To: Mayor Ted Byrd, Harrisonburg City Council Charles Chenault, Richard Baugh, Kai Degner, and Abe Shearer
It appears as though the Harrisonburg City Council is considering naming one of Harrisonburg's oldest streets from CANTRELL AVENUE to Martin Luther King. This has become an issue presented from a task force who feels the necessity to have Dr. King honored with a street name in Harrisonburg, VA.
CANTRELL venue has been an integral part of the infra-structure of this city for more than a century. We feel the economical and psychological impact to rename Cantrell Avenue for anyone is huge.
While the signees of this petition have NO problem with naming a street to honor Dr. King, we feel that renaming Cantrell you are taking the easy road to this solution. We recommend retaining the Cantrell Avenue name. CANTRELL Avenue has been an integral part of the infra-structure of this city for more than a century. We feel the economical and psychological impact to rename Cantrell Avenue for anyone is huge.
WE ASK YOU TO LEAVE IT INTACT. Name a NEW street, which signees of this petition and other citizens do not have a problem in doing so, as the growth of this area makes new streets to be named readily available.
We, too, would ask the Council to consider local people who have served our community, walked the soils of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and many who have given their life, please consider naming streets for these individuals. A few that have been mention are:
1) Manual Trenary, died in the line of duty as a Harrisonburg City Police Officer.
2) Don Whitmore, 1963 Harrisonburg High School Graduate, died in Vietnam serving his country.
3) Elon Rhodes, First Black to serve on the Harrisonburg City Council, and dedicated to this community with his service. (Elon worked to benefit the black community without ever drawing attention to his efforts.) Yes, Dr. King's efforts were felt worldwide. Elon's efforts were benefited locally for many of our local citizens.
Signees of this petition are concerned about the lack of historic preservation of historical nature that has occurred in Harrisonburg in the last thirty to forty plus years. Please be an integral part in changing this practice. It is time we honor the foundation of the wonderful city that we have.
Thank You for your consideration for preserving Harrisonburg, Virginia