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City Backing Away From Proposal To Rename Stony Island

Arthur Brazier (CBS)

Arthur Brazier (CBS)

Jim Williams (CBS) Jim Williams
Jim Williams, a native Chicagoan, co-anchors the CBS 2 Chicago Wee...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The City quietly puts the brakes on a plan to rename a major South Side street for a beloved pastor and community leader.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel floated the idea with much fanfare back in September, but now the name change is apparently a no-go, at least for now.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams looks into why.

For 45 years, Unlimited Flowers has been at 86th and Stony Island and has been owned all that time by Teresa Fortineaux’s family.

Fortineaux said the name change would force her business to change all of the invoices for the business.

So would the other businesses on Stony Island, paying to change printed materials when they’re just trying to survive on a street that’s had better days.

“It may seem small but to change everything you have — some businesses may not be able to afford it,” said Shayonna Brown.

That’s the kind of push back aldermen heard from voters when Mayor Emanuel said he wanted to rename Stony Island for the late Bishop Arthur Brazier, a community and civil rights leader.

Alderman Willie Cochran’s 20th Ward includes the church where Bishop Brazier was the pastor.

“The Mayor thought it was a good idea; I think it’s a good idea, but other colleagues and their constituents don’t think so,” said Cochran.

Some aldermen were blindsided by the Mayor’s proposal which was not considered by the city council today.

When asked if Mayor Rahm Emanuel should have talked with more people before advancing the idea, Cochran said, “Well, Monday morning quarterbacking it is easy but I think that would have satisfied or addressed some of the concerns that people have had about that.”

There’s one other factor working against the Mayor’s idea, nostalgia.

“I love the stony island. It’s what I grew up on,” said Kimberly Johnson.

CBS 2 talked to Bishop Brazier’s son, who is now the pastor of the Apostolic Church of God. Dr. Bryon Brazier said the re-naming would be a great honor for his father and the community he served.

Sources in the Mayor’s office insist the idea is alive, saying they’re coming up with a plan that would help businesses on Stony Island with a name change.