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Kansas City receives hundreds of ideas to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted at 12:28 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 13:28:19-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, officials said they have received hundreds of ideas from the public about how best to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the city.

Roosevelt Lyons, deputy director of operations for Kansas City Parks and Recreation, told 41 Action News that around 600 ideas were submitted after the city issued a call for residents to give their opinions.

The request for public input came after Kansas City voters overwhelmingly reversed the City Council’s decision to change Paseo Boulevard to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Many said they were frustrated by the city’s process and decision to rename The Paseo, which has historical significance in Kansas City.

“One of the things we’ve heard throughout this process is that people get upset when they don’t feel like they’ve been heard,” Lyons said. “... A lot of people are in agreement about honoring Dr. King. They just want to make sure that their voices are heard, and we feel like that's our job to facilitate that.”

Lyons said the hundreds of submissions include suggestions to rename other streets or facilities, but also a “pretty wide variety” of other ideas.

As city officials continue to evaluate and analyze the submissions, a series of public meetings will be held to give residents another chance to voice their opinions.

The first will be held at 10:30 a.m. on March 28 at the Brush Creek Community Center. Lyons said child care will be provided.

“We're trying to take away any kind of barriers for people to participate,” he said. "We know that child care tends to be a real big barrier for a lot of people."

Lyons said the city plans to hold four or five public meetings at different times and locations throughout the city.

Meanwhile, crews are working to change street signs back to The Paseo.

Maggie Green, a spokeswoman for the city’s Public Works Department, said crews are conducting the work on Saturdays, and it could take another five weeks for all of the signs to be completed.