Metro council members push for street to be named in honor of Rep. John Lewis

John Lewis died at the age of 80 after a six-month battle with cancer.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Members of the Metro City Council along with community leaders are looking to rename a street in honor of Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

Members of the Minority Caucus are supporting an ordinance to rename a part of Fifth Avenue to Rep. John Lewis Way.

Lewis started his “lifelong crusade for civil rights and civic justice” in Nashville when he attended American Baptist Theological Seminary and later at Fisk University.

His career continued as he helped lead “the historic lunch counter sit-ins that led to Nashville becoming the first Southern city to start the desegregation of public places,” Minority Caucus of the Metropolitan Council said.

Lewis was one of the 13 original “Freedom Riders” and represented Nashville in 1961.

Rep. John Lewis Way would start from the intersection of Fifth Avenue North and Coffee Street in Salemtown, into downtown, and end at Nashville City Cemetery.

Besides lawmakers and community leaders, several businesses support the change including Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Giarratana, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville Predators, and Convention & Visitors Corporation. 

To sign the petition for the name change, click here. 

The name change will be discussed in a series of virtual meetings at the following dates and times

  • Thursday, September 10th, at 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 17th, at 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 24th, at 6 p.m.

Lewis became the first as an Atlanta City Council member and represented Georgia’s Fifth District in the United States Congress for 17 terms. Lewis died at the age of 80 after a six-month battle with cancer.

For more information about the series of virtual meetings, click here. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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