The Seattle City Council and Mayor Ed Murray will honor Seattle civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Samuel McKinney by naming a Central Area street in his name.
McKinney, 87, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church from 1958 until his retirement in 1998, was a leading voice of the city’s black community as it fought discrimination, unfair housing and employment laws. In 1961, McKinney convinced his college classmate and friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to make his only Seattle visit.
In 1967, McKinney was one of the original members of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, which successfully advocated for passage of Seattle’s first fair-housing act.
City Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tom Rasmussen held two public meetings in 2013 in which community members expressed support for the street name designation.
The honorary name, “Rev. Dr. S. McKinney Ave.,” will be placed on 19th Avenue, from East Union to East Madison Street, which runs in front of Mount Zion church. The legal name of 19th Avenue would not change nor would the official addresses on the street.