Chavez street renaming controversy moves to Young Street downtown

Just when it was starting to seem like the idea of naming a prominent Dallas street for Hispanic civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez had gone away, the city council-appointed subcommittee studying the idea is floating a trial balloon for renaming Young Street downtown (click here for a map of the area).

The DMN reports the subcommittee hasn’t officially made a recommendation, but its leader — councilman Steve Salazar — says it’s an all-but-done deal in terms of the proposal. At least eight members of the 15-member council, and possibly 12, will need to support the name change for it to occur; Salazar says he has three votes in his pocket already.

Selecting Young Street as the latest target — following aborted efforts on Industrial and Ross — is pretty shrewd. The main property owners/businesses on Young Street are the Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV Ch. 8 (neither media giant seems likely to publicly challenge the proposal, lest they ruffle feathers in the Hispanic community) and the city (city hall, the downtown library and the convention center hotel are the big buildings on Young).

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The Dallas Public Library’s archives division reports Rev. William Young was an early Dallas settler, and the street named for him crosses Marilla, which is named for his wife. Not to be outmaneuvered, the Chavez subcommittee is planning to rename a portion of nearby Canton Street for Young; Canton also crosses Marilla, so all remains both historically and politically correct in the subcommittee’s viewpoint.

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No date has been set for council consideration of the idea.

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