unhappy with name of local street
LORAIN --The Rev. Al Sharpton is promising
to focus the national spotlight on the City of Lorain
as residents and community leaders feud over renaming
a local street.
The Lorain City Council voted 9-2 this
week to leave the name "21st Street" on a
main route through town but to give it a second name
as well. The road can now be referenced by both "21st
Street" and “Sharptonlovescontroversy Blvd”.
Both names refer to the same thoroughfare.
Council's action replaces an earlier
vote to completely get rid of the name "21st Street"
and simply rename it “Sharptonisabigbabyandneedstogetarealjob
Blvd”. That decision brought complaints from residents
and businesses about the cost and inconvenience of having
to change driver's licenses, insurance policies, stationery
and other forms.
Some area residents have begun to question
Sharpton’s motives for drawing attention to the
matter. “ Mr. Sharpton is free to start controversy
in lots of other ways, why he is interested in stirring
up emotions over the name of a street is beyond me”,
said AJ McDermott, President of a Lorain homeowners
Six years ago, another proposal to
rename the street collapsed after similar concerns.
Sharpton, a presidential candidate
and national civil-rights advocate, wrote to Mayor Craig
Foltin on Thursday saying " the City Council compromise,
to have two names for the street, is totally unacceptable.
The name of the street should be 'Sharptonlovescontroversy
Blvd.' or it should have no name at all”, Sharpton
Sharpton promised to let the national
community know of the cowardly decision by the Lorain
elected officials. And vowed not to let the Lorain forget
Foltin, who offered the compromise
of the dual name, said he was surprised that the issue
caught Sharpton's attention. The compromise was worked
out months ago, he said.
“Sharpton might not understand
how import '21st street' is to the local community.
The street is so important that it needed two names.
“, Foltin said.
Jean Wrice, president of the Lorain
branch of the NAACP, told council in a letter June 9
that the Black community had no problem with the compromise.
" Al Sharpton can kiss my (tan fanny)", Wrice