Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:41 am

The Paseo's name connects to a Mexican civil war that overthrew a group that dated back to colonial Spain.
So we basically renamed a street that is about the public gaining more freedom to one that is about the public gaining more freedom.

Meanwhile the historic black-white dividing line, Troost, is named after an actual slaveholder. It's long past the time we should have renamed this street. The symbolism of renaming our racial dividing line after someone whose whole goal was to bring people together is too good.

On the opposite side, maybe we could rename Troost after a local civil rights leader. Would be an equally good idea.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by nickyrosstheboss » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:39 am

flyingember wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:41 am
The Paseo's name connects to a Mexican civil war that overthrew a group that dated back to colonial Spain.
So we basically renamed a street that is about the public gaining more freedom to one that is about the public gaining more freedom.

Meanwhile the historic black-white dividing line, Troost, is named after an actual slaveholder. It's long past the time we should have renamed this street. The symbolism of renaming our racial dividing line after someone whose whole goal was to bring people together is too good.

On the opposite side, maybe we could rename Troost after a local civil rights leader. Would be an equally good idea.
I second this. I have been saying this for years. Lets rename the one street that has nothing but a bad reputation and history.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by alejandro46 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:24 pm

I thought re-naming J.C. Nichols for MLK was a good idea that was unfairly dismissed.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by chaglang » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:51 pm

Barney Allis Plaza, anyone?

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:26 pm

alejandro46 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:24 pm
I thought re-naming J.C. Nichols for MLK was a good idea that was unfairly dismissed.
Also could rename the fountain in Mill Creek Park.
It's the #1 location for peaceful protests already. Going to a protest at the Martin Luther King Jr Fountain is very appropriate.

Renaming Cleaver would be hard, but maybe could rename the fountain and have some kind of formal civil rights walking path with banners and statues and such from the fountain eastward to the Bruce R Watkins cultural center and westward towards the state line.



chaglang wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:51 pm
Barney Allis Plaza, anyone?
Do we know why the plaza is named for him?

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by TheLastGentleman » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:36 pm

flyingember wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:26 pm
Do we know why the plaza is named for him?
He was the owner of the nearby Muehlebach hotel, and by all accounts was a well loved figure, so I assume that’s why. The hotel also had an underground connection to the plaza’s parking garage.

I don’t think it should be renamed.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by alejandro46 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:44 pm

Agreed, no need to take the name off of EC II or Barney Allis. I agreed with renaming a number street or JC Nichols (a historical champion of "red-lining" in Kansas City that created the Troost divide).

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by mean » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:29 pm

My suggestion of Truman was mostly tongue-in-cheek based on Truman's history of saying thing like, "Any man's as good as another as long he's not a n***** or a Chinaman," and then desegregating the military.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by slimwhitman » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:30 pm

AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:38 am
Naming a street after this civil rights hero was a pathetic move anyway. He deserves a great park or monument (the current park is very weak). If the on again, off again Washington Square Park ever happens, I propose naming it after MLK. That would cause more city leaders to push it forward and would hopefully be a park worthy of the name MLK.

I agree with some others that renaming The Paseo was the worst choice possible. City leadership.....
By the way....what is the status of Washington Square Park?

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:56 pm

slimwhitman wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:30 pm
AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:38 am
Naming a street after this civil rights hero was a pathetic move anyway. He deserves a great park or monument (the current park is very weak). If the on again, off again Washington Square Park ever happens, I propose naming it after MLK. That would cause more city leaders to push it forward and would hopefully be a park worthy of the name MLK.

I agree with some others that renaming The Paseo was the worst choice possible. City leadership.....
By the way....what is the status of Washington Square Park?
The snow melted in the sun. Trees are losing their leaves. There's a Korean War memorial in it.

There's been no public news anytime recently that says there's any chance of it being anything except what it is today

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by FangKC » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:09 pm

^ Also named after a slaveholder.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by DaveKCMO » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:06 pm

chaglang wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:40 am
Freedom send out their mailer yesterday, urging people to vote no. Their top reason was that the name change "Brings advanced funding to help rebuild our urban communities", which I believe is a complete lie.
Uh, yeah. I don't even know what that means.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by mean » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:00 am

You know what would have brought funding to help rebuild those urban communities? VOTING YES ON THE STREETCAR EXTENSIONS THEY OPPOSED :(

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by herrfrank » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:59 am

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:36 pm
He [Allis] was the owner of the nearby Muehlebach hotel, and by all accounts was a well loved figure, so I assume that’s why. The hotel also had an underground connection to the plaza’s parking garage.
The underground connection is still there, fully functional and intact even after the M. hotel tower building was imploded in the 1990s. There are old photographs from circa 1910 lining the tunnel walls.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:21 am

FWIW, the Star's editorial board says vote no on Question 5: https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/edit ... 20148.html
In 2018, city activists and several East Side ministers said they wanted to rectify the mistake by renaming The Paseo for King. The boulevard, they said, was less tarnished than many other East Side thoroughfares, making it the best place to invoke King’s memory.

The group said it planned to gather petition signatures to force a vote on the idea.

Unfortunately, and to their discredit, the ministers and activists gave little consideration to people actually living on the street, many of whom objected to the name change. That inattention soon proved problematic.
Taking King’s name off the street, on the other hand, would be self-inflicted wound for this city, telegraphing to the rest of the nation that Kansas City doesn’t value King’s memory or his message. Renaming The Paseo doesn’t fix all that ails the city, of course — race relations remain strained in our community, no matter what names are on the signs — but continuing the controversy will only deepen wounds that need to heal.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by mean » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:40 am

I am somewhat sympathetic to that position, but if rejecting a poorly-thought-out change that wasn't run by the people impacted by it means we're all racists, bring on the nuclear holocaust because Trump is going to be leader for life and I don't want to live in this reality anymore.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by FangKC » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:21 pm

We can honor and value Dr. King without changing the Paseo's name. Mayor James sought to remedy the situation by following a traditional public input process. This controversy exists because proper procedures weren't followed. If allowed to stand, this means that the City Council can ignore the City Charter on a variety of issues. The City Council created this mess because they sought to bypass process for political convenience -- done without James' and Canady's votes btw. Does this make them racists?

People need to stop fretting about perceptions from outside. Controversy will pass once Dr. King is honored. But you don't have to piss off large numbers of residents to do it. You find a compromise. People are forgetting that many of the residents that oppose the name change are people of color who live along the Paseo and neighborhoods along it. This does not appear to be a situation of white people gathering signatures of Paseo residents. People of color were involved in the initiative process and gathered names in those neighborhoods.

It only would reflect poorly on Kansas City if the Paseo name is restored, and then no other honor is bestowed in a different manner. There has to be follow-up and it has to be something the black community can buy into.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:34 pm

FangKC wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:21 pm
But you don't have to piss off large numbers of residents to do it. You find a compromise.
No one can quantify how many are pissed off. Tuesday's election will be the only acceptable measure, since no one is polling Question 5. It's entirely possible that those who choose Paseo over MLK are biased in favor of their preferred result and seeing overwhelming support. It happens all the time in politics. As far as I can tell, it's mostly Northeast residents and those involved in preservation -- but, again, that would be through MY lens of opposing yet another name change and I would never claim that it's the one true reflection of reality.

Mayor Lucas voted to change the name to MLK, so you could say his win made this issue irrelevant to the average KCMO voter.

There was no consensus when the first threat of petition initiative was put forth -- and the city tried to find one with its task force.
After the city's parks department declined the request, a mayor-appointed task force studied the issue and recommended renaming Paseo as its third choice (the top choices were the city's new airport and 63rd Street, because it runs east-west). Several black leaders in the community supported the Paseo idea, including Urban Summit president Ken Bacchus and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, former pastor of St. James United Methodist Church on Paseo.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by FangKC » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:35 pm

Canady said that actual residents living along the Paseo were angry. So there's that.

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Re: Black leaders seek to rename Paseo to MLK Blvd

Post by chaglang » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:40 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:21 am
FWIW, the Star's editorial board says vote no on Question 5: https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/edit ... 20148.html
In 2018, city activists and several East Side ministers said they wanted to rectify the mistake by renaming The Paseo for King. The boulevard, they said, was less tarnished than many other East Side thoroughfares, making it the best place to invoke King’s memory.

The group said it planned to gather petition signatures to force a vote on the idea.

Unfortunately, and to their discredit, the ministers and activists gave little consideration to people actually living on the street, many of whom objected to the name change. That inattention soon proved problematic.
Taking King’s name off the street, on the other hand, would be self-inflicted wound for this city, telegraphing to the rest of the nation that Kansas City doesn’t value King’s memory or his message. Renaming The Paseo doesn’t fix all that ails the city, of course — race relations remain strained in our community, no matter what names are on the signs — but continuing the controversy will only deepen wounds that need to heal.
Basing an editorial opinion on the potential for bad PR in a state in which the NAACP issued an actual travel advisory seems like a case of grossly misplaced priorities.

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