Rep. Ford's half loaf is halfway there

Cicero Ave., Mandela Blvd. yes and no

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By Jim Bowman

Writer

Rep. LaShawn Ford (Dem, IL-8) wanted Cicero Ave. to be renamed for Nelson Mandela from one end to the other. But the IL House cut the renamed portion to Roosevelt on one end, Grand Ave. on the other.

It's going to cost $20,000, which Ford agreed "might seem like a really high price for new street signs." But these signs will be special.

He wants "to make sure everyone who drives down that road knows it's Mandela Road.  . . .  There will be a big sign or plaque at every stop light," paying tribute to Mandela.

Ford, who the Trib noted "faces a federal bank fraud charge," praised Mandela as "a great man who believed in forgiveness and coming together," adding, "The district that I represent" — Western Springs, La Grange, La Grange Park, Brookfield, Forest Park, Proviso Township, Riverside, North Riverside, Berwyn, Oak Park, and Austin — "needs to see more hope."

He envisioned the new Mandela Road as "as a symbol to my people that there is hope, and hope for change. That's what Mandela stands for."

The motion passed on a 103-0 vote and now heads to the Senate.

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Reader Comments

5 Comments - Add Your Comment

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C Sorrow  

Posted: May 22nd, 2014 9:48 AM

So the renaming of Cicero Ave to Mandela Road was limited to the most crime-ridden and violent portion of Cicero Ave. I guess it provides an easier way to give out-of-towners directions: "From Midway, take Cicero to Roosevelt and go west. If you see Mandela, you've gone too far! Turn immediately! Avoid Mandela at all costs!" Just what Mandela would have wanted.

Real List  

Posted: May 21st, 2014 10:00 PM

Again, due to district gerrymandering by the Dems, Ford's district only touches Cicero for 1.5 of the 3.3 miles of that stretch, and only the west side (only 1.5 out of 6.6 miles = 25%). There are many L streets (Laramie, Lavergne) in that stretch that are completely under his jurisdiction. Perhaps one of those would be a proper choice. Or perhaps Ford's opinion on the matter should be weighted for only the stretch he represents. Seems to me Ford doesn't have much skin the the game

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: May 21st, 2014 6:35 PM

Again, this isn't what Nelson Mandella wanted. Mandella wanted to build the only, only, childrens hospital in all of South Africa. Useless.Narrow.Petty.Shameful empty gesture.I am ashamed of how small our government has become.Burnham said" Make no small plans" Ford says "Make only small plans". In this case, suffer the children. They wont know, they never had any health care.

Tim Rice from Frankfort  

Posted: May 16th, 2014 3:35 PM

Even if out state government was financially healthy this would be a bad idea. Besides all the ideas mentioned in the previous comment, this would cause needless confusion (ask citizens who use Pulaski or is it Crawford?). The House vote on this (103 to 0) shows just how out of touch our state government is. Maybe the Senate can rectify this waste of taxpayers money.

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: May 14th, 2014 9:16 PM

$20K is just the tip of the iceberg. Live on that stretch of road? You will have to change drivers licenses and all mailing addresses. business will have to change legal papers, business cards, promotional material, letterheads, directory listings. CTA has to redo route maps, system wide, and new station signage. And new postal maps, Etc. Etc. Etc. All this angst over a "feel good" name change. Another example of government trying to do things TO people rather than FOR them.

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