Charles Dight, a former council member, was the chief proponent of the eugenics movement in Minnesota, which resulted in the forced sterilization of hundreds of residents. He also urged Minnesotans to adopt eugenics programs modeled on those in Nazi Germany and praised Hitler for his efforts to “stamp out mental inferiority among the German people.”
Having a street named after someone is a significant way to honor their legacy, and given what we know about Charles Dight, we should not continue to honor him in this way.
Residents living on Dight Ave were recently invited to choose an individual to honor that better reflects our community, which is one that welcomes and values all residents. The name which received the most votes is Cheatham Ave, in honor of Captain John Cheatham, one of the first black firefighters in Minneapolis who was stationed at the first all-black fire station (located at 45th Street & Hiawatha Ave). The formal legislative action will take place this fall and new street signs should be up this winter.