July 8th, 2009 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, City Hall

City Council Approves Renaming 39th Avenue for Cesar Chavez (UPDATED with additional Council quotes)

Cesar Chavez

We'll flesh this news out in a bit with more from the scene, but the basic development for the moment is that City Council just voted 5-0 this morning to rename 39th Avenue for Cesar Chavez.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the question of renaming a Portland street for the late labor icon has been contentious and long.

"For my family, we would be honored to live on Cesar Chavez Boulevard," said Commissioner Nick Fish, who lives on 39th Avenue (and likely just ticked off a boatload of his neighbors along the street — many of whom have vocally opposed the change of the street name.) "A street renaming can make Portland a better place."

UPDATED with more from council:

The three council members who went through the first round of unsuccessful efforts in 2007 to rename a street (Interstate) for Chavez are Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Randy Leonard, as well as Mayor Sam Adams — then a commissioner.

All three pointed today to how advocates for renaming a street for Chavez followed the process that City Council created in the aftermath of the first failed effort.

"I hope no one will say this process wasn't a thorough one," Saltzman said. "Change is often difficult. But change is inevitable in a growing city like this one."

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who along with Fish wasn't on the council in 2007, said she got hundreds of emails from all over the world on the issue and was proud to vote for the renaming after considering all those views.

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