Broward may rename road after Congressman Alcee Hastings. Here’s why that’s drawing criticism.

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Lisa J. Huriash, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·2 min read
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Broward County may rename a road after an ill congressman, Alcee Hastings. But the new proposal is being slammed as a big sign of disrespect because the county only renames roads after the dead.

County Commissioner Dale Holness has proposed renaming a portion of Northwest Sixth Court, from Northwest 27th Avenue to Northwest 31st Avenue, between Fort Lauderdale and Lauderhill as “Alcee Hastings Street.” It’s meant to honor Hastings, an 83-year-old leader who has served in Congress since 1992. Hastings in 2019 announced he’s battling pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer.

Even though county rules prohibit renaming streets after people who are still alive, Holness said he wants to waive the rules to make an exception for Hastings, calling it the right thing to do. “We ought to honor people for the service to the community while they are still alive, so they can see the appreciation,” he said.

Hastings has made no plans to step down from his congressional seat, but several candidates have announced plans to run for the seat in 2022. Thurston said he has an interest in the seat but made no formal announcement because it would be “disrespectful to Congressman Hastings while he has an illness.”

Thurston panned Holness’ proposal as an ill-conceived, poorly timed move oriented around politics. “Quite frankly, there will be time to do that. Alcee Hastings is still serving in that capacity,” he said.

And if a road were to one day be renamed after Hastings, a more prominent corridor should be chosen to bear Hastings’ name, Thurston said. “It should be more than a quarter of a mile of a street that is untraveled,” he said.

Holness dismissed the criticism about the road-renaming proposal. “It’s not about politics, and I knew they would say that,” Holness said. “Nonetheless, I’m doing it.” Holness wouldn’t commit Monday to saying whether he’d vie for the congressional seat. “Until the congressman decides what he’s going to do, I’m not running,” Holness said.

A spokesman for Hastings didn’t comment Monday.