As Stapleton community delegates vote to recommend a name change, Black Lives Matter 5280 cancels celebratory car rally

The process to change the neighborhood’s name and find a replacement could take weeks.

Denver's Stapleton neighborhood may drop its name after ongoing anti-racism demonstrations in Denver. The neighborhood shares its name with former Denver Mayor Benjamin Stapleton, who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Discussions about the change have been going on for years.

Denver's Stapleton neighborhood may drop its name after ongoing anti-racism demonstrations in Denver. The neighborhood shares its name with former Denver Mayor Benjamin Stapleton, who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Discussions about the change have been going on for years.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

A car rally scheduled Wednesday to celebrate Stapleton’s looming name change won’t go on as planned after the organizers, Black Lives Matter 5280, said they wanted to wait for an official vote. Their decision came the same day community delegates formally got the ball rolling on finding a new name for the neighborhood.

It could take several weeks before the old name is dropped and a new name is chosen. There are people, including BLM 5280 members, who want the name change to happen much faster.

The neighborhood’s 11 community delegates on Wednesday voted unanimously to recommend a name change to the MCA Board of Directors, which oversees the neighborhood’s maintenance. The delegates represent different areas within the neighborhood.

But MCA Executive Director Keven Burnett said there needs to be a new name before the MCA Board can approve it. At this point, since no name has been decided yet, Burnett said there is nothing for the MCA Board to vote on yet.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon, BLM 5280 said that based on “information we have received over the last 24 hours” they decided to postpone the celebratory car rally. The rally was supposed to start at the Shorter Community AME Church parking lot before driving toward Stapleton.

The statement said the group wanted to hold off on celebrating until “we are actually victorious.”

“With heavy hearts we will be applying our collective energies to our other organizing efforts in the meantime, and rescheduling this event for a future date,” the post read.

Now that the delegates have voiced their support, up next will be figuring out the process to narrow down potential new names.

Stapleton United Neighbors, Stapleton’s RNO, has recommended two options for the process, which they shared during their own meeting on Tuesday. Wednesday’s vote by the delegates called on the MCA to work with SUN to find the new neighborhood name.

Both options from SUN list August 1 as the date the new name would be announced.

SUN’s timeline includes having a committee in place by the end of the month. This committee could include SUN members, MCA delegates, local residents, business owners, advocates and a member of Councilman Chris Herndon’s office.

The committee would then progressively narrow down the list of suggested names throughout July. They already have more than 80 suggested new neighborhood names.

SUN President Amanda Allshouse said they’re seeking comments and suggestions for both the new name and the process for choosing it. She’s inviting people to send their messages to StapletonUnitedNeighbors@gmail.com.

Signs bearing the Stapleton name have been covered up in the neighborhood by the Master Community Association.

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