NYC Mayor to rename streets ‘Black Lives Matter’ in every borough

Inspired by Washington D.C., Bill de Blasio makes a bold and demonstrative move to show his support to the African American fight for equality

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks about public housing during a press conference at City Hall, June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that a street in each of the five boroughs will be renamed “Black Lives Matter.”

“What will be clear — the street name and on the streets of our city — is the message that now this city must fully, fully deeply feel and this nation must as well, that Black Lives Matter,” de Blasio said.

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The move follows the mural painted on the streets of Washington D.C. by Mayor Muriel Bowser, who also renamed the street, Black Lives Matter Plaza. The giant yellow letters painted on the roadway have inspired other cities, including Charlotte and Pittsburgh, to create similar tributes. Bowser was criticized for the move. In fact, Black Lives Matter D.C. deemed the display as “performative.”

Others have been inspired.

Mayor of The Big Apple, de Blasio, was not only inspired to rename the streets in his city, but to work with the New York City Council to develop several bills aimed at police reform.

“To move forward, we have to accept that and commit to changing it,” said council president Corey Johnson. “We need to be anti-racist. We need to show Black New Yorkers that we will fight with them and we will fight for them, especially within our own white-dominated communities and networks.”

The bills include legislation to ban chokeholds, ensure the right of citizens to record the police, create an early intervention system to review officer performance, as well as a requirement for officers to always make their shield number visible.

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The first New York City mural will be in Manhattan’s Civic Center, which is the area that includes City Hall and One Police Plaza. The mayor’s office will work with community advocates and activists to find a “crucial” location for the other four murals and street renaming in the other boroughs.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said that the murals will “set down a marker for our current goals and mark this era for future generations.”

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