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GR city leaders approve designating street Breonna Taylor Way

It is not yet known when the “Breonna Taylor Way” sign will be placed on Monroe Center Street NW.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A major street in downtown Grand Rapids will officially be designated after city native Breonna Taylor.

During Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, the resolution approving the commemorative designation of Monroe Center Street NW as Breonna Taylor Way was passed. The designation was approved through a sweeping consent agenda vote.

Breonna Taylor Way will be located on Monroe Center Street NW from Division Avenue to Monroe Avenue. The street itself will not be renamed; rather, a new “Breonna Taylor Way” sign will be placed under the already existing Monroe Center street sign.

Taylor, a Grand Rapids native, was killed by police officers at her Louisville apartment on March 13. Her death sparked national outcry, and multiple rallies have been held in Grand Rapids in her honor. Many of her family members still live in the area.

In July, a group for Justice for Black Lives requested that the city honor Taylor by designating Monroe Center after her. In September, a public hearing was held to discuss the request. Most of the people who participated in the public hearing expressed their support of the commemorative street designation. Of the 43 that offered comment, 35 voiced support, five expressed opposition and three expressed views neither for nor against the proposal. 

"This would be symbolism," said Stacy, a Grand Rapids resident. "This is a request for symbolically stating that this young woman was from the city of Grand Rapids and at the very minimum we are supporting that we are designating--not changing the name of the street--but commemoratively designating this street Monroe Center as Breonna Taylor Way to symbolize what her life did mean to humanity as a whole and on a smaller scale to the city of Grand Rapids."

Yesterday, commissioners individually voiced their support for this designation. 

“I see this as one action, among many, that we know we need to take as we work to dismantle systemic racism,” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “We know that this is one step forward in the hard work we know lies ahead as we work in partnership with the community and our police department as we look to transform and reform policing to make sure that there are not disparate outcomes.”

The motion to designate the street was approved by the Grand Rapids Committee of the Whole Tuesday morning. The resolution was officially passed Tuesday evening.

It is not yet known when the “Breonna Taylor Way” sign will be placed on Monroe Center Street NW.

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