

Since we're going to name something after Uncle Milty, maybe we'd better also name something after his fascist friend, Augusto Pinochet. Yeah, good old "Democracy and Capitalism" Friedman helped keep a totalitarian terrorist government in control, suppressing democracy in Chile and helping to create a kleptoplutocracy there, too. So far as we know, he didn't push innocents out of helicopters over the ocean, or torturing claimed commies, but we don't know for sure. He could have done some of that when he was down in Santiago advising the Chilean butcher.

How about we make the abandoned waterfront restaurant into the Friedman-Pinochet Friendship Lounge?

His prescription for no government regulation (particularly of currency markets) has certainly served this nation well, too. NOT!

His work to end the national conscription has gone a long way to create a standing professional army that answers the call of the military-industrial complex in perpetrating illegal invasions of other sovereign nations on false pretexts.

Like Reagan, Bush and Bush (and Clinton), even if we rectify their mistakes, it will take years, if not decades, to straighten out how the dogmas of Milton Friedman have fouled our economy and our country. This man should be condemned right along with Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush (the last being the worst ever president in the history of the nation) for the current plight of the U.S. and its economy...after all, he was complict in all their initiatives.

Well, I live on SE 39th Ave & I'd be proud to have it named after Cesar Chavez, a great labor leader and Chicano civil rights leader who led movements that made the country better.

'Course I'm only a renter so I don't get a say in the poll.

Many ways to honor the man, doesn't have to be a street, bridge would be o.k., or a park -- Sean Cruz has made sense on this point for a long time.

If we're only going to name stuff after people with Portland connections, lets start by tearing down the statues of A. Lincoln & T.R. Roosevelt on S. Park blocks. High schools: Grover Cleveland, U.S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, is Wilson Woodrow?
Washington St. etc. etc.

And of course Grand and MLK are crossed by Burnside, which I am pretty sure refers to Ambrose Burnside, the Civil War general, & namesake of sideburns -- is that enough of a Portland connection?

Can anyone say provincialism?

Sorry, Chris - Burnside was named after a local grain merchant, partner of Thos. Savier. Lincoln turned down an offer to be Territorial Governor of Oregon, & T.R at least visited Portland. Can't say as much for the High School names, though. And our provincialism is our Pride. I'd suggest "Cesar Chavez Illegal Alien Employment Center," but Chavez sensibly opposed illegal immigration as against the interests of US hispanic farmworkers.

Thanks for setting me straight about Burnside, Morbius.

But, let's see, Lincoln didn't come to Oregon, Chavez didn't come to Portland -- what's the problem again?

Your self-admitted predisposition to confuse ethnicity / national origin with immigration status speaks IMO both to reasons besides political correctness why Chicanos and other Latinos might seek public markers of recognition and respect, and to the oft-denied underside of this debate -- though you have my admiration for resisting the predisposition with your attention to the actual facts concerning Chavez' position.

But you might also want to note that the supposedly p.c. people who want to honor Cesar Chavez want to do so despite many or most of them probably disagreeing with his views on that subject today.

The context in which he, along with most U.S. unions, held those views was pre-NAFTA. The views of the AFL-CIO & the Change to Win splinter faction have become more complex since then -- whether Chavez' would or wouldn't have too is imponderable.

As for provincialism & pride, won't it be nice when Portland pride can take the form of something other than an inferiority complex & concomitant urges to self-congratulating grandiosity?

Your self-admitted predisposition to confuse ethnicity / national origin with immigration status speaks IMO both to reasons besides political correctness why Chicanos and other Latinos might seek public markers of recognition and respect, and to the oft-denied underside of this debate -- though you have my admiration for resisting the predisposition with your attention to the actual facts concerning Chavez' position.

speaking of grandiosity. dude. who talks like that?

As for provincialism & pride, won't it be nice when Portland pride can take the form of something other than an inferiority complex

"Portland" is not an entity. it doesn't exist. people do. neighborhoods do, streets do, yards do. Sam Adams' desire for cosmopolitanism is about him and a cadre of monied interests, not about some bizarre, perceived "inferiority complex" of a half-million residents.

try this on for size: a crowd from Idaho comes to your door and slaps a sign on your house that says "Idaho

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