The results of the name change referendum were just released this afternoon; please view them here: https://bit.ly/2Z3shgv. The short story: 65% NO, 35% YES on the name change question, with 34% turnout. Please see below for our official statement responding to these results:
The majority of ballots cast by Stapleton property owners have voted against removing the name of a Klansman from the community name.
We are disappointed and saddened by these results, but we are not especially surprised. The Master Community Association (MCA) initiated and administered this referendum; Rename St*pleton for All did not. In fact, we had asked the MCA to delay sending ballots because we believed that more conversations to promote understanding and community outreach on the issue should have occurred for all residents–renters and owners alike–before members or delegates were asked to vote.
That said, we are grateful to those in our community who did reach out to their neighbors and had patient, honest, and brave conversations about whether our community name should continue to honor a Klansman. We thank our dozens of volunteers who distributed educational flyers throughout the neighborhood and who participated in our Community Conversation events in July. We also thank the many residents, community members, public officials, and organizations who raised their voices in support of renaming our neighborhood. And we especially thank all of our neighbors who were able to step out of their own experiences, who listened with empathy, and who voted accordingly.
Let’s build on this foundation. The outcome of this vote and a recent incident of racist graffiti in one of our parks point to a real need within the community and in Denver at large to educate ourselves about the times of Mayor Stapleton, the role of the KKK in Colorado politics, and the legacy that communities of color and difference in our city still live under today. The newly renamed DSST Montview has provided us with a roadmap for incorporating these lessons into school curricula. And as this vote has made clear, adults in our community could also benefit from this education; to that end, permanent exhibits or memorials would be some ways of achieving this. Acknowledging this history and bringing it to light are especially important if, for the time being, the name “Stapleton” will continue to designate the place where we raise our children.
Our work is not done. We love our neighborhood, and we invite all supporters to join us in doing the work to make our community one that truly welcomes and includes all.
Do we know the effect businesses and apartment building owners had on the vote? Would the results have changed if only residents could vote?