CHICAGO — An ordinance to change the name of Lake Shore Drive pitted aldermen who support Mayor Lightfoot against the mayor’s council foes.
On Wednesday, the city council considered renaming Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a Black man recognized as a key settler of the city.
Over Lightfoot’s objection, Alderman David Moore has been pushing to rename Outer Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.
“When we talk about immigrants, people think of either European immigrants or Mexican immigrants,” Alderman Moore said, as reported by the Associated Press. “But we have a lot of immigrants from Haiti and from the African diaspora. Their voices are finally being heard in this. It means a lot to them to see this happen.”
A renaming could cost taxpayers $2.5 million.
At a previous meeting, the mayor tried to block the ordinance. On Wednesday, Alderman Brian Hopkins moved to delay the vote, which set off Moore. He fired back immediately, blocking City Council’s entire agenda.
“I defer and publish everything!” Moore said.
After the city council, Lightfoot stated support for honoring du Sable but not changing the name of the roadway.
“There’s a lot of folks who oppose any changing of Lake Shore Drive, it’s one of the most iconic assets that the city has,” she said. “When you say Lake Shore Drive, people know you’re talking about Chicago.”
DuSable, a native of Haiti, is considered to be Chicago’s first permanent, non-indigenous settler. He had a successful trading post in the late 1700s. He died in 1818.
The Associated Press reports that Lightfoot’s administration has proposed alternatives, such as naming the Dan Ryan Expressway after DuSable.