Residents of the Stapleton neighborhood in Denver will have an opportunity to vote on whether to change the name of Stapleton United Neighbors to Central Park United Neighbors during its annual community forum on May 15th.
The Stapleton neighborhood is named after former Denver mayor and Ku Klux Klan member Benjamin F. Stapleton and there have been increasing efforts to change the name of the area.
Liz Stalnaker with the group Rename St*pleton for All says that concern over the name dates back to the inception of the neighborhood.
“The fact that the name Stapleton was problematic because it’s the name of a former mayor who was a Klan member, that it was a name being given to a neighborhood that was being presented as a new urbanist dream of inclusivity and diversity. That was presented before ground was broken on the first house, so a resolution was made that the name Stapleton would be used initially as a locator and for marketing purposes to kind of allow people to have a name applied to the neighborhood, but that the use would be phased out in an official capacity, as the different neighborhoods within the community would get their own name that didn’t include the name Stapleton. And you know, we’re 18 years later and we know how that worked out. It’s still a central part of how people call this community.”
Two other organizations in the area changed their names late last year. The Denverite reports that, the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities and Citizens Advisory Board , both dropped the name Stapleton from their titles in December.
This latest possible name change would be the only time that a neighborhood name would be changed as a direct result of a vote of community members.