Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Interstate or Chavez Blvd?

By Brian Rohter

There’s been a bunch of press over the past couple of days about the proposal to change the name of Interstate Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. ("Slow down on Interstate" and "City mulls changing Interstate to Chavez") Since our store on Interstate is in the heart of the neighborhood, lots of people have been asking for our opinion about this.

We think on issues like this our role is to support the desires of our neighbors who live in the community. If the neighborhood associations endorse this proposal we’ll get behind it too. We hope they do, because we feel that local recognition for the great civil rights work that Cesar Chavez did is overdue.

Whatever the outcome, it’s important that the process is set up in a way that all the stakeholders get their voices heard and have an opportunity to understand the various opinions of others. I know that Bill Mildenberger, from the Nite Hawk CafĂ©, which is located across the street from our store, has some different perspectives on this proposal and I’ve just left him a message inviting him to share his thoughts on this blog.

Here’s a copy of the letter that I sent to Mayor Potter after meeting with the organizers of this campaign in July:

July 19th, 2007

Mayor Tom Potter

City of Portland

1201 SW Fourth Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97204

Dear Mayor Potter,

I am writing about the suggestion to change the name of Interstate Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. New Seasons Market looks to its neighbors for guidance on questions such as this and it is my understanding that all of the adjacent neighborhood associations have expressed their support for this proposal.

New Seasons Market operates a store at 6400 N. Interstate Avenue. We would be very honored to tell our customers that they could find us at 6400 N. Cesar Chavez Boulevard, especially since we could also tell them that we’re located at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. What a great way for Portland to recognize these two outstanding American role models!

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help move this project to completion.

Best Regards,

Brian Rohter, CEO

Cc: Marta Guembes, Celedonio Montes