Phoenix City Council delays discussion on Black Lives Matter mural
PHOENIX – Members of the Phoenix City Council tabled a discussion Wednesday on the potential installation of a Black Lives Matter street mural in downtown Phoenix as part of a pilot program.
A subcommittee agenda had listed the mural as item No. 19, but Councilwoman Laura Pastor said there were questions to the legality of painting murals on city streets. The matter was scheduled to be brought up in executive session Tuesday.
Currently, city policy does not allow for street murals.
The proposed mural could be on Third Street in front of downtown’s Talking Stick Resort Arena.
“If Phoenix City Council really cared about black lives, they would be passing a Black Lives Matter policy board that would actually place value on the value of the lives of the people in our community, not simply create a mural,” Miriam A., policy minister for Black Lives Matter metro Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.
The proposed mural would feature “Black Lives Matter” as well as painting of civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., César Estrada Chávez and former United States Representative John Robert Lewis.
There has been a growing effort to install street murals in cities like New York City, Oakland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Chicago, and more locally Tucson.
Miriam said Black Lives Matter metro Phoenix is expecting the city council to recognize that while cities are doing these murals, those places also are taking away funds from the police department, something Phoenix has not done.
“We’re just a little perplexed and surprised about the fact that this is something that they want to consider doing,” Miriam said.
There is a petition online to Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego urging her to allow the mural on the city street.
As of Tuesday evening, the petition had more than 2,600 signatures.
If approved, the mural would likely go on a lower traffic volume street and the organizers of the mural would be responsible for the installation, maintenance and removal of the piece.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.