The Chicago City Council on Friday voted to rename its Lake Shore Drive expressway in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the first non-Indigenous settler in the area, who has been recognized as one of the city’s founders.
In a 33-15 vote, the council approved renaming the road Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive, keeping the original label in the new name as part of a compromise among council members.
Council member David Moore, one of the leading aldermen pushing for the name change, said this week, “None of us would be here, including Lake Shore Drive, if this city wasn’t founded by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable,” according to local NBC affiliate WMAQ.
After the change passed Friday, Moore told ABC affiliate WLS, "It's not so much the weight off my shoulders. It's these babies that I fight for.”
“That's what it's all about. These babies and giving them hope when they take a drive down: hope. When they take a drive down: unity," he added.
Among those who opposed the change was Alderman Brian Hopkins, who said some residents in the state support preserving “the tradition, the legacy, the attractiveness of the name.”
“It’s a beautiful name for a beautiful road,” he said, according to WMAQ.
Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootChicago teachers to 'step up resistance' if school district doesn't improve COVID-19 protections Chicago becomes latest city to require vaccinations for workers 2 brothers charged in fatal shooting of Chicago police officer MORE (D) had also initially opposed the plan, arguing that the Lake Shore Drive name was too well known and associated with the city to be changed.
According to WLS, Lightfoot had originally pushed to instead invest $40 million to build a park, rename part of the Riverwalk and put in place statues honoring DuSable.
However, aldermen struck a deal with Lightfoot’s office to keep the original name in the new one.
The vote on renaming the road was initially scheduled to take place Wednesday but was postponed after the day’s meeting ended abruptly due to arguments over Lightfoot’s corporation counsel nominee and disputes over rules of the body.
Following Friday’s vote, Lightfoot accused the council of spending too much time on debates over the road name instead of other issues affecting Chicago residents.
"During this time that the council has talked about renaming the roads and signs, not one baby was fed and no worker got a job," Lightfoot said, according to WLS.
"We have important priorities in this city, particularly as we come out of a pandemic," she added.