Renaming of Columbus Park in District 1 Denver
Hugo Chavez-Rey/ District One Resident
As a resident of District One in Denver I stand in opposition to the proposal to rename Columbus Park to La Raza Park.
My opposition is rooted in several facts. The first, and most important one is the that the name La Raza is inappropriate because it is not inclusive of the community at large, and the relationship to a radical anti-American organization and its stated goals, among them the overthrow of the U.S. Government, and retaking of U.S. Southwest territory which was lost through a war.
At a time when division is clear in our nation, we should not be creating more division by naming a community park in honor of such a group. Proponents claim that the term La Raza means “The People”; however, the correct translation is “The Race”, as in Chicanos. The name is also associated with Chicano identity and resistance, as well as a violent Chicano street gang in Chicago.
District One Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval made it a campaign promise to rename the park to La Raza. Which explains why she has refused my request for a face to face meeting to discuss the matter. She is supposed to represent all the citizens in the district. But she has chosen to align herself with a select group at while ignoring the rest of the residents.
Verification of signatures
A petition in favor of the name change to La Raza was circulated and submitted by Ms. Sandoval and other activists, allegedly with 2,600 or so signatures. I would like to see a verification of those signatures to ensure that it only includes residents of the district. Nobody outside the district should have a voice in the matter.
I am not necessarily opposed to the renaming of the park, although if voting I would vote to keep it as Columbus Park. Any renaming process should be through a thorough vetting process where all residents of the district have a voice, and the name should reflect the area and the community at large, not a name which will further divide residents.
Editorial comment: We invite those who favor name change of Columbus park to write an article for our newspaper. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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