The City of Portland is currently evaluating options for renaming a street after civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. After a failed attempt in 2007 to rename North Interstate after the Latino labor and civil rights leader, the Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard Committee has initiated the street renaming process. This time Broadway, Grand and 39th “streets” are potential candidates.
For Eliot Neighborhood the possible rename of Broadway has the most impact. Grand extends into the neighborhood for only two blocks before it merges into Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Broadway on the other hand is the entire southern border of the neighborhood.
Many Portland businesses or corporations use the name Broadway in their business title. The Northeast Broadway Business Association has stated opposition to renaming Broadway not because they oppose the name or the wonderful work of Chavez, but because they oppose any rename. The group has gathered information and has materials for those who are interested. For more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concern for many is the historical significance of the name “Broadway”. The street extends from downtown through the Hollywood District and beyond to 68th. The street runs through several historically significant areas, districts and neighborhoods that can identify with the long history of the name.
Because of the historical concerns, the city is hosting Historian Panel Public Hearings for all the street rename candidates. For Broadway the meeting is Monday March 30 at the Metro Center, 600 NE Grand from 6 – 9pm.