Councilman Kevin De Leon Introduces Motion to Rename Pershing Square – Daily News

Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin De Leon is joined by Cheryl and Robin Cox, direct descendants of Bridget Mason, at a wreath-laying ceremony honoring the civic leader at Biddy Mason Memorial Park on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Axel Koester, assistant photographer)

Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin De Leon is expected Friday to formally begin the process of renaming downtown Pershing Square Biddy Mason Park, in honor of the former slave who became a prominent LA citizen and landowner in the 1850s.

According to De Leon’s office, the renaming will be a symbolic and long overdue recognition of the life of Bridget “Bidi” Mason. Born into slavery in Georgia in 1818, she came to Los Angeles, became a nurse, and founded the first African Methodist Episcopal Church.

On Wednesday β€” June β€” a councilman announced his intention to rename Pershing Square. His motion, if approved Friday, would then have to be reviewed by a City Council committee before a final vote by the City Council.

“Bidi Mason’s story reminds us that history is not just a collection of dates and events, but a tapestry of lives lived, struggles endured and triumphs achieved,” De Leon said in a statement.

β€œIt’s more than a renaming. This is the recovery of a long overdue legacy. I want to make sure that his legacy is never forgotten, but etched into our city forever.”

In addition, a council member is expected to introduce a separate motion to erect a commemorative sign on Spring Street between First and Fifth streets also honoring Mason.

According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, Mason purchased a nearly 1-acre site in 1866 between present-day Broadway and Spring Streets and Third and Fourth Streets, the site of a mini-park in her honor named Biddy Mason Memorial Park.

Sisters Cheryl and Robin Cox, Mason’s fourth grandchild, supported De Leon’s plans.

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