With the city meeting room at the Rollins Community Center bursting at the seams, Lewes Mayor and City Council voted Jan. 13 in favor of an honorific renaming of West Fourth Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
More than two years ago, the Rev. George Edwards of Friendship Baptist Church on West Fourth Street approached mayor and city council with an idea to rename West Fourth Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The request was not met warmly, and city officials asked Edwards to consider other ways to honor King, including the honorific renaming of West Fourth Street.
The issue remained dormant until November, when Edwards approached the city again, this time seeking the honorific renaming of West Fourth Street. At a subsequent public meeting, a full name change gained traction again, with many supporters speaking in favor.
At mayor and city council’s December meeting, officials tabled a decision on either a full or honorific name change until January in order to gain more public comment. The city sent 2,799 postcards to all property owners informing them of the consideration.
Mayor Ted Becker said the city received 472 letters about the request. Of those, 17 Fourth Street residents were in favor of a full name change and 28 were opposed.
Mayor and City Council also created the Lewes African-American Heritage Commission to highlight contributions from the African-American community.
See more coverage in the Friday, Jan. 17 edition of the Cape Gazette.