Initiative Begins to Rename Rio Grande to Mel Waiters Way

June 8, 2017

SAN ANTONIO (June 8, 2017) – On Thursday, June 1, 2017, Councilman Warrick held a press conference at City Hall to sign a City Council Consideration Request or (CCR) to rename Rio Grande Street to Mel Waiters Way as the result of a petition filed by over 1,000.  Councilman Warrick was accompanied by daughter, Brittney Waiters, and wife, Portia Waiters, of the late Mel Waiters along with numerous family members, fans and residents of the Eastside.  


The CCR officially begins the public input process to rename the street.  Joining Councilman Warrick on the CCR were Mayor Ivy Taylor and Councilmembers Saldana, Gonzalez and Lopez.  “I am so proud and honored to be able to bring this initiative forward,” said Councilman Warrick at the press Conference, “this is not just changing the name of a street, it is intended to respect our past and give hope to our youth.”


The CCR reads in part: Being the site of many of the earliest African-American neighborhoods in San Antonio, the Eastside exhibits the human creative and cultural brilliance in both tradition and history. Perhaps most notably is the love and appreciation for the musical arts.  Generations of Eastside natives are bound together by the sounds of Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Soul and Hip-Hop.  With the changing demographics of the Eastside, it is imperative that we recognize and memorialize native artists, such as Mel Waiters, and his musical contributions known around the world. He is perhaps best known for his chart topping songs ‘I Got My Whiskey and ‘Hole in the Wall’.


"I really feel like from my father's generation, it will definitely say to the East Side of San Antonio ‘Well done.’ But from my generation, for San Antonio, it just says this is possible to go off and chase your dreams… this will really give a sense of pride to the East Side,” said Brittney Waiters, Mel Waiters’ daughter.


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