Thirteen long months ago the city of Dallas finally began replacing those street signs downtown -- out went South Central Expressway, up went Cesar Chavez Boulevard. It only took two years' worth of rancorous debates as city officials and activists went 'round and 'round over which street to rename -- Industrial Boulevard, Ross Avenue or Young Street ... or none of the above. Finally they settled on Central.
But at least we're not San Antonio, where State District Judge Antonia Arteaga yesterday blocked the city from renaming a street there for the late labor activist. Said a rep from the San Antonio Conservation Society, which filed the suit, "It is very important that we protect the integrity of our history, and that includes objecting to changing street names." Including one named "Durango." Meanwhile, the whole ruckus has taken Mayor Julian Castro by surprise.
The tussle has made its way to to Think Progress -- which, I see, borrowed (cough) one of Patrick Michels's photos to illustrate its piece, which reads, in part:
Two other major Texas cities, Austin and Dallas, already have streets named after Chavez and other Hispanic leaders. Yet the backlash in San Antonio against a street renaming reflects the discomfort some feel at the state's growing multiculturalism, driven by demographic changes. Texas's Hispanic population has exploded in the past decade, accounting for 65 percent of the state's growth since 2000. Hispanics are expected to become the majority population in Texas by 2020. Conservatives have bristled at the changes, preemptively moving to "defend" English as the state's official language, and striking out against displays of cultural diversity.Read the whole thing here.