Sunday, November 25, 2018
TKC SUNDAY SPECIAL!!! KANSAS CITY LATINO LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE ON MLK RENAME OF THE PASEO REVEALED!!!
The fight over the MLK rename on the Paseo intensifies as a decision looms.
In fact, opinions are so strong behind the scenes that people actually care what some denizens of the local Latino leadership think.
In a recent Northeast News column, the KCMO Hispanic community is called out:
"Strangely absent from this conversation is the city’s Latino community. Where are groups like the LaRaza Political Club or the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce? The Hispanic Economic Development Committee, The Mattie Rhodes Center, and the Guadalupe Center haven’t entered the fray either. These heavy hitters have weighed in on issues with far fewer political implications and made their voices heard, often enacting change in the process. One would certainly think that if roughly 110 years of rich cultural heritage was stripped from the city’s history books as Councilman Lucas’ ridiculous ordinance would do, there would be rioting in the streets. The only thing we’re hearing from these groups, sadly, is crickets. Is Councilman Lucas that much of a political juggernaut that he is not to be tussled with?"
The argument, is basically on the opposite end of Prof. Kraske's recent silly column asking for a Latino community alliance with the Revs pushing the move for their community.
To be fair, NE News is much more relevant and insightful.
The name for Kansas City's first major boulevard was suggested by the first President of the Parks Board, August R. Meyer, based on the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. The parkway was laid out in the early 1900s by George Kessler under the direction of the first president of the Commission of Parks.
The far-too-common mistake among the gringos . . .
Expecting KC Latino leadership to care about some street a couple of white guys named a century ago is a bit of stretch. The name might reference Mexico but local Latinos are more connected to a street like Avenida Cesar Chavez that they had a voice in naming in much the same way as East side activists are working to rename The Paseo.
Fact is, urban, working-class and largely progressive Latinos and their leadership are more apt to side with activists in support of the MLK name change.
HOWEVER . . . NO COMMUNITY IS MONOLITHIC!!!
Parks Board President Jean-Paul Chaurand is one of the younger Latino leaders in KCMO BUT he's standing with his colleagues questioning the rename based on issues of cost and city policy.
Latino community insiders report that the issue has been broached but not really debated during Black/Brown coalition meetings . . . However, the recent elections and upcoming City Council & Mayoral contests are of far greater concern.
And so, the reality is that opinion within the Latino community is just as diverse as any other part of Kansas City as we all wait for Mayor & Council to show some leadership on this issue that has been sparking surprisingly divisive debate in this town for most of 2018.
Developing . . .