It’s Now Time to Speak Up For King Blvd.
It’s been a long time coming, but now it’s here. After two years of citizen efforts to have a Portland street named in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the proposal is finally going before City Council. On April 13 at 2:15 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, the mayor and city commissioners will hear public views on renaming Union Ave. for King. This is the key event in the whole process. What’s said at this hearing could decide this issue one way or another, so speak now or forever hold your peace.
It is extremely important that as many supporters of the King renaming turn out as possible. To testify, all you have to do is show up 15 to 30 minutes before the hearing and put your name on a sign-up sheet. We also urge you to call offices of the mayor and commissioners to express your views, whether or not you are able to attend.
Clearly, Union should be named for King. It’s symbolically appropriate, for the original name was meant to honor the Union that won the Civil War, and King was the primary leader of a movement that completed much of that war’s unfinished business. We hope that the renaming will spark us to realize the unfinished agenda of the Civil Rights Movement, economic empowerment for poor people, by inspiring efforts to revitalize the new King Blvd. and make it a powerful producers of jobs and income for people who have lived too long on the starving edges of the economic system. Thus, we encourage citizens to attend the hearing to support the King renaming, and the City Council to quickly enact this proposal into law.
–The Skanner, Portland Oregon, April 5, 1989.