Seattle renames block to honor D'Vonne Pickett Jr.
The city of Seattle renamed a block on Union Street for community activist and business leader D'Vonne Pickett Jr., Wednesday. Pickett was fatally shot last October in the Central District.
D’Vonne Pickett Jr. Way runs from 21st to 22nd Street in the Central District. The block had a lot of history for Pickett, who, along with his wife Keanna Pickett, ran a shipping and mailing business called "The Postman" less than a half mile away.
It’s on the corner of 21st and Union where Pickett met Bernando Mendoza, who runs a food trailer with his family called "Fonda El Costeño." He's been in the Central District for several years. Mendoza says Pickett would grab a bite to eat at his family's food stand from time-to-time.
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“Yo platique con él, buena persona,” Mendoza said, “siempre nos ayudaba, incluso nos hizo varios signs para la traila.”
Mendoza says Pickett was a good person, always helping, even making some of their signage.
A few yards away from Fonda El Costeño, a crowd of family and friends were present as the street sign honoring Pickett Jr. was unveiled.
Nicky Chappell is Pickett’s mom. She, along with others, led a major push for the street renaming after her son was fatally shot near his Central District business. She says her son worked to build relationships with people in the area like Mendoza.
“That's why you see a lot of people, different faces, that are here that have been showing up for my son, because he's touched a lot of people,” Chappell said.
She chose this corner on this day because this is where she and D'Vonne's father met, but also, “I chose this day, the 22nd because it's his dad's birthday — D’Vonne Sr. — who we also lost to gun violence,” she said.
Also present was Mayor Bruce Harrell and other city officials. The family would like to rename all of Union Street, but that would require working through city by-laws, which can be a long, arduous process.
For now, Pickett Jr.'s name is visible to the people he knew, and who knew him as an inspiration and a leader in the heart of the Central District.
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Editor's note: This story has been amended to more accurately reflect the circumstances surrounding Pickett Jr's death in October.