Update: May 6, 2021
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Spring 2020, Taney Street residents publicly questioned the appropriateness of the street’s name. Named in 1858, one year after the Dred Scott Decision, it honors an individual whose actions conflict with the city of Philadelphia’s values of being a diverse and inclusive city.
The all-volunteer residents’ group has worked with Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson’s staff to develop a community engagement process around the possibility of renaming Taney Street. The process was endorsed by community organizations in the neighborhoods where the street exists in the 2nd district.
Rename Taney Coalition Member Organizations:
- Residents Organized for Advocacy and Direction (Gray’s Ferry),
- Fitler Square Neighborhood Association (Fitler Square),
- Young Chances Foundation (Gray’s Ferry),
- Center City Residents Association (Center City),
- South Of South Neighborhood Association (Southwest Center City)
As agreed upon with Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson’s staff, the next steps of the process are
1) to circulate a community engagement report based on the engagement activities of the past year:
Most notably, 89% of Taney Street residents who completed the survey support changing the name. This report will be circulated through the relevant neighborhood organizations and citywide media.
2) to conduct a survey of S. Taney Street residents and neighbors to determine the finalists for a new name that represents the character and history of Philadelphia:
The survey will take less than five minutes. Please complete the survey.
Ultimately the decision to rename Taney Street, which has stood for 163 years, is made by City Council: A bill that includes a new name must be passed by Council in order to officially change the name. The bill would go through a committee hearing and have an opportunity for public testimony before being brought to a vote.
The volunteer group, along with the neighborhood organizations, continues to work with Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson’s staff to establish precisely how the decision will be made. There will be continued communication and transparency in this process and additional opportunity for public input. Thank you for your participation in this process!
We would like you to participate in the community engagement process for renaming Taney Street. Having your voice heard will take less than 2 minutes of your time.
An essential part of the nationwide reckoning we are experiencing is the removal of racist symbols and statues that cause further harm to our citizens.
1857: Justice Roger Taney wrote the Dred Scott v. Sandford Supreme Court decision. Taney ruled that Black people were not U.S. citizens, and had no Constitutional rights.
1858: Philadelphia’s white-supremacist Mayor, Richard Vaux, honored Justice Taney by naming a street for him.
Our City, Our Streets, Our Choice:
Virtual Town Hall
December 14, 2020 @ 7:30pm
If we had the opportunity to update the name of Taney Street, what kind of legacy would you want the new street name to reflect? Let’s discuss what the street means to you and what values you’d want to broadcast with its name.
This town hall will be a place to work from and to work together.
If you RSVP’d please check your email today for log in instructions
**Important: This first town hall currently has space for 90 participants. Once we reach the 90th RSVP, each additional resident that RSVPs will be invited to a repeat town hall event at a different time. We must ensure the quality of the conversation. This town hall will use a small group facilitated format, and will be inclusive.**
June – August 2020
- Petition signatories list grew to over 2,700
- Press published on local effort to rename Taney St. (Inquirer, CBS News)
- Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, Councilmember Darrell Clarke, and Mayor Kenney all made public statements supporting the community’s goal to rename Taney Street.
- Gained the support of registered community organizations: Fitler Square Neighborhood Association, Center City Residents Association, South of South Neighborhood Association, as well as Gray’s Ferry community organizers
- Working group made of community orgs met with Councilmember Johnson’s staff 5 times to define a mutually agreed upon community engagement process
September – October 2020
- Working group applied for grant funding and fundraised to support the community engagement process
- Working group partnered with stakeholder engagement firm Connect the Dots to design a robust community engagement process
November – December 2020
- Digital design and production of outreach materials (doorhangers, community survey, website)
- Conducted outreach to community organizations, and trained community discussion facilitators
- Volunteers distributed doorhangers to affected households on (or within 2 blocks of) Taney St.
- Community Survey – launched Dec 8
- Initial virtual town hall: “Our City, Our Streets, Our Choice”- Dec 14
January – April 2021
- Working group and City Council staff will evaluate town hall feedback and survey data
- Writing report from the virtual town hall
- Rename Taney Coalition and City Council staff evaluate town hall feedback and survey data, as well as report feedback
- Community organizations review report and reply by – 4/28
- Report and naming finalist survey released to community participants and media – through 5/16
- Community-wide vote on finalist names – COMING SOON
- Councilmember drafts legislation with new name
- Legislation goes through committee hearing and public testimony
JOIN RENAME TANEY ST
Are you a community organization, small business, or nonprofit and want to officially sign onto RENAME TANEY STREET? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add your logo
This coalition has been organized by www.fitlersquareneighbors.org