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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Hummus Republic Photo)...

Mediterranean food chain Hummus Republic opens 1st Arizona location in Scottsdale

Hummus Republic, a growing Mediterranean casual food chain, opened its first Arizona store at the Scottsdale Promenade.
1 day ago
FILE - Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram speaks during a news conference a...
Associated Press

DEA overseas review barely mentions corruption scandals

After nearly two years, the U.S. DEA released an external review of its overseas operations that barely mentions recent corruption scandals and offers recommendations that critics dismissed as overly vague.
1 day ago
In this photo provided by Navajo Technical University, graduates at the school stand during a cerem...
Associated Press

Navajo Tech 1st among tribal universities to offer PhD

A school on the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. launched its accredited doctoral program, becoming the first tribal college or university in the country to offer such a high level degree.
1 day ago
A Salt River Project team samples the snowpack in Happy Jack, between Payson and Flagstaff, on Feb....

Arizona’s high country could see more snow throughout next week

The National Weather Service says more snow could be coming to the Flagstaff area Saturday and again at the end of next week.
1 day ago
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)...

Officer shot in ‘ambush’ in south Phoenix, suspect arrested for attempted murder

An officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot Friday morning by a suspect who was identified on Saturday.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park)...

Phoenix’s Pueblo Grande Museum changing name to reflect Indigenous heritage

The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park in Phoenix is changing its name to reflect the site's Indigenous history.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...
Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Tempe City Council to vote on name changes for parks, streets with KKK connections