In an effort that has taken over a year just to get this far, the petition to rename a block of New York City’s Morningside Heights for the late George Carlin has met with the community board’s approval and will receive a full City Council vote sometime in 2013.
Community Board 9 voted 25-4 in favor (with four abstentions) of a measure to name the 400 block of West 121st Street “George Carlin Way” in honor of the legendary stand-up comedian and actor, who grew up on that street and joked about his neighborhood on early albums.
Kevin Bartini, a New York comedian who warms up audiences for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, has led the effort since early 2011 to rename that block. The Comic’s Comic reported on his campaign a year ago. Bartini has gathered more than 8,500 signatures on his petition online for George Carlin Way. Last October, Bartini’s primary and perhaps sole opposition came from the Rev. Raymond M. Rafferty, the Cath0lic pastor at Corpus Christi Church on 529 W. 121st St. Rafferty questioned both Carlin’s criticism of the church (which schooled him in his youth) as well as the influence of Carlin’s language and subject matter on neighborhood children who’d learn about him by seeing the street sign. As a compromise, the CB9 board voted to move the “George Carlin Way” one block over to the 400 block.
Bartini told The Comic’s Comic last night that he did not expect a NYC City Council vote “until the spring,” adding: “I believe that they do the Omnibus bill for the street signs twice a year and we just missed the most recent one.”
Incidentally, Bartini missed out on meeting President Barack Obama — who was Stewart’s guest yesterday on The Daily Show — to attend the Community Board meeting. This was more important to him.
“It feels great to be out of the Community Board. It has been about a year and a half. Lots of back and forth, lots of delays,” he said. “But now we have no known opposition and we have the board’s blessing…We have cleared two of the three steps but we are ninety percent there.”