In this photo taken April, 20, 2019, public works employee Jerry Brooks changes a street sign from the The Paseo to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Kansas City, Mo. More than 50 years after King was assassinated, the city's efforts to honor the civil rights leader has met opposition from citizens opposed to the renaming of The Paseo, one of the city's iconic boulevards. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Naming Kansas City street for Martin Luther King is divisive

April 26, 2019 - 12:50 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — When Kansas City officials voted in January to rename a major boulevard after Martin Luther King Jr., it appeared the Missouri city finally joined more than 950 U.S. cities with streets or public buildings honoring the civil rights icon.

Then, a grassroots group of volunteers started collecting signatures asking that the renaming of the boulevard known as The Paseo be placed on the ballot this year. On Friday, they turned in petitions with 2,857 signatures. The group wants to retain the 10-mile street's historic name and find some other way to honor King.

The mostly black leaders of the effort to rename The Paseo say it would be embarrassing for Kansas City to remove King's name, especially after waiting more than 50 years to honor him.

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