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Friday, October 31, 2008

86 on 42

The race between the folks who want to rename a Portland street after César Chávez and those who want to rename East 42nd Avenue after Douglas Adams is over, and the Chávez folks have apparently won. They got their signatures in to the city first, and so their proposal will get first priority as the city kicks off its review process.

In a peculiar show of gamesmanship, the Chávez fans still aren't saying which street they'd like to rename. They've collected signatures and submitted paperwork for three streets: Grand Avenue, East 39th, and Broadway. Only one at most will be renamed, but the Chávez group is keeping potential opponents off guard by leaving only a one-in-three chance that their street will ultimately be targeted. By the time the applicants and the city zero in on one, the process will be that much further down the road.

A pretty shabby move, if you ask me.

Legally, one wonders how long that particular game can go on. The City Code specifically states: "Only one street renaming application shall be processed at a time...." The rest of the code, in discussing applications, envisions only a single street being proposed for renaming in any one application. Have the Chávez people submitted three applications, or only one? If it's three, then only one can go forward. It's past time for them to say which one that is.

Comments (14)

I still don't understand - after all that has happened - why we're talking about renaming streets... why not a bridge? or a park? or a school? or all three?

The fix is in.

Let them name every street in PDX after Chavez. Who really give a damn. We have problems way bigger than this to worry about. Let Potter, by mayoral decree on his last day in office, make it happen.

BTW, who follows rules anyway. They just get in the way of peoples agendas.

I'm sure the first choice is Grand. Broadway seems unrealistic, and 39th wouldn't be as prominent as Grand.

Don't the signatures mean that most of the residents along the street have agreed to it?

I think Chavez process is totally unethical as well as illegal according to the code. Who will legally challenge it?

This is only an issue because in PDX latinos are the new black.

As I understand it, the "Chavez process", as someone here put it, has involved collecting signatures from property owners. The thing I mainly wonder about is this: on a petition to rename, say, 39th, which on the east side of Portland is, if I recall correctly, continuous from the southern city limits all the way to the Hollywood District, have signatures been collected for the entire length?

I'm perfectly fine with honoring Chavez with a street, park, whatever. He was an important guy in recent US history, important for labor, important for Latinos, important for all of us.

You don't have to get signatures from anyone along the street, so long as you get 2,500 signatures from around the city.

I am amazed the Chavez group, who claims to want to do things by the code this time, continues to behave as if they have not read the code. It states that:

17.93.020 Selection of Street to be Renamed.
A. The name of the street proposed for renaming shall not be changed if the existing name is of historic significance, or the street is significant in its own right.

Can anyone argue that Broadway does not have historic significance or is significant in its own right?
And what about Grand. One need only look at the "Historic Grand Avenue" signs near Rejuvenations to see where the problem will lie.

If I recall, the city is going to pay a consultant $39,000 to keep the process clean and avoid another Interstate debacle.

I could have done it for a lot less.

This is such a monstrous waste of money at a time when no one can afford to waste it . . . expensive for the city, expensive for citizens, expensive for businesses who will have to redo all sorts of advertising, stationery, business cards, signs, etc.

At one point someone made the excellent suggestion of renaming Delta Park for Chavez. I thought that was a great idea which would honor Chavez prominently and not inconvenience anybody.

I also think something stinks about going forward with THREE possibilities. Pick one and take your chances. That would be following the rules. And forget about spending $39,000 of our money to grease the skids. This is not something that has ever been a part of the process before and smacks of partisanship.

This city is in big trouble financially, so let's take this a bit further and auction off the rights to name the streets. Portland needs to raise money and it is time to get off the backs of the working stiffs around here.

So what's it worth to see Chavez's name on the street corners? How about Safeway's, or Les Schawb's, maybe Nike corner? Y'all can add to this and maybe we can get a news story out of it.

WE could always go one better and auction off the name of the city. Anyone got any ideas on this? There's money to be made so let's get after it.


I favor naming the public toilets in Grant Park for Bill Sizemore.

I don't think for one second that getting a street named for Chavez will be the end of it. They are acting like a group of Bill Sizemores or Lon Mabons. Their stupid, manufactured controversy over racism and their dirty tricks have given them political access they can stoke at will and a place in the game.

That's why they are going after Broadway and Grand--most controversy for the buck. How about putting it someplace without such a rich history where it will be a very visible symbol to the latino community? How about 122nd or Cully or Flavel?

We can follow SF , and name it
'the Sizemore Sewage Plant'
p.s. reall chicken to not pick only one street.

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