KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KHSB) – Kansas City, Missouri, voters overwhelmingly decided to restore The Paseo name to one of the city’s most recognizable roadways Tuesday, rebuking the City Council’s decision in January to name the street after civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As a result, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will revert to Paseo Boulevard, barely nine months after the council voted 8-4 to rename the street.
Many said they agreed with naming a street after the civil rights leader but felt “The Paseo,” which has historical significance in the city, was not the right street to rename.
Outside of Kansas City, reaction to the decision was mixed, with many national media outlets reporting that voters had “decided to remove” King’s name from the historic boulevard.
Some Kansas citizens reacted to the national stories, saying the headlines didn’t capture the context and nuance of the voters’ decision.
“I think Kansas City’s voice was heard,” salon owner Joey Thomas said. “Now that the Martin Luther King name is removed, what do we do with it now? Do we just let his legacy die?”
Thomas admits he’s impartial on the vote but thinks the public should have been involved earlier.
“I would hope that now these individuals would come together and have a conversation with those that were for it and those that were opposed to it and see what will be the next direction,” Thomas said.
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