Richmond street to be renamed Dalai Lama Avenue

The Tibetan Association of Northern California operates at 5200 Huntington Ave. in Richmond. The street is set to be renamed 'Dalai Lama Avenue.'

Richmond City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to rename a part of Huntington Avenue to “Dalai Lama Avenue.”

The roughly one-block stretch of Huntington between Columbia Avenue and San Joaquin Street (just west of Interstate Highway 80), will be renamed. The city will foot the $215.38 bill for the new signs, which are hoped to be installed in the next few weeks, prior to a day of recognition for the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan Association of Northern California (TANC), which operates a cultural center on the block that, in part, is used for classes teaching children Tibetan language and culture, requested the street name change. TANC also has a temple on Barrett Avenue.

Councilmember Eduardo Martinez said the name change is useful because, with I-80 splitting Huntington Avenue, folks are currently struggling to find the TANC center.

Leaders from the TANC expressed gratitude to both the council, mayor, the Recreation and Parks Commission and neighbors for supporting the street renaming.

After the change was proposed, Martinez said he went door-knocking in the neighborhood to fetch input from residents.

“Only one or two had no opinion, and everyone else was very strongly in favor of the name change,” Martinez said.

According to proponents, the recognition for the 14th Dalai Lama, the leader of six million Tibetans and winner of countless awards of recognition such as the Nobel Peace Prize, is warranted given his global influence in promoting peace and compassion. On July 16, the Richmond council declared July 6 “Dalai Lama Day” to honor his 84th birthday.