To the Editor:
I am writing as a concerned citizen of the 5th Ward in opposition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed change of South Stony Island Avenue to Bishop Arthur M. Brazier Avenue. I question the mayor’s basic premise (as reported in the Sept. 18 Herald), that the renaming of Stony Island will bring honor to the Bishop’s legacy. I also question his judgment in setting an undesirable precedent for renaming a major thoroughfare, lined by residences, businesses and institutions. The more than five hundred registered voters in the five affected precincts in the Fifth Ward with Stony Island addresses need more time to engage in a public dialogue with Ald. Leslie M. Hairston (5th) and explore whether the renaming of Stony Island is the best way, the only way, to honor Bishop Brazier. We are now conducting a survey of residents, business owners, hospitals, churches, mosques and institutions in the affected precincts. To date, we have not discovered anyone in support of the street name change, even those few who were familiar with the Bishop’s former congregation, the Apostolic Church of God, on 63rd Street and Dorchester Avenue. We are hopeful that Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), the chair of the Committee on Transportation and Public Way, will assign this matter to a special committee or subcommittee to properly evaluate the complex issues involved, and that our alderman and the other sponsors will consent to such a compromise.