MLK advisory board discusses renaming options, including The Paseo

Bill Grady
April 25, 2018 - 4:50 am
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About 40 people attended the first public hearing of Kansas City's Martin Luther King advisory group. 

The panel was assembled after some people suggested it would be a good idea to rename The Paseo after the civil rights leader. The 19-mile iconic roadway in Kansas City was laid out in the early 1900s and was modeled and named after the famous Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. 

Suggestions at the meeting Tuesday evening ranged from naming boulevards, fountains, even KCI Airport in honor of MLK. 

The city should honor King by looking to the future, said Jaylon Verson, one of the younger people at the meeting.  

"Educating youth or supporting youth that are involved in ensuring justice in Kansas City," Verser said. "This can be done through the implementation of a scholarship for high school students."

Brian Wilson, who spoke at the meeting, strongly opposes naming Troost or Prospect after Dr. King. Renaming The Paseo makes more sense to him because the roadway is picturesque and runs through more diverse neighborhoods.

"Every major city in the United States that has a Martin Luther King Boulevard is all in the 'hood, in the ghetto," Wilson said. "Why do you have to continue to have his name associated with crime?"

Three more public hearings are scheduled. More information is on the city's web site.

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