Sen. Earl Blumenauer this week passed a resolution naming the U.S. Post Office at 630 Northeast Killingsworth Street after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Blumenauer told The Skanner that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Post Office name was made official after employees of the post office, and neighborhood residents, had organized to spearhead the effort.
He was pleased to help make it official, he said, because the effort was so overwhelmingly supported by Portlanders – with absolutely no opposition.
"It's interesting because I've been sitting here, reflecting on how 20 years ago I worked with the community to re-name Union Avenue as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard," Blumenauer said. "That had broad-based community support, but there were some dark undercurrents that indicated Portland was still grappling with its troubled, racist past."
This time, he said, "Everywhere we circulated the petition, it had an overwhelmingly positive response, and not a hint of what we faced in the past."
Blumenauer said letter carriers Jamie Partridge and Isham Harris led the project, collecting page after page of employee signatures, as well as supportive letters from the Sabin Community Association and the Piedmont and Concordia Neighborhood Associations.
In his address on the U.S. Senate floor Tuesday morning, Blumenauer commended Isham and Partridge.
"In a small way I want to think this is maybe a signal that the community is coming together," he told The Skanner. "The post office is how most of America has contact with its government and each other – and that's a particularly great postal station."