Council approves renaming street for Coleman

In a 20-0 vote, the Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance renaming a section of 34th Street to Louis Coleman Jr. Drive in honor of the late civil rights leader.

The measure was sponsored by Councilwomen Judy Green, D-1, and Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, to honor the Rev. Louis Coleman, who led the Justice Resource Center for decades as the chief agitator of civil rights in Louisville, speaking out against police abuse, air pollution and gun violence.

He died in 2008.

Initially, the city bill sought to have the entire west Louisville thoroughfare renamed in Coleman’s honor, however, the change drew serious objections from residents of the predominately white Portland neighborhood, who cited the confusion an address change might cause and the idea of honoring the controversial African-American activist.

The opposition was similar to the ugly debate that ensued in 2006 when Coleman led an attempt to rename 22nd Street after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In an effort to reach a comprise, the co-sponsors agreed to change only the stretch of 34th Street from Parker Avenue to DuValle Drive, which is south of the Portland area.

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