Parks board hears new proposal on how KC should honor Martin Luther King Jr.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The debate over how Kansas City should honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is back on the table.

Honoring the civil rights leader is something many in Kansas City has wanted to do for years. It’s finding the right way to do it that’s taking time.

“We had started that earlier in the year but suspended the process as a result of COVID-19 because the process does require two public hearings,” KC Parks & Rec President Jack Holland said.

The Rev. Vernon Howard, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, proposed renaming a route that includes Blue and Swope parkways and Volker Boulevard.

In a letter to Parks Commissioner Chris Goode, Howard wrote:

“This artery assures direct exposure of the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to black lives, more particularly black children, who suffer the most in our city from a lack of African-American cultural and historical landmarks and education that bolster their sense of value, esteem and worth.”

But none of these changes can be made without public input.

There will be two public hearings within the next 30 days that way people will be able to voice their opinions on proposed name changes.

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