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Petition certified to reverse MLK, Paseo Boulevard name change

Posted at 7:45 PM, May 09, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A petition to rename Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard back to The Paseo Boulevard has been certified and will go before the Kansas City City Council.

A Certificate of Sufficiency was sent to Mayor Sly James and the City Council from the City Clerk’s office after the petition to reverse at 4-month-old street name change received the required 2,450 signatures.

Council member Alissia Canady said the City Attorney’s office will prepare an ordinance for a council committee, which could be considered as soon as next week.

Paseo was renamed in January after a push started last year to honor the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

The change became official with new signs going up in February.

Before the change, Kansas City was the largest U.S. city without a street named in King’s honor.

It’s unclear if the new proposed ordinance will be considered in the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee again or taken up by a different committee.

If a council committee passed the new ordinance, it theoretically could be considered at the May 16 City Council meeting.

While it’s too late to get a proposal to reverse the name change on the ballot for the June 18 mayoral election, the deadline for the August 6 ballot is May 25, according to KC Election Board Director Shawn Kiefer.

Paseo Boulevard, which was completed in 1899, was named for the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.

It was long considered a source of pride as part of KC’s “City Beautiful” movement, especially for the local Latino community — many of whom opposed the change.