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Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council Opposes Renaming A Street For The Late Singer Vicente Fernández

(Chava Sanchez
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L.A. City Councilmember Kevin De León's proposal to rename a section of Bailey Street in Boyle Heights for the late Mexican singer Vicente Fernández is facing opposition from the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.

Those who object to the renaming cite concerns about homophobic remarks made by Fernández, as well as allegations that the performer inappropriately touched women. The council made an initial decision last week to oppose the renaming and in scheduled to take a final vote when it meets again this Wednesday. The opposition was first reported by L.A. Taco and Boyle Heights Beat.

"Vicente Fernández is a beloved figure of music,” said David Silvas, the council’s vice president. “[But] we've heard comments that this would deeply affect and hurt members of the LGBTQ community."

In a letter to De León’s office, the neighborhood council wrote that they do “not feel it is appropriate to rename a street within the community after Vicente Fernández, nor any other civic memorialization.”

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Instead, the council requested that public spaces be named for “non-living, historic figures who have had tangible and direct ties to the community of Boyle Heights.”

Pete Brown, a spokesperson for De León, said that despite the council’s letter, there's been an outpouring of support for the street name change.

"You've got businesses, you've got the mariachis … you've got people in the community who grew up on and continue to listen to and love Vicente Fernández's music," he said.

The L.A. City Council will make the final decision about the proposal.

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