KANSAS CITY – The Kansas City Missouri City Clerk’s office released an official notice stating the Save The Paseo grassroots organization had garnered the required number of signatures on their initiative petition to have the matter brought forward and slated for consideration on the city council’s legislative calendar.
The petition was filed with the City Clerk April 26, which included 2,857 signatures. Those signatures were sent to four Election Boards to verify that each signature was valid.
The initiative, officially given Legislation number 190381, was granted a Certificate of Sufficiency yesterday by the Clerk’s office. Of the total signatures filed, 2,450 signatures were validated, 742 signatures over the 1,708 minimum.
The petition seeks to change the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd back to The Paseo, a name the iconic Boulevard has carried for the last 123 years.
“Yesterday was the most excited I’ve been since we started,” said Tara Green, one of the Save The Paseo organizers when she heard the Clerk’s office had approved the petition signatures. “The people have spoken and we’ve spoken loudly and we’re glad the city has listened. We’re ready for the next step.”
Once the ordinance is referred to committee, if it’s approved for a full council vote, it could appear on the June municipal election ballot. If that occurs, Save The Paseo organizers expect push back from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and people loyal to Dr. Vernon Howard, the primary proponent of the movement to change the name of The Paseo to Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard.
“We do anticipate they’ll hand out literature to confuse the voters, but they’re trying to twist this as a racial matter. It’s not—and it’s not fair,” Green said.
The ordinance will be introduced in next week’s legislative session, but no testimony will be taken at that time. Once introduced, the council will assign the legislation to a council committee for consideration.
The Northeast News will continue to follow this story as it develops.