The Save The Paseo Petition was officially filed this morning at the City Clerk’s office at City Hall. Chief Deputy City Clerk Kelly Varner counted up 359 pages of signatures, totaling 2,857 signatures, and gave the group a Certificate of Receipt. The petition’s goal is to reverse Ordinance No. 180828, and switch the historic Boulevard’s name back to The Paseo.

Since the contentious legislative session of Kansas City’s City Council January 26, 2019, which saw the passage of ordinance 180828, changing the name of The Paseo to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, grass roots community activists have been working to have the controversial name change put in front of voters city-wide.

The signatures will be sent over to the four Election Boards today, who will now validate each signature by ensuring that each one is a registered  voter.

The group needs 1,708 valid signatures to meet the requirement. If the number is not met, the group will have 10 days to collect the appropriate number of signatures, take them back to City Hall, and get them validated with the Election Boards. If 1,708 signatures are validated, this will be sent to the City Council and placed on the docket.

Tara Green, petition gatherer with the group Save The Paseo, said it feels like a giant weight has been lifted off her. She said people were still asking this morning to sign the petition.

Green lives on the Boulevard and said she finds the name change very personal.

“We have one of the last historic mansions that was originally built. We have been restoring it for about four years now and have poured so much blood, sweat, and tears into that property that this has been extremely personal for us. We are the one pouring our money, time, and literally our effort into restoring these properties and you don’t get to say what belongs to us. That’s how we feel. This belongs to us.”

The City Clerk is now waiting on the Election Board to come back with the final number of valid signatures to move forward. In the meantime, Varner is sending communication to Mayor Sly James and the City Council to let them know that the petition has been filed.

A full update on this story will be in the May 1 issue of the Northeast News.