As the country remembers the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Davenport leaders announced they want to do more. Mayor Bill Gluba is forming a task force to come up with ways the city can honor the civil rights leader.
Doctor king came to Davenport in 1965, Mayor Gluba was part of the packed house to hear him speak. He says that's a day he will never forget.
"He said I thought I would never live to see the day where a black Baptist minister would speak to the Catholic Interracial Council at the Masonic Auditorium. I mean if you know and appreciate history that says it all."
King spoke at the Masonic Temple receiving a peace and freedom award from St. Ambrose University. Now nearly 50 years later Gluba says its time Davenport once again honors King's legacy.
"A park or some sort of memorial perhaps scholarship an educational component". Gluba says Charles Pierson and Pastor Kirk of 3rd Missionary Baptist Church came to him with the idea. "Davenport has Marquette Street and it's there and that's fine, but we think something more appropriate, Davenport has a lot of unique black history."
While most believe honoring King is a great idea long overdue, opinions on just what should be done vary.
"I come from Waterloo originally and they already have the MLK Parkway as a tribute to him from many many years ago and its beautiful it would be nice if they could do something similar here," said resident Nikole Ottavianelli.
"Has to do with our youth something to better them, even like a Martin Luther King Center on this side of the river like they have on the other side," added Davenport resident Gary Mayfield.
Whatever the task force comes up with the mayor hopes it symbolizes everything that King stood for.
"To provide a continuing education on how he, through his non-violent peaceful efforts really changed America and to a certain degree even changed the world".
St Ambrose Director of Diversity Ryan Saddler will head the task force, the Mayor expects several public hearings to be held and hopes to have something in place by next MLK Day.
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