The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to rename the city’s new Main Library in honor of Billie Jean King on Tuesday evening. The 8-0 vote represents the third and final unanimous vote by the city to honor King, a legend both as an athlete and as an advocate for women’s and LGBTQ rights.
“Proud that our new Downtown Library will be named after Long Beach legend Billie Jean King ,” tweeted Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia after the meeting. “She is a sports legend, a pioneer in the women’s rights movement, an LGBTQ champion, and a leading figure in the fight for pay equity. An honor worthy of our most decorated hometown hero.”
The procedure played out more or less the way it did the last two times the item was voted on in the council chambers. There were about 20 speakers on hand, the majority of whom were in favor of honoring King. That group included representatives from the Long Beach Century Club, the city’s tennis community, LGBTQ advocates, and others. There were opponents from the Friends of the Library who preferred to see the library remain simply the Main Library.
The Billie Jean King Main Library will officially be dedicated on the day that it opens its doors, Sept. 21, with King expected to attend and help celebrate the new state-of-the-art facility.
Click here to read our column proposing the library be named for King, click here to read our article about the city proposal to do so, click here to read our article about the unanimous vote to send it to the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee, and click here to read about the unanimous committee vote to send it back to the council for final approval tonight.