San Diego street gets new name

October 20, 2017 by  

San Diego’s city council has voted to honor one of the city’s African-American pioneers by naming a stretch of one of the city’s streets after him.

E Street in Golden Hill will retain its name, but the 3000 block will be renamed for Leon Williams.

Williams, who is now 95 years of age, has lived in Golden Hill for 70 years. When he moved to the community, Golden Hill was a whites-only area and he broke the pattern. He was also the first African-American to serve on the city council, and the only black supervisor San Diego County has had.

Among his accomplishments, Williams pressed for tough regulations on smoking, helped to create the San Diego public defender’s office, and supported various transit options in the local area. Barbara Bry, a current member of the city council, said Williams’ work was a good example of how to fight for social justice and change in a peaceful manner.

For his part, Williams thank the council for honoring him, and said he appreciated the recognition. He added that he had never had any desire to hit or hurt anyone, or take anything away from someone else, and believes everyone should live that way.

A ceremony renaming the street will be held this afternoon at 3:30 pm. Golden Hill is in Councilman Chris Ward’s district. Ward nominated Williams, and will bear the cost of the new street signs.

Organizers of this sort of event often work with a flyer printing company on a handout containing a biography of the honoree.