FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno City Council passed a resolution Thursday, that would change the name of a major road in Southeast Fresno to honor civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
30 years ago Kings Canyon Road was almost changed to Cesar Chavez Road, but that came to a halt.
Now, the current city council is pushing for the change again, and they feel this time around things are different.
“I think since then back in the early ’90s, 30 years has passed. The city of Fresno has grown considerably. So that’s really the answer, a lot has changed,” said Councilmember Luis Chavez. “I think it’ll be something positive to celebrate our community and Southeast Fresno specifically.”
Councilmember Luis Chavez, who grew up around Southeast Fresno, says the time is right for the name change.
“From my perspective, it is to honor Cesar Chavez’s legacy, but also pays tribute and respect to all those Latinos who for decades have been leading our community,” said Councilmember Miguel Arias, who is also in support of the re-naming.
“That’s why we are here approving such a significant action through consent with very little debate,” he said.
“What this item did today that passed was it essentially starts the process,” said Chavez, explaining what it means.
A process, Chavez says, will begin with community input.
“I’m in support of the holiday, and I am most definitely in support of kings canyon into Cesar Chavez Ave,” said Jose Luis, a resident of Fresno.
Input from people that drive on the road, and live and work near it.
“We’re looking at getting a federal grant to offset the cost to the businesses for any name change or modification that they might have to do,” Chavez said.
“It definitely is going to take a lot of energy and time and money to get all that stuff changed,” said Megan Husak, co-owner of Sunnyside Deli on Kings Canyon Rd. and Phillips Ave.
The name change would mean major changes for some businesses.
“Business cards, menus, websites, you know, anything bill related,” she listed, all things that would need correction if the road name change does happen.
The council says they are keeping all businesses in mind when it comes to the change. Both established and new.
Councilmember Chavez says the federal government would have to be notified about the change of addresses for the postal service.
The state will also be notified since Kings Canyon Road leads to Kings Canyon National Park.