A proposal to rename a 0.7 mile stretch of 19th Ave and 19th Ave E to honor a longtime leader of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 19th and Madison was announced by two members of the Seattle City Council late Wednesday night.
The proposed Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney Avenue would run between E Union and Republican, crossing E Madison by the church where McKinney was honored earlier this month for his 45 years of service.
The first of two public meetings on the proposed change is slated for Wednesday afternoon. We’re checking to find out the status of scheduling the second meeting.
The area the street passes through was historically within the city’s black district where many African Americans raised families and built lives in eras of redlining and economic and cultural segregation in the city. Today, the area encompasses a steadily changing mix of community facilities, new developments and old homes and is still home to many African American Seattleites. Mt. Zion’s large campus itself is set to join the continued changes as it prepares plans for a redevelopment of its property at the 19th and Madison intersection.
While it is a logistical investment and could create confusion for navigation systems and lost tourists, Seattle has honored civic leaders and popular figures with honorary street names in the past. One example is Edgar Martinez Way near Safeco Field. Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney Avenue — SBM Ave? McKinney Ave? — will join Martin Luther King Jr. Way about 12 blocks away in honoring significant black leaders.
The City Council announcement for the proposal is below.
Councilmembers Harrell and Rasmussen call community meeting on Street name change to honor Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney
SEATTLE – Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tom Rasmussen announced the first of two public meetings to hear public feedback on plans to name sections of 19th Avenue after Rev. Dr. Samuel McKinney.
Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee stated, “I am very pleased to listen to members of the community who began the dialogue about honoring Rev. Dr. McKinney. For over 40 years, he has been a civil rights leader, as well as a minister who has positively influenced all of Seattle. Rev. McKinney has been the conscience of our city and has made a lasting mark on race and social justice issues. Rev. McKinney and his late wife, Louise, have made a lasting impact on 19th Avenue in Seattle and beyond.”
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, stated, “Seattle should honor Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, and I support Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s proposal for the honorary designation of ‘Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney Avenue’ on 19th Avenue between E. Union and E. Republican Streets.”
Rasmussen continued, “Rev. Dr. McKinney has dedicated his life to his church and community. He is a man of many achievements, serving as one of the original members of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, lecturing and teaching at colleges around the nation and opening a church-run Credit Union which strived to assist community members who were unable to open bank accounts and conduct financial transactions in traditional banks. I hope to see his legacy live on through the years.”
The first of two community meetings is scheduled for today at 3:00 p.m..
WHAT: Community Meeting on Honorary Street Name Change of 19th Avenue
WHEN: TODAY — Thursday, May 9, 2013, at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave. Seattle, WA 98122
WHO: Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Ø Link to Rev. Dr. Samuel McKinney’s biography: http://www.historylink.org/
Ø Email your support for renaming portions of 19th Avenue (East Union to East Republican Streets) to [email protected] or [email protected]
This is a great idea! I love walking though cities with a generous “street rename” policy (e.g. NYC, Jerusalem) so I can literally see the history of each neighborhood through the streets that have been renamed for active members of the community.
I’m sure if we can get an Edgar Martinez St (or whatever it’s called down by the stadium mess), we can get a McKinney Ave here in the CD.
I prefer a generic and sensibly named street grid so that people can easily navigate the city. Name a park bench after the guy. The evaluation of his true mark on the community hasn’t even started yet.
I’ve lived here for a quarter century. I’ve been privileged to speak with Rev. Dr. McKinney a few times, and been an appreciative member of the audience in several of his public appearances.
Only someone who clearly has little or no knowledge of the history of the Central District, would be unable to understand the impact Samuel McKinney has had on our community.
The internet does mention he was a follwer of DRMLKJR. I guess that warrants a couple of blocks somewhere.
I wholeheartedly support renaming a portion of 19th Avenue in honor of Rev. Dr. McKinney, but suggest that the northern terminus of McKinney Avenue be East Thomas Street and not East Republican.
My motivation is to ensure that Miller Community Center remains on 19th Ave E. The Community Center is used for many disparate events, meetings, room rentals etc and would benefit from having a simple street address:
Miller Community Center ( 330 -19th Avenue East).
The Center is the main public facility on that stretch, and would benefit from having an address that is immediately interpretable (via the numbered avenue) to those less familiar with local geography.
Edgar Martinez Way. Named for one of the greatest designated hitters in the history of the game.
In a reply to me, Councilmember Rasmussen notes that it will be an honorary renaming of the street:
Andrew: I think there is a misunderstanding. This is an “honorary sign”. Given our experience with streets such as University Street, an honorary sign is unlikely to create confusion. This is not a name change that requires map changes and all of that.
There is a “Gerard Schwarz Way” sign on top of the University Street sign at Second Avenue outside Benaroya Hall. It is a different color than the green street signs and does not cause confusion.
If you have a chance to view the Schwarz sign you will see what I am referring to. I anticipate the Seattle Department of Transportation will create for the sign you are concerned about.
Thanks again for writing and all the best to you.
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Chair, Transportation Committee
Seattle City Council
I suggest we close 19th all together. Make it bike only let him have naming right the whole length of it. Nobody will miss 19th if it doesn’t exist at all.
Support as long as “Rev. Dr.” is left off. We haven’t done titles for anyone else, not even MLK. Let’s not start a precedent.
LET’S NOT STOP THERE? SINCE WE HAVE A CHURCH ON EVERY STREET (5 ON “MESSY” JESSY JACKSON STREET BETWEEN 23RD AND 34TH) IN AFRICATOWN // CENTRAL DISTRICT , LETS NAME EVERY STREET AFTER THE MINISTER OF THE STREET’S CHURCH? OH AND LET’S NOT FORGET MALCOLM X / LAKE WASHINGTON BVD? LET’S NOT DIG UP THE BODIES OF SOIC (SEATTLE OPPORTUNITIES INDUSTRIAL CENTER OR WASHINGTON MUTUAL SAVINGS BANK, LIBERTY BANK, CENTRAL AREA CO-OP, CENTRAL AREA SCHOOL COUNCIL, MODEL CITIES, SKEOB, CENTRAL AREA PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER, DESEGREGATION / DISINTEGRATION / GENTRIFICATION, OPEN HOUSING TO NO HOUSING?? JESUS MADE WINE OUT OF WATER WHILE TODAY’S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ARE POLISHED MAGICIANS THAT MAKE EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH DISAPPEAR ???? FOLLOW THE MONEY AND WHOSE POCKETS THE MONEY FALLS IN “BY THE GRACE OF GOD”??? HOPEFULLY 19TH AVE WILL NOT BECOME ANOTHER GIANT ” SINK HOLE” ???? THE FREEDOM RIDES AND FREEDOM STRUGGLE CONTINUE INSPITE OF JESSE JACKSON JR.’ S “BI-POLAR MONEY DISORDER” THAT JUST MIGHT BE A GOD GIVEN GIFT IF NOT HEREDITARY??? ” GOD BLESS THE CHILD THAT HAS HIS OWN” !!!! Omari Tahir
I’m sure that many hold this man very highly. As a city, we need to properly evaluate the merits and investigate the backgrounds of characters we propose to enshrine on our city streets. Many good doers have another side that creeps out in time. There is no need to rush to build a shrine. Good men’s reputations endure with time. Let’s take a moment an let the man stand on his own. We don’t need to prop him up and place his name on a stake like Lenin or something.
great .. but when to do we get a public meeting about their master plan and its impact on the neighborhood?
Great news. It’s the gentrifiers that are negative to this long overdue recognition as posted by many comments here. Often times it’s those that have no idea about the Black history in the CD. Hence they just moved in from back east or California with their money in tow. It’s their underlying desire to drastically change the area. We need professional level jobs, workforce education, community resources and affordable housing in the CD. If you leave for the burbs, the area will forever change, as it already has begun. Stay and build the CD people.
Pretty sure Omari is not as white as you imagine
As a community-based participatory group of volunteers who are working on building the park across from the Mt. Zion Church, we would love to participate in the public meetings. Can you tell us when the second meeting is and where?
I WAS A MEMBER OF MT ZION CHURCH WHEN REV DAVIS WAS REPLACED BY THIS NEO- COLONIAL IMPORT TO SEATTLE. HIS RICO RACKETEERING CLIQUE GOT RICH OFF OF ROBBING AND PIMPING THE “MODEL CITIES” POVERTY PROGRAMS (MILLIONAIRE PREACHERS WITH NO JOBS?) THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVESTED $22 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR TEN YEARS ($222 MILLION DOLLARS) DIRECTLY INTO “AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT (MODEL CITIES EAGLE FROM MADISON TO MCLELLAND AND 34TH TO YESLER TERRACE)
AFTER DR. KING WAS ASSASSINATED THIS CLIQUE OF ROGUE PREACHERS LED BY “MESSY” JESSE JACKSON (“MESSY” JESSE JUNIOR INHERITED HIS “BI-POLAR MONEY DISORDER FROM HIS INFAMOUS RELATIVE) WAS USED TO MIS-DIRECT ACTIVITIES AWAY FROM DR KING’S ANTI-WAR PROFITEERING AND ANTI-INJUSTICE GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING. THESE “PROSPERITY PREACHERS” WERE PUT ON MAJOR BANK BOARDS AND APPOINTED “BLACK COMMUNITY LEADERS” WITH NO PLANS FOR AFRICATOWN CULTURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT???
ENTER THE FBI / CIA DRUGS, LSD / HEROIN FOLLOWED BY OLLIE NORTH’S CONTRA “CRACK COCAINE” (METH IN THE SUBURBS). ADD TO THIS MIX “GANGSTER RAP” WITH THE B….. WORD AND N…..WORD AND THE IMPORTATION OF 8 MILLION AK- 47’S FROM RUSSIA (SEE 10/4/1994 REUTERS PRESS RELEASE, “STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY SAID YESTERDAY THAT 250 U.S. FIRMS HAVE ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO IMPORT 7.6 MILLION RIFLES AND PISTOLS AND MORE THAN 7 BILLION ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION FROM RUSSIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION THIS YEAR.”). THE REST IS HISTORY (VIOLENT YOUTH GANGS AND CRACK COCAINE DRUG MADNESS).
IF 19TH IS RENAMED, 23RD SHOULD BE RENAMED “AL CAPONE AVE.” TO MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY??? YES, ORGANIZED CRIME ( EUROPEAN SETTLER COLONIAL TERRORISM) AND THE “TOLERANCE POLICY” IS ALIVE AND WELL IN SEATTLE AND ACROSS AMERICA. JUST ASK OUR NATIVE AMERICAN / INDIAN / HISPANIC / LATINO ECT. BROTHERS AND SISTERS????
Omari Tahir, FOUNDER / VICE PRESIDENT OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER AT FORMER COLMAN SCHOOL SITE AND CO-CHAIR OF BLACK ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION FROM 1970 TO PRESENT, WORLD TRAVELER AND AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT HISTORIAN
Somehow that all makes sense.