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Santa Barbara Westside street could get name change to honor Civil Rights activist Dolores Huerta

Renaming flyer for Calle Dolores Huerta
Scott Sheahen / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A street on Santa Barbara’s Westside could get a name change. A local group is hoping to get San Andres Street renamed in honor of a famous civil rights activist.

Miguel Avila is one of the members of the Dolores Huerta Street Renaming Project. He said, "The Calle Dolores Huerta will have a better representation, better destinction with the neighborhood."

San Andres Street could soon become Calle Dolores Huerta, in honor of an activist who worked with Cesar Chavez to fight for Latino and farmworker rights in California. She started her work in the 1950s and 1960s here in Santa Barbara. A street is already named after Cesar Chavez, and the group said it's about time one was named after Huerta.

Rachel Aarons is another member of the Dolores Huerta Street Renaming Project. She said, "She was right there doing it, and actually continues to do it to this day, so we felt there should be a street named after her, as well in our city to honor the Latino culture and history."

San Andres Street is a main street in the Westside neighborhood. It's filled with restaurants, shops, grocery stores and even a hardware store named after the street. Now the project is currently going around the community educating them and collecting signatures about the potential name change.

Ray Gusman owns Ray Liquors. He grew up in Santa Barbara and is hesitant about the name change.

"If they change it I guess that's fine, but I kind of like seeing things stay the same. Things are changing too much as they were in Santa Barbara as it is. And I like them the way they were growing up here," said Gusman.

If the group is successful, Dolores Huerta hopes to be there for the unveiling celebration. She sees the name change as a way to honor forgotten local heroes.

"Empowerment of working people, of poor people, and kind of a tribute to them," said Huerta. "And then the other thing I guess I can say, because I am a woman, then hopefully that will add to that. So I don't know how many streets in Santa Barbara are named after women, but that might be another addition or way to tribute again the women that live in the city."

The group needs approval from the neighborhood advisory council. Then city council can vote on it. Council members are also expected to vote on changing Indio Muerto Street on the Eastside to Hutash Street, which is Chumash for Mother Earth. Both votes are expected this fall.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Scott Sheahen

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