KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, is one step closer to renaming Troost Avenue after the City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday directing City Manager Brian Platt to gather stakeholder input.
A petition to rename the street, whose namesake was a slave owner, to Truth Avenue has gathered 1,665 signatures as of May 18.
Platt’s office has been directed “to create a landing page for the purpose of obtaining input from residents, business owners and property owners concerning the renaming of Troost Avenue” and must report back to the council within 45 days.
Historically, Troost Avenue has served as racial dividing line. It was central to redlining practices, which led to disinvestment in predominantly minority neighborhoods through racist banking practices.
Dr. Benoist Troost owned six slaves, according to Resolution No. 230441.
Chris Goode, the owner of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, started the petition to rename Troost Avenue to Truth Avenue last summer.
The Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee advanced the resolution to the full council Wednesday.
Councilwoman Melissa Robinson sponsored the resolution, which passed 11-0.
The council directed the Board of Parks and Recreation “to research, examine and develop a comprehensive strategy for the removal of memorials and symbolic monuments, including street, boulevard, and parkway names on City-owned property, of individuals who enslaved persons, promoted racism, or participated in the oppression or dehumanization of others” in September 2020.
The effort gained steam after a summer of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
“The removal of symbols to a racist past is a significant step in a healing process that seeks a more just future,” the resolution said.
The removal of JC Nichols’ name from a fountain and road near the Country Club Plaza in June 2020 spurred a deeper examination of the names attached to memorial and monuments across Kansas City.
The city also renamed a stretch of Blue Parkway to Dr. Martin Lurther King Jr. Boulevard in honor of the revered civil rights leader. The effort came after backlash over a similar plan to rename Paseo Boulevard in King’s honor.