Friday, August 15, 2008

Let's Save Ross Avenue

Kudos to the group that has put together the initiative to save Ross Avenue.

A group of Hispanic activists demanded that Industrial Boulevard be renamed for Cesar Chavez - an activist that did good for California farm laborers; however, Chavez was NOT from Dallas let alone Texas.

The Dallas City Council opted to not rename Industrial for Chavez so now the activists are demanding that Ross Avenue be renamed. You know Ross Avenue? That major street between Live Oak, crosses Greenville Avenue, DISD headquarters, major high rises, the entire Arts District down to the West End. Yeah, that little no name street is the one that the activists fancy that the time has come to rename. To hell with Dallas history. To hell with the Ross Brothers who the street was named after. Let’s name it after some guy that isn’t even from here.

For far too long, those of that are natives of this city have stood by while newcomers, politicians, activists, etc., have tried to rewrite our history. Well, we’ve had enough.

Let’s support the group that is working to ensure that Ross Avenue will remain Ross Avenue for a very long time.


Bill Betzen said...

Is your main motivation in being against the change of Ross Avenue to Cesar Chavez Avenue the preservation of Dallas history? It if is then send me an email at and we can discuss the issues. If you have another agenda other than a respect for Dallas history then you do not need to respond.

Bill Betzen said...

I have not heard from you in several days and so here are some facts as I see them. I welcome comments.

The Ross Avenue street name sadly is about as "generic" a street name as you can get. Six months ago less than 100 people in Dallas could have given you the history of the Ross Brothers. Many would have even guessed that the street was named after the early Texas Governor "Sul" Ross. That must change. Only a historical marker with the Ross Brother history on it located on the most walked intersection on Ross Avenue can do that. The Cesar Chavez Task force is willing to pay for that marker.

The Ross Brothers are not in the history books seen by Texas students. Cesar Chavez is. His name on this street will reinforce the lessons his name is associated with in the history books, the non-violent fight for justice and equality for all Americans. He was born a US citizen and fought to protect the rights of US citizens against imported Bracero labor.

Please study the history of Cesar Chavez. It is a noble history of good work. He last visited supporters in Dallas in 1991, two years before his death.

He was once asked by a supporter how he should be remembered. He is quoted as having said: “If you want to remember me, organize!”

He would have been exceptionally proud of the peaceful organization and gathering of a half million people on Ross Avenue on April 9, 2006. That is what he tought us to do. We did it on Ross, a street that also had a Cathedral on it dedicated to his favorite saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe. It all fits. The only alternative is Ross Avenue.

“If you want to remember me, organize!”

We are not doing this street name for him. It is for us, a reminder of what he wanted us to do.

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