The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to change the name of a street in Encanto to honor a San Diego woman who died in the terrorist attack on the destroyer USS Cole 15 years ago.
Lise Avenue will become known as Lakiba Palmer Avenue in honor of the late sailor. She grew up in a house at 5001 Lise Ave., which is located east of the 805 freeway, south of State Route 94 and north of Market Street.
The San Diego High School graduate was one of 17 sailors killed in the Oct. 12, 2000, attack in Yemen. She was 22 years old.
The Cole was refueling when two men steered a small boat laden with explosives close to the bow and blew themselves up. The crew saved the ship from sinking and it eventually returned to service.
“Lakiba Palmer is undoubtedly a hero,” Councilwoman Myrtle Cole said.
She said Lakiba was “a sister, a daughter and a mother. A native San Diegan from my district, she proudly represented this nation and America’s finest city.”
Lakiba was one of the first female sailors to die in action aboard a U.S. warship, according to the councilwoman.
Three residents of Lise Avenue — a two-block-long, 1,200-foot-long roadway with 34 single-family homes — spoke against the name change. They said it would create hardship because affected residents would have to send address changes to banks, utilities, insurance companies and other entities, and proposed naming nearby Gompers Park after the sailor.
However, Lakiba’s mother and brother, who still lives in the house, said they preferred that she be honored by having the street named after her.
In other City Council action Tuesday, the panel decided to add the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the city’s Nondiscrimination in Contracting Ordinance.
The law already keeps the city from doing business with companies that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability. The amendment adds gender identity — defined by city staff as a person’s sense of self, whether masculine or feminine — and a person’s appearance or behavior no matter their sex at birth.
The change, approved unanimously as part of the council’s consent calendar, brings the city into compliance with state law.
—City News Service
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