Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Plans to Rename Stony Island Avenue

South Side thoroughfare would be renamed Reverend Bishop Brazier Avenue

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel is attempting to rename the major South Side thoroughfare to Reverend Bishop Brazier Avenue.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is attempting to rename a major South Side thoroughfare.

If the Mayor gets his way, Stony Island Avenue will be renamed Reverend Bishop Brazier Avenue.

Already a legend on Chicago's South Side, Brazier founded the Woodlawn Organization, and for decades advocated for better housing and schools.

"My hope is that people around the city take note of somebody who's changed our city. Changed it for the better," Emanuel said at a Wednesday news conference.

Before he died in 2010, Brazier grew his congregation at the Apostolic Church of God to 20,000 people. He handed the reigns over to his son, who calls the street renaming a "great moment" for the family.

"My mother and my sisters are absolutely thrilled. When I brought it up to the congregation a couple of weeks ago, they all stood up and cheered," said Dr. Byron T. Brazier, who now leads the same church his father founded.

Political sources tell NBC 5 that kind response could be why the Emanuel is doing this, to help with sagging support on the South Side of the city. But the mayor denies an ulterior motive.

"If you didn't do it, somebody would say you're slighting somebody. If you do do it, you're saying it's political. I'll leave that to the cynics," Emanuel said.

"I do believe it's a way to remind our children, our families of someone who can make a difference in our lives."

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