Some roads throughout the city might be getting a name change soon. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego will be in the process of changing the names of two streets in the upcoming weeks. However, this isn't the first time a mayor has urged the city to adjust them.
In a Twitter post, Gallego wrote, "Working with my fellow council-members we've moved to initiate the process for changing the offensive Phoenix street names of Robert E. Lee St. and Squaw Peak Dr."
The tweet continued to say that they will be working with city staff on July 1, 2020, to start the process of changing the names.
Back in 2017, when Greg Stanton was mayor, Phoenix New Times reported that Stanton wanted to change the name of a street in the Valley: Squaw Peak Drive.
"We want to send a message about our values as our city, which means not having street signs — paid for by taxpayers — that demean our residents," he said.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term squaw as an offensive term used to designate an American Indian woman.
Working with my fellow council-members we’ve moved to initiate the process for changing the offensive Phoenix stree… https://t.co/vBsQ3xfaeY— Mayor Kate Gallego (@Mayor Kate Gallego)1592524480.0
The other street in question is Robert E. Lee, the name of a leader in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
As protests continue throughout the country, other states are facing similar dilemmas. A petition in Florida is urging the governor to change the racist name of a city known as Plantation.
According to the City of Phoenix, a mayor or three city council members can request a change to a street if it's considered "offensive and derogatory."
Once the process begins, it can take up to 90 days for requests to be approved and up to an additional 60 days if the alternate name proposed wasn't reviewed.
Thanks to the more recently approved policy back in 2017, the cost for updating residential street names has been reduced or waived altogether.