More than two years after Richmond City Council voted 6-1 in favor of renaming a street in Richmond after the late Nelson Mandela, the human rights icon’s name has not yet graced any street signs.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Councilman Jael Myrick questioned city officials on whether the process for renaming city streets is working and requested that the city move forward with the process of renaming a street after Mandela.
City Manager Bill Lindsay apologized to council and said his staff dropped the ball on the issue, but will get to it.
There is a process in place for street renaming proposals. Such proposals must be brought to the Richmond Recreation and Parks Commission for review. Following the commission’s approval, the proposal heads to council for a vote.
The Mandela proposal has not yet been seen by the Rec and Park commission.
Myrick said he’s not interested in changing the process if it proves to work efficiently. He said he only questioned the process since council’s vote on the Mandela renaming had apparently been ignored for two years, and also because several residents had approached him with other street name proposals.
“I want to make sure the process works smoothly going forward,” Myrick said.
Opponents to the renaming of the street after Mandela argue that streets should be named after people who lived or worked in Richmond or had a more direct impact on the city and its people.