February 27, 2006
Business Meeting
Minute Book 123, Page 531

The City Council of the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, convened at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Meeting Chambers of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center with Mayor Pat McCrory presiding. The following Council members present: Michael Barnes, Susan Burgess, Nancy Carter, Andy Dulin, Anthony Foxx, Patsy Kinsey, John Lassiter, James Mitchell, Patrick Mumford, and Warren Turner
ABSENT: Councilmember Don Lochman
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Mayor McCrory gave the Invocation, and the Interfaith Boys Basketball Teams of St. Patrick’s Catholic Elementary School, led the Council in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
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February 27, 2006
Business Meeting
Minute Book 123, Page 543


Councilmember Mitchell said in January of this year I initiated trying to name a street in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. I must thank Doreen Szymanski and Curt Walton for all their outstanding work. What you don’t have in front of you, audience, are six options that the City had research on: Stonewall, Independence, Kings Drive, Brevard, Freedom Drive, and Second Street. Also what the City looked at was the length of each street, the number of parcels, and the number of residents. I think we clearly just want to honor Dr. King, and this City Council in no way wanted to make this an issue that would divide our great city. The whole goal was not to remove anyone’s history but to preserve one and recognize Dr. King. With that said, Mayor and Council, I think it is clear from our last debate that this did cause some hard feelings in our community. I will hope that as we debate this issue that we only look at several streets. One will be Independence, Kings Drive, Brevard, Freedom Drive, and Second Street. The Stonewall will not be considered an option for renaming. With that, Mayor, I think we do have a list of speakers who are signed up – some students from Martin Luther King Middle School as well as

February 27, 2006
Business Meeting
Minute Book 123, Page 544

other speakers – but I hope Council will move forward and remove Stonewall Street from our option of renaming for Dr. Martin Luther King.
[ Motion was made by Councilmember Mitchell and seconded by Councilmember Burgess to ]
[ remove Stonewall Street from consideration for the renaming. ]
Naomi Jeeter, Student Council member, Martin Luther King Middle School, 500 Bilmark Ave., said she was in the eighth grade. She spoke about why it is important for Charlotte to name a street after Dr. King.
Eric Davis, 4817 Brownes Ferry Rd., believes that Charlotte is a progressive city and feels that whichever street is chosen that it should be visible.
Jonathan Lindsay, 2905 Morning Mist Lane, spoke in support of renaming a street after Dr. King.
Mark Palmer, 1300 Reece Rd. #204, stated that the history of Charlotte is dying. He suggested renaming Kings Drive for Dr. King.
Mike Tuggle, 1809 E. Barden Rd., thanked Mr. Mitchell for removing Stonewall Street as an option.
Chris Bakis, 6510 Idlebrook Dr., stated that the Confederate Flag should be placed back in Elmwood Cemetery.
Donna Dawson, 8130 Lamplighter Pl., asked Council to rename a street that truly represents Dr. King.
Kirk Carter, 12324 Lazy Oak, believes that our history is being wiped out.
David Mullis, 3120 Westerwood Rd., thanked Councilmember Mitchell for removing Stonewall St. as an option.
Mayor McCrory said we have some people here from Greenway Park Elementary School.
Laura Lara stated that naming a street is not enough to honor Dr. King.
Bryan McCullum spoke about naming a park rather than a street after Dr. King.
Oro Ronguillo stated that a park should be built for Dr. King because people don’t pay attention to street names.
The vote was taken on the motion to remove Stonewall Street from consideration and recorded as unanimous.
[ Motion was made by Councilmember Mitchell and seconded by Councilmember Burgess ]
[ rename Second Street to Martin Luther King Drive and that there be a transition period to ]
[ allow time for computers, navigation systems, and addresses to be changed. ]
Councilmember Carter said there is a request from the State to rename the segment of Independence that would be after the turn-off from the freeway sweeping around by CPCC, ending at their new project at Midtown Mall and incorporating the light rail, we hope, and streetcar proposals for rapid transit in our city. Was that a consideration for you at all?
Councilmember Mitchell said yes
Councilmember Carter said but you prefer the naming of Second Street.
Councilmember Mitchell said yes.

February 27, 2006
Business Meeting
Minute Book 123, Page 545

Mayor McCrory said the only request I make of staff if whatever street is renamed there needs to be some sort of transition, by they way, not just for the people who live on the street but also these days all the computer systems. I know that sounds minor, but that’s actually major now with cars, and there might be a period of time, for example, if it’s the street that James is recommending that you still at least have two on it so as not to confuse the many radar type of devices that are currently in automobiles with all the people looking for facilities in and around that area. I just hope there is some sort of transition planned during that time period and also for the employers or anyone else on that and notification, things of that nature.
Councilmember Mitchell said I will explain the reason why. First of all we did talk to the second family, Wachovia, and they are okay with it. Pat Mumford assured me of that. That was one reason, but seriously when you look at a chart in public – I’m sorry we don’t have it before you – but one key thing was we did not want to have a large impact to our residents. When you look at Second Street, there are no residents on that road. Secondly, when you think about Second Street, you think about the old Brooklyn neighborhood, and those of you with history realize that it was predominantly an African-American community. Now you take Second Street and start at the very beginning and you walk to the Panthers Stadium. It is a thriving area. Second Street offered to me both low impact to our residents, high visibility, but it pays respect to the old Brooklyn neighborhood. Those are some of the main reasons why we ought to consider Second Street.
Councilmember Kinsey said, James, you may have answered this. Are you talking about the entire stretch of Second Street?
Councilmember Mitchell said yes.
Councilmember Kinsey said there is nothing left over of Second.
Councilmember Mitchell said, yes, because one note that City staff said was they did not want to partially name a street; that it was not desirable. When we talk about 485, Doreen did an excellent job with talking to the State, and 485 already has naming conventions already designated for four individuals, so that was not an option we wanted to pursue.
Councilmember Burgess said I just have one side question about this, and I support the motion. I think that Councilmember Mitchell has done a good job on this, but now I’m curious about the history of Stonewall. I would like if the staff could tell us if Jackson Street was indeed named for General Jackson – if there is some way you could research that. It seems to me that would be more consistent with the history that was going on at the time of naming streets for different generals by their last name instead of the nickname.
Councilmember Lassiter said I am going to support the motion although I did comment earlier tonight to Mr. Mitchell that I would have preferred the Independence primarily because I think it has higher profile, and it is a street that would have exit ramp of 277 as well as an exit ramp off of Independence Boulevard. I think from a traveler community, which sees more evidence of our commitment to recognizing Dr. King, but you have thought it through, and I’m going to support the efforts you have made.
Mayor McCrory said included in that motion, James, we need some sort of transition just because of directional needs downtown and the computers and everything else.
Councilmember Mitchell said yes.
[ Motion was made by Councilmember Mitchell, seconded by Councilmember Burgess, and ]
[ carried unanimously to change the name of Second Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard ]
[ and have a transition period to give time to make changes to computers, navigation systems, ]
[ and address changes.

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