Jennings council plans to rename street after MLK – Reuters
JENNINGS – Some local residents expressed their opinions this week on a plan to rename Peters Street leading to Marcus Cain Park after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Resident Carolyn Barker has asked Jennings City Council to consider naming another street after King because Peters Street may not be the best way to honor the slain civil rights leader.
“I think that’s something that shouldn’t happen,” Barker said. “Why does he have to be here?” The infrastructure in this park isn’t great and if you want to do anything to honor Dr. King, it shouldn’t be there.
Barker said the area near the park is an isolated eyesore that isn’t well maintained.
Councilman Johnny Armentor disagreed with Barket saying the city had invested a lot of money to redo the park with more improvements expected in the future.
“I think honoring Dr. King on this street would be a good idea because so many people go to this park,” Armentor said. “Not just black people, not just white people. I’ve seen Hispanics go there and play basketball. Different people go there so I think it’s a good idea.
Councilor Carolyn Simon, who proposed the name change, said Peters Street paid no homage to what Dr King did, but would not require many address changes.
“It wasn’t just for black people, it’s for everyone,” Simon said. “However, I took into consideration the bureaucracy we would have to go through to have the street named after him.”
Simon said she also considered La. 26 south where the new elementary school is being built, but that would require more work as it is a trunk road with a number of residences and businesses. .
“It’s been something that has bothered me for several years and a neighbor pointed out to me that we don’t have a street named after him,” she said. “I would like to see La. 26 named after him, but I used this street because there are no houses that would have to change addresses.”
Mayor Henry Guinn said the amount of due diligence required to rename a street is quite astonishing, as it affects every legal document a person has, including property, car loans, mortgages and utility bills. public.
“When you consider the importance of Dr King and what it actually takes to rename a street, we looked at everything and the only work it would take for the city to rename Peters Street to Martin Luther King Street would be a phone call to Entergy. he said, noting that no residents live on the street.
Resident Chris Lehman said he researched streets named after Martin Luther King and found that most of the streets were in rundown, drug-addicted or controversial neighborhood demographics.
“It’s almost as if the streets were named in places where they could just be renamed just because it wouldn’t have a big impact or cost too much,” he said. “But the truth was that Dr. Martin Luther King was for the inclusiveness of all. Couldn’t the town of Jennings, 50 years after his death, choose something or a place that is more inclusive of population and demographics since one-third of the town’s population is black?
Lehman said the naming should be for something that resonates with everyone in such a way that everyone can benefit from it.
“There seems to be a lot of segregation in our city and I think this is an opportunity to look the other way and make a decision that might benefit the whole community rather than just one part of the city.”
After listening to residents talk about the proposed street name change, Simon asked that the matter be referred to the mayor’s office for further decision.
Guinn said the city can elaborate on some of the specifics and talk about other opportunities for the city.
“And hopefully we can come to a mutually agreed decision to reflect the importance of Dr. King,” Guinn said. “Personally, I don’t think it should be limited to one street. His impact on our history and our lives has been far greater than anyone I’ve ever seen or read about him had, so hopefully we can find a mutual agreement and think about that.