Lake Shore Drive rename? Council expected to vote on possible change for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable

Lake Shore Drive name change? Renaming would include outer part of roadway from Hollywood to 67th

Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Renaming Lake Shore Drive? Council to vote on possible name change
Chicago City Council is expected to vote on renaming Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago City Council is expected to discuss a controversial proposal Wednesday to rename Lake Shore Drive, in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable is a Black man considered by many to be the founder of Chicago.

And on Wednesday, City Council is set to decide if Lake Shore Drive should be renamed in his honor.

RELATED: Chicago City Council delays vote on renaming Lake Shore Drive for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable

City Council is expected to take a vote on that Wednesday, but it has been a very polarizing issue.

Some aldermen claim that the votes are there to change it, but others point to recent polls showing some Chicagoans are against the renaming.

The renaming would include the outer portion of Lake Shore Drive from Hollywood Avenue to 67th Street.

RELATED: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces plans to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable

The mayor has been opposed to this, and has offered up a different option.

She wants the Riverwalk renamed, starting from DuSable Park, with statues and educational markers added that Chicagoans and tourists can see and learn from.

But, that's not going to fly with some aldermen, who tell ABC 7 Chicago that a compromise to name the roadway "DuSable Lake Shore Drive" has also fallen apart.

So, as it stands now, the vote on naming the Drive after DuSable, and not leaving any part of "Lake Shore" in the name, is what will be before Council on Wednesday.

When it came for a vote at the last meeting, things got testy in the council chambers, with supporters yelling for an immediate vote, and others calling for a delay.

Alderman David Moore of the 17th Ward sponsors the proposal and said it's much more than just a name change. It's a chance to teach the next generation.

"People think this is just about the name; me and all the people that have been involved, we're talking about unity, bringing the city together," he said. "African Americans are ignored, and their history is ignored; we don't want to divide the city. I want to continue to bring the city together."

Moore said he believes Wednesday's vote might lead to another delay, which is equally frustrating for his colleagues.

"We need to have a decision; we need to have it done and over with so we can start focusing on what's really important in the communities, like the violence besieging all of our neighborhoods," 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez said.

Peggy Montes, member of the DuSable Park advisory council, is concerned all of this back and forth in City Council about Lake Shore Drive is taking away from actually finishing the park project.

"We are here to finish the legacy of Harold Washington, to build DuSable Park and have it as a place to show the people about the contributions that Jean Baptiste Point DuSable made in terms of being called the father of the city of Chicago," Montes said.