Tempe City Council to vote on name changes for parks, streets with KKK connections

Feb 16, 2023, 4:05 AM

(Google Maps Screenshot)...

(Google Maps Screenshot)

(Google Maps Screenshot)

PHOENIX — Name changes could soon be coming for some Tempe parks and streets that have connections to the Ku Klux Klan.

City Council will vote March 2 on replacing the names of four parks and three streets whose namesakes had ties to the 1920s-era KKK in the East Valley suburb.

New names were brought forth by community members and vetted by Council-appointed volunteers who met several times.

Here are the proposed switches:

  • Hudson Park would become Parque de Soza, which would recognize the multigenerational pioneer Soza family.
  • Michelle Brooks-Totress Park would replace Redden Park. It would honor Brooks-Totress, a community activist, philanthropist and volunteer.
  • Harelson Park would become Mary and Moses Green Park. The Greens were the first Black landowners in Tempe.
  • Ragsdale-MLK Park would replace Sixth Street Park. Lincoln Ragsdale was a prominent local civil rights activist, businessman and veteran.
  • East Laird Street would become Obregon Street. Farmer Pedro “Pete” Obregon was known as “Don Pedro” in Tempe for his work taking care of others.
  • Thomas Lane would replace Hudson Lane. It would recognize Maggie and Theodore Thomas, Black business owners in the city.
  • West Laird Street to become Romo-Jones Street. Adolfo Romo and Joaquina Jones fought and won the right in court for their children to be allowed to attend school with white children.

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Tempe City Council to vote on name changes for parks, streets with KKK connections