The City of New York's official policy for street co-naming begins with a request being made directly to the Community Board.
The process for the Community Board, in its advisory capacity, is a small part of the Actions necessary for dedication of any Public Space which follows the track to approval by the Council of the City of New York. The process includes sponsorship by the effected Council Member, voted on by the City Council and signed by the Mayor. Community Board #18 recognizes the importance of recognition for persons within the district boundaries who have established the following criteria for street co-naming or naming for any other public parcel of land.
- The person must be deceased for at least one (1) year and has not had any other public area named after the proposed honoree.
- The individual must have lived in the community.
- The individual must have …
- Made a permanent, continuing and significant positive outstanding voluntary commitment and contribution to the greater good of the community with supporting documentation, or
- Been an outstanding continuing contributor to the cultural, economic, educational, intellectual, political or scientific vitality of the community with supporting documentation.
- A full and substantive biography and letters of support from family members must be received by the Board. Include when the individual/organization became part of the community, history of involvement in the community and the City and Borough, the connection between the co-named street/public area and whomever is being honored, and why should they be memorialized with the re-naming/naming. Keep in mind that prospective honorees should have a minimum of ten (10 years community involvement for individuals and thirty (30) years for organizations as stated above.)
- The local Civic/Merchants’ Associations must support the co-naming/naming with letters of Support to the Board outlining the individual’s/organization’s outstanding contribution.
- A petition, with a minimum 60% of the total amount of potential signatures of residents and/or business people on the affected block including their addresses, demonstrating community support for the co-naming/naming proposal which must include the following information at the beginning of the petition above the gathered signatures;
- The proposed honoree’s name, address and a succinct yet detailed outline indicating why the honoree should be bestowed the honor of having a street co-named or public parcel named after them.
- Preference will be given to the Uniformed Service Members who have lost their lives in the line of duty, or military personnel who perished while on active duty; to elected officials, or “Heads” of long-standing Borough-wide groups who have demonstrated a life time of commitment to the service of their organizations.
- Approval and support must be obtained from any city agency that has control of the location, i.e., Parks, Highways, etc.
- If the request is approved by the Executive Committee, the application will be brought before the full Board for final approval and recommendation to the Council Member for consideration.
Standards for Council Consideration of Street Co-Naming
Subjects must be either:
Individuals Who Are:
- New York City residents or natives or individuals of particular importance to New York City;
- Of enduring or lasting interest to large segments of the City’s population or have undertaken an act or acts of enduring or lasting interest to their community; and
- Whose importance to the City or whose enduring interest is a result of exemplary acts or achievements which reflect positively on the City. Or
- Of particular importance to New York City;
- Of enduring or lasting interest to large segments of the City’s population that have undertaken acts of enduring or lasting interest; and
- Whose importance to the City or whose enduring interest is a result of exemplary acts or achievements which reflect positively on the City.
Process for Street Co-Naming
Member would submit an LS request for a proposed street co-naming and would be required to submit significant background information regarding the subject of the co-naming, including any negative information of which the member is aware. Members would be strongly urged to have Community Board approval of the proposed co-naming prior to submitting the LS request.
Central Staff would do a background analysis of the candidate that would consist of a review of the submitted information and Lexis/Nexis, Google or other Internet-based searches, as well as consultation with City historians or other experts when necessary. Staff would also confirm the district(s) affected by the proposed street co-naming. Staff would produce a memo outlining the results of the background analysis that would include all positive and negative/problematic information on the proposed co-naming subject and may flag such subject as in need of further consideration. Staff may only flag a proposed co-naming subject for further review if s/he has first consulted the sponsoring member.
The background analysis as well as all relevant vetting information submitted by sponsoring Member would be forwarded to all Council members. Members would have no more than twenty-one days within which to comment on any proposed co-naming.
Final Determination Regarding Proposed Subjects for Co-Namings
After the Member comment period, those subjects who have not been flagged for further consideration would be included in an omnibus bill. There would be no fewer than two and no more than four such bills introduced and voted on by the Council each year.
Proposed co-naming’s that are flagged for further consideration would be submitted to the Speaker’s Leadership team for final review. In addition, if during the comment period any member raises opposition to a proposed co-naming, that proposed co-naming along with the opposing member’s opposition comments would be brought before the Leadership Team for final review. The sponsoring Member may present his/her position to the Leadership team prior to the final review. If the Leadership team determines that such proposed co-naming did not meet the standard for co-naming, then it would not be included in the omnibus bill but would, if the sponsoring Member insisted, be introduced individually in a separate bill.