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Effort to rename Kansas City’s Troost Avenue goes before council committee

Ruby Jean's Juicery
Posted at 1:57 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 14:57:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, City Council Committee is set to consider next steps in an effort to rename Troost Avenue.

Last summer, Chris Goode, owner of Ruby Jean’s Juicery at E. 30th Street and Troost Avenue told KSHB 41 News reporter Leslie DelasBour of a petition, Truth over Troost, that seeks to rename the street.

The street’s name comes from Dr. Benoist Troost, a physician, developer and slave owner.

In September 2020, the council passed a resolution calling on commissioners with the Board of Parks and Recreation to identify a strategy to remove memorials and symbolic monuments of “individuals who enslaved persons, promoted racism, or participated in the oppression or demonization of others.”

In the several months since launching the petition last summer, Goode, who runs Ruby Jean’s Juicery,” has collected more than 1,660 signatures.

Wednesday’s Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee hearing is to consider tasking city staff to create a web page that would be used to get input from residents, business owners and property owners about renaming Troost Avenue. There would be a 45-day period to gather input, after which the city would provide a report.

The ordinance also outlines that provide funds would be available to help in the renaming of Troost Avenue and the mailing of notices to those who live or own property on Troost if they want to participate in providing feedback on the street renaming.

“Troost is negative; Troost was a slaver owner; Troost is the red line,” Good said in the 2022 interview. “If I’m going to put my blood, my sweat, my tears, my passion into this land and into this business, I don’t believe that I should have to do it under the brand of a racist, of a former slave owner.”

Councilwoman Melissa Robinson sponsored the resolution, which also identifies Troost has “historically served as a dividing line and symbol of the City’s History of racial segregation and slavery.”

“This isn’t the red line of Kansas City anymore - it’s not,” Goode said last year. “Let’s unify it with a branding. Let’s re-brand this corridor from Troost with a small lower case to truth, to celebrate truth and move this city forward in truth.”