Kansas City looks to honor Dr. Martin Luther King - KCTV5 News

Kansas City looks to honor Dr. Martin Luther King

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Fifty years after his death, Kansas City is considering new ways to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.

That could include renaming "The Paseo" or some other street after Dr. King.  Now, a commission is taking up that issue.

Currently, the only visual tributes in the city are the park at Swope Parkway and Linwood that was renamed in 1979 and a mural at Linwood and Troost.

The advisory board said their task isn’t whether to honor Dr. King, but the most “appropriate” way to do so.

A petition initiative is underway for a public vote on whether to turn The Paseo into MLK Boulevard, a transformation not just of naming, but also the beautification maintenance that boulevards get.

The petition drive came after the parks board denied an informal request, citing longstanding policy to name boulevards after local residents.

Since then, there’s been debate about which street.

The advisory group, created by the mayor, includes the president of the parks board and the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, as well as a number of faith leaders.

The handful of people who came to listen had different opinions about which street was best, considering both the Boulevard status and the symbolism.

“To me, if you go down 63rd Street, you’re going down all different type of boundaries of different races and different cultures,” said resident Teresa Perry.

“If they named Paseo, then we know that the parks would keep it updated and upgraded and all of that, keep it clean,” said Evaline Taylor, another resident.

Many who attended on Friday were frustrated by an agenda that had “discussion of potential honor designations” on the list, which is something the board did not discuss. The only things they discussed were process items, including when and how to get public comment.

They’ve scheduled four public comment sessions in the next three weeks and have two places online for public input.

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