Sly James establishes group to recommend way for KC to honor Dr. - KCTV5 News

Sly James establishes group to recommend way for KC to honor Dr. King

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File photo. (KCTV) File photo. (KCTV)

How should Kansas City, Missouri honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King? 

It's one of the largest cities in the country without a street named after Dr. King, but a move has been made that could be the first step in changing that.

Today, Mayor Sly James announced an 11-member advisory committee to make a recommendation to the city for how best to honor Dr. King’s legacy, but they aren’t the only ones making an effort to see a change take place in the city.

To ask some people in Kansas City if something should be put in place to honor Dr. King, the question is a no-brainerr.

“We're behind the ball and Martin Luther King represented everybody, not just black folks,” said Otis Reileford, a resident. “He was there for poor folks, just trying to bring everybody together.”

Still the back and forth has persisted after several attempts to rename streets in his honor.

The current question is whether or not to rename the Paseo.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference said it makes the most sense.

“It is a two-year effort,” said Dr. Vernon Howard, Jr. with the SCLC. “We have not come to a point where our constituencies, if the powers that be won't make it happen, bring it to us for a vote. We will make it happen.”

Howard is talking about a petition to get the street renamed.

The initiative would be put on the August ballot.

This goal is parallel to what the Mayor is doing.

“People signing a petition is not a public conversation,” the mayor said. “I want a public conversation about this.”

He wants to have his group, which includes a member of the SCLC, determine if there are any other ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

“I'm sure there are people who are a part of this petition who want to sign that who also have some ideas as to what else we could be doing to honor and memorialize the legacy of Dr. King and his work,” said Jean-Paul Chaurand, with the Parks and Recreation.

“I personally think a street would be great,” said Donna Simon, a pastor at St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church and the co-chair of the group. “I think something that cuts its way all through our city and lifts up the name of Dr. King across our city would be wonderful. So, I imagine, I'm certain that's where we'll start. The question is, what else are people bringing to us?”

Depending on what happens with the advisory group and the petition, we could potentially have two different things honoring Dr. King.

Meeting times have not been announced yet for that advisory group to meet with the public.

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