Update: December 8, 2021
Rename Taney St → LeCount St
The Rename Taney Coalition organized a community-wide vote on 5 deserving finalists for a new name. Volunteers went door-to-door from North to South and engaged through email and social media. Over 600 Philadelphians voted.
The winner (with 32% of the vote) was Caroline LeCount, often considered “Philadelphia’s Rosa Parks.” She fought to integrate the streetcar system in the 1860s and advocated for the educational rights of Black children as a teacher and principal during her 50-year career.
To learn more about the great Caroline LeCount, read Villanova history professor (and expert on LeCount) Judith Giesberg’s op-ed in the Inquirer on December 6:
Update: October 28, 2021
Exciting news! North and South Philly agree: It’s Time to Rename Taney Street!
The movement to rename Taney Street has grown dramatically over the past year, starting with a small group of dedicated volunteers to a now citywide coalition of RCOs, community groups, and community leaders who all support the renaming process.
Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson supports renaming the portion of Taney Street in Council District 2.
Councilmember Curtis Jones supports renaming the portion of Taney Street in Council District 4.
Update: August 15, 2021
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.
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!
- Collect letters of support from community organizations, residents, and other stakeholders
- Councilmember drafts legislation with a new name
- Legislation goes through committee hearing and public testimony
October – December 2021
- Community-wide vote on finalist names
- Door-to-door outreach with door hangers
January – October 2021
- Working group and City Council staff evaluate town hall feedback and survey data
- Wrote report from the virtual town hall
- Rename Taney Coalition and City Council staff evaluated town hall feedback and survey data, as well as report feedback
- Community organizations review report and support findings
- Report and naming finalist survey released to community participants and media – August 15 – October 28
- Community Survey – launched Dec 8
- Virtual town hall: “Our City, Our Streets, Our Choice”– Dec 14
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.
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
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
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 email@example.com and we will add your logo
This coalition has been organized by www.fitlersquareneighbors.org