Second District City-County Councillor Angela Mansfield has drafted a proposal for a Council Resolution urging Mayor Ballard and the Metropolitan Development Commission to keep 190 year-old Georgia Street named just as it is today.
The drafted proposal, which will be introduced on October 3, has been obtained by Indy Democrat, and it relies heavily on a historical and economic rationale as the reason to keep Georgia Street just as it is. Here's the meat and potatoes of the proposal.
A PROPOSAL FOR A COUNCIL RESOLUTION urging the Mayor and the Metropolitan Development Commission to cease and desist from all efforts to rename Georgia Street.
WHEREAS, a community's history contributes to its personality and the preservation of that history provides a living link to the roots of that community and its people, all of which adds to Indianapolis' unique character; and
WHEREAS, according to Indianapolis' own home page: "When platting Indianapolis in 1821, surveyor Alexander Ralston allowed one square mile for the city, never imagining it would grow larger."; and
WHEREAS, Georgia Street was given its name in the original 1821 plat of the City of Indianapolis; and
WHEREAS, during the construction along Georgia Street area businesses have suffered significant economic detriment; and
WHEREAS, a street name change will cause those same businesses to incur unnecessary expenditures due to address changes and may cause further economic loss due to loss of location identity; and
WHEREAS, the City and its leaders embraced the perpetual partnership among the past, present and the future which partnership encourages each generation to employ the best of contemporary thought and technology without rejecting the history, culture, traditions and values on which our lives and futures are / were built; and
WHEREAS, without the physical presence of Georgia Street, today and into the future, some of the details of what and where Georgia Street actually was will be lost; and more details will be lost as we pass on our stories of Indianapolis to the next generation and the next; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY-COUNTY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS AND OF MARION COUNTY, INDIANA:
Section 1. The Indianapolis City Council recommends and urges the Mayor and the Metropolitan Development Commission to keep and respect the 190-year old street name (Georgia) from Alexander Ralston's original 1821 plat of the City of Indianapolis and to reject any proposal that we rename Georgia Street.
Section 2. The Council joins with the citizens and entities that want to keep the last three (3) blocks of Georgia Street within the mile square.
Section 3. Upon adoption of this resolution, the Council Clerk will forward a copy to the Mayor and to the Metropolitan Development Commission.
Section 4. This resolution shall be in full force and effect upon adoption and compliance with IC 36-3-4-14.
Here's the thing, when you list out the reasons to rename Georgia Street, they are easily outweighed by the reasons NOT to rename the street. The only reasons I've seen in favor? To have a cool competition to name it...and...well...it's cool. The reasons against it are spelled out in the proposal above. In short, no one that I've talked to on Facebook or in person has given me a singular compelling reason as to why this name change is necessary.
Our city's assets may be for sale, but our city's history must be preserved. I say keep Georgia Street as Alexander Ralston intended it.