Saturday, April 4, 2009

Broadway, 39th, Grand: Not Only No, But Hell No

The buzz: The city of Portland has just released results of a postcard survey poll on the possibility of the three target streets – Grand Avenue, Broadway, or E. 39th Av – would wear the moniker Cesar Chavez. And the results are ... urgh.
  • Broadway: support, 73; opposed, 1,276
  • Grand Avenue: support, 69; opposed, 372
  • 39th Avenue: support, 91; opposed, 694.
The idea is to now go back to Council with recommendations based on this. Since stop the insanity has been deemed an unacceptable result, the one with the weakest opposition will probably get the nod.

That means you, Grand Avenue.

That'd by my prediction, anyway.

You know, the memory of Cesar Chavez deserved better than this. Read Sean Cruz' blog here, and here, to find out why that is. The quote to me that illustrates exactly the shallownness and arrogance of the advocates that needs repeating is this one:
The Committee-Once-Bent-on-Renaming-Interstate-Avenue has never asked the City or the County or the State to put other possible public property naming options on the table, and Portland remains stuck in the mire largely because the White Folks in Charge at all levels of
Oregon government have been so fearful of alienating a potential voting bloc.

The street-focused effort will win no awards for creativity or imagination, in part because there is no major street in Portland that is a natural fit for a Mexican American hero.

Nothing underscores this point more than the fact that the Committee is equally
good with Broadway, 39th, Grand or Interstate Avenue, so far….
The process has been hopelessly ruined by power center after power center bypassing through-going rules put in place by people concerned that just the sort of thing would happen that, in fact, has happened, because they are justified enough.

We now face the ironic proposition that, in Portland, a city justifiably reputed for a progressive outlook, we are having an ugly argument over whether to name a street after someone who embodies a great many qualities that we all hold quite dear.


Mom Always Said it's fun and games until someone loses a limb.

And to add an observation of my own, from Cervantes:
Hay más mal en aldea que se sueña.
My translation may be a bit off. Apologies if so.

No comments:

Post a Comment