DALLAS – An effort to rename one of two Dallas streets for Cesar Chavez failed Monday, but the city plans to find another road to name after the late Latino labor and civil rights activist.
Several Latino leaders in the ninth-largest U.S. city have been upset that Industrial Boulevard won't be renamed for Chavez despite a city survey that had "Cesar Chavez Avenue" the overwhelming favorite for the road's new name.
The City Council voted 12-3 to rename the street Riverfront Boulevard, and voted unanimously against renaming Ross Avenue for Chavez, activists' second choice.
"I think it's just disappointing, but we'll overcome this obstacle and we'll work and find an appropriate location for Cesar Chavez street or a building," said Cesar Chavez Task Force leader Alberto Ruiz.
"We're just determined to have it in downtown Dallas," he said.
Mayor Tom Leppert, who has said the survey was not binding, said he will direct a committee to determine an appropriate street to honor Cesar Chavez within 90 days.
Industrial — lined with liquor stores and bail bond offices — is a key piece of a planned $2 billion urban makeover. Under the Trinity River Corridor Project, the street will be a gateway to a planned area with parks and urban trails.
Council member Angela Hunt, who voted in favor of Riverfront Boulevard, said it is the best name for a street in the area the city is hoping to transform.
"The point was to find a name and tie it to the river," she said.
Hunt also said the history of Ross Avenue, one of Dallas' oldest streets, should be maintained. She said only one of the 75 Ross Avenue residents she talked to favored changing the name.
She said she wants to find another way to honor Chavez, like possibly naming a downtown's farmer's market for him. Chavez was a founder of the United Farm Workers labor union that represented migrant workers.