Save The Paseo, a grassroots movement created after City Council officials voted to change the street’s name, is diligently working to ensure people of Kansas City know of the upcoming election and the reasons behind this movement.
On Tuesday, October 22 at 4:00 pm, the Save The Paseo Committee will be at 3336 Paseo Boulevard announcing their upcoming Friends and Funding Event at Brewery Emperial on Wednesday, October 23 that will feature speakers, offer the community a chance to engage with our grassroots movement and explain the reasons behind voting YES on Question 5 on November 5. The media will have a chance to ask questions to the committee about issues pertaining to the election.
Save The Paseo was formed shortly after the City Council voted 8-4 January 24 to change the name of historic Paseo Boulevard to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. despite overwhelming evidence that showed the city was in opposition of the name change. An initiative petition sponsored by five residents along The Paseo was launched March 15, and on April 26, Save The Paseo turned in 2,857 signatures- well over the 1706 required- to put this to a citywide vote. The result of this grassroots movement is a very important vote for KCMO residents on November 5.
Members of Save The Paseo site the historical significance of The Paseo as well as the process in which this name change happened. The Paseo is the main artery of the Parks and Boulevard System, and its creation in 1893 transformed transportation in Kansas City and added much-needed beauty to the landscape. Former mayor Sly James formed the MLK Advisory Group in 2018, and even though they recommended 63rd St. as their overwhelming choice among streets (6 of 9 votes), The Paseo was the only street considered. Through this process, neighborhoods along The Paseo were disenfranchised when their voices were not heard. The SCLC maintains they did “community engagement” with residents along The Paseo, yet there is no evidence to suggest this happened with residents directly affected along the boulevard.
“How Did We Get Here?”
Historian and history preservationist Diane Euston will give a presentation “Historic Paseo Boulevard; How Did We Get Here?” on Monday, October 28, from 6-7 pm at The Martin Event Space, 135th & Holmes Rd.
The renaming of historic Paseo Blvd was changed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in January by the Kansas City City Council which bypassed the proper protocol for renaming a street. A petition signed by over 2000 residents put the name choice back in voters’ hands by placing it on November 5th ballot.
“No one is against naming a street after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” says Euston. “Just not the historic Paseo.” Euston will explain the boulevard’s significance in Kansas City history during her presentation.