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After weeks of voting and decades of activism, a neighborhood named after a former Denver mayor and KKK member will finally be rebranded.
Central Park will soon become the new neighborhood name, an ode to the iconic green space which runs through the neighborhood, Amanda Allshouse, the president of the board of Stapleton United Neighbors, announced Saturday.
The name beat out Skyview in the final round of voting by community members, earning 63% of the more than 5,800 votes cast.
The finalists were chosen after several rounds of voting from community members, which whittled down an initial list of over 80 names. The options ranged from names honoring Black or indigenous historical figures — such as Dr. Joseph H.P. Westbrook, a Black man who infiltrated the KKK — to those paying homage to the site of Denver’s former airport, such as Skyview or Concourse.
Saturday’s announcement is the culmination of decades of efforts by Denver’s African American community and allied activists, who were reviled by the neighborhood name, which honored Benjamin Stapleton, the former mayor and Klansman who held office during the height of the KKK’s power here 100 years ago.
There were multiple unsuccessful votes over the years to change the name — including one in 2019 — but the tide turned in May after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, a Black man, setting off a national reckoning on racism that touched everything from police brutality to the names of parks, mountains, streets and neighborhoods that honored problematic figures of America’s past.
Two weeks after thousands of people flooded Denver’s streets to demand change in the wake of Floyd’s death, Stapleton’s neighborhood group announced it would seek to change the name.
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