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Advisory Group Narrows List Of What Kansas City Might Rename To Honor MLK

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

A committee has narrowed the list of what might be renamed in Kansas City to honor Martin Luther King Jr. 

The advisory committee, named by Mayor Sly James, said it will vote on its recommendation Sunday.

After meeting Wednesday, the committee settled on several streets:

  • The Paseo, the original community proposal that set this process in motion.
  • 63rd Street.
  • 12th Street.
  • Linwood Boulevard.

The committee liked the Paseo option because it had early support from neighbors, pastors and community activists. Some committee members also favored The Paseo because it is completely within Kansas City.
Many committee members leaned toward 63rd Street. Committee member Eric Wesson said 63rd Street presents economic development potential and is the only street that heads west past Main Street.

While Linwood Boulevard doesn't cross Main Street, it does cross Troost Avenue, the historic racial dividing line in the city, other committee members said.

While the committee added 12th Street to the list, it did not appear to have much support.

But committee members did seem to give more support to a proposal to rename the airport for King.

Pastor Donna Simon, commitee co-chair, said it would be a bold move. “This is a place that loved Dr. King, loves Dr. King so much that we want you to see his name when you arrive in our city."

Bob Kendrick, president of Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, also liked the airport and said the city should "do something that is bold." He also said Kansas City hasn't received it's just due in the civil rights movement.

The committee will vote Sunday, and the city plans to have an announcement Monday afternoon.

Sam Zeffis KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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