UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments from Harold Pachios.
The City of Portland’s Committee on Sustainability and Transportation will hear an informational presentation Thursday evening regarding a proposal to rename Marginal Way in honor of former Democratic U.S. Senator from Maine George Mitchell.
Thursday’s presentation will be given by Portland-based attorney Harold Pachios, who served as White House Press Secretary under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was former chairman of the Maine Democratic Party as well as the Democratic nominee in Maine’s First Congressional District in 1980.
Pachios told the Maine Wire that he will be giving the presentation on behalf of a prominent Portland lawyer who initially proposed the idea of changing the street name to him months ago, but who is unable to attend Thursday’s Committee meeting.
Pachios, who is a good personal friend of the former U.S. Senator, will be speaking to Mitchell’s long legacy of public service, with an emphasis on the Mitchell Institute’s scholarship fund that awards financial support to high schoolers across Maine who are planning to attend college.
Marginal Way is home to Portland’s largest homeless encampment — as of Wednesday, approximately 100 tents are pitched on the Marginal Way Park and Ride, most of which sit on State of Maine property next to Interstate 295.
Marginal Way business owners directly across from the encampment, which has continued to grow at a rapid pace in recent months, have pleaded with city and state officials for months to address their safety and health concerns.
The encampment is set to be cleared out by the city’s Encampment Crisis Response Team on Nov. 1.
Pachios’ presentation will be heard by Committee Chair and City Councilor Andrew Zarro, and City Councilors Roberto Rodriguez and Victoria Pelletier..
The Committee meeting is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. in room 24 at Portland City Hall.
No public comment will be taken on the presentation.