In Tuesday’s special municipal election, Kansas City overwhelmingly voted to rename Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard back to The Paseo Boulevard.
According to unofficial election results, with over 32,000 total votes cast, 65 percent of voters chose to revert the name back to The Paseo with nearly 35 percent voting to keep the current name in honor of Dr. King.
The naming of the 9.98 mile stretch from Lexington to East 85th Street has been a contentious topic in the city for the past year and a half.
The Kansas City City Council voted 8-4 to change The Paseo to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard during the Jan. 24, 2019 legislative session.
The first of over 200 signs bearing the name of Dr. King went up Feb. 28, 2019 at 34th Street.
While many in the community suggested renaming a long, east-west street such as 63rd, Manny Abarca, community activist, said there were several factors that were discussed when choosing The Paseo, including the impact the name change would have on business owners versus residents.
Save The Paseo, a group of grassroots community activists, had been working to collect signatures and reclaim the historic street name.
The group filed the petition April 26, 2019 and over 2,800 signatures were validated, well over the required minimum.
The issue was placed before council who voted unanimously on June 6, 2019 to place the name change before voters city-wide.
To read more on the history of the boulevard, click here.