Cientos de personas celebran la colocación del último letrero que identifica a la nueva Martin Luther King Jr. Way en Seattle, el 15 de enero de 1984.

  • By Kathleen Kemezis
  • Posted 9/07/2010
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 9568

El 15 de enero de 1984, cientos de personas cantando y recitando caminan desde la Iglesia Bautista Mount Zion de Seattle hasta la intersección de E Cherry Street y Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Para la variada muchedumbre, este aniversario celebra los logros del Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) y marca el fin de una prolongada batalla legal para cambiar el nombre de Empire Way por el del líder de los derechos civiles asesinado. En 1981 la idea simple de cambiar el nombre de una arteria principal en el sudeste de Seattle encendió un acalorado debate a nivel de toda la ciudad. A pesar de la aprobación unánime del Concejo y del Alcalde de la ciudad, la ordenanza de 1982 para alterar facturas de servicios, mapas, formularios, materiales de comercialización y letreros de calles fue demorada durante cerca de dos años por una acción legal iniciada por 36 comerciantes con establecimientos ubicados a lo largo de la arteria. Los comerciantes expresaron su preocupación debido al gasto ocasionado por el cambio de nombre, e impugnaron la capacidad de la Ciudad de promulgar la legislación sin referéndum público. Finalmente, luego de perder el caso ante la Corte Suprema del Estado de Washington en diciembre de 1983, los comerciantes decidieron no apelar. La ciudad fabricó rápidamente unos 500 letreros de calles y logró instalarlos antes de la fecha límite del 15 de enero.


Sources:

“Martin Luther King Way? A City Hearing,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 20, 1982, p. D-7; “The Empire Way Strikes Back at that New Name:” Ibid., July 28, 1982, p. C-1; “Royer Signs -- and Now It’s ‘King Way,’” Ibid., July 30, 1982, p. A-1; “Merchants Lose Street Name Delay,” Ibid., August 19, 1982, p. C-2; “Empire Way Change of Name Is OK, Judge Says,” Ibid., September 28, 1982, p. C-1; “15 Turn Out for King Way Picketing,” Ibid., August 22, 1982, p. C-15; “The Merchants Decide to Let King Have His Way,” Ibid., January 27, 1984, p. A-12; Lee Moriwaki, “Council Votes to Rename Empire Way for Martin Luther King Jr,” The Seattle Times, July 20, 1982, p. B-1; Charles Moore and Susan Gilmore, “Compromise on Renaming Empire Way,” Ibid., April 30,1981, p. C-1; “Blacks to Seek Full Street to Honor King,” Ibid., April 30, 1981, p. E-8; Lee Moriwaki, “Empire Way Name Change Drawing Flood of Opposition” Ibid., July 27, 1982, p. A-1; Lee Moriwaki, “Royer Approves New Name for Empire Way Despite Protests (signed 7-29-82),” Ibid., July 30, 1982, p. A-1; Herb Robinson, “A Distasteful Dispute,” Ibid., July 28, 1982, p. 7; Lee Moriwaki, “It’s Now Martin Luther King Jr. Way,” Ibid., July 30,1982, p. A-1; “Mrs. King Invited to Renaming,” Ibid., August 5, 1982, p. B-3; Lee Moriwaki, “Suit Filed to Block Renaming Street for Martin Luther King,” Ibid., August 10, 1982, p. E-1; Lee Moriwaki, “Fliers Urge Boycott of Empire Way Name-changing Foes” Ibid., August 19, 1982, p. B-1; “Street-Name Issue far from Settled” Ibid., September 22, 1982, p. A-1; Lee Moriwaki, “Empire Way Group Files Appeal” Ibid., November 18, 1982, p. A-30; Susan Gilmore, “Street Name: Get on with Change to King Way, says William,” Ibid., April 14,1983, p. A-4; “Why City Is Stalling on Renaming Street,” Ibid., October 20, 1983, p. A-3; William Gough, “Last Sign: King’s Name and Dream Are Stamped on City,” Ibid., January 15, 1984, p. A-4; Florangela Davila, “MLK Way,” The Seattle Times, August 25, 2010 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com).


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