Skyview or Central Park?
The voter-decided process to pick a new name for Denver’s soon-to-be-former Stapleton neighborhood has produced two finalists. By Saturday, a winner should be known and the last name of the city’s former mayor and known Klu Klux Klan member Benjamin F. Stapleton will be one step closer to being history in the east Denver enclave.
Stapleton United Neighbors, the registered neighborhood organization managing the voting process, announced on its Facebook page Sunday that Skyview and Central Park were the top two vote-getting choices in the second round of public polling.
Online voting in the final round is open. Adult residents of the neighborhood have until 2 p.m. Thursday to cast a ballot.
Central Park is the leader, according to charts the organization has shared on Facebook that detail the results of the multi-round voting process. Central Park, the name of the park that is the neighborhood’s most celebrated public feature, earned the most points on the ranked-choice ballots in each of the first two rounds.
Skyview, a reference to the neighborhood’s past life as the city’s international airport, edged out other semi-finalists Mosley and Concourse in the second round of voting to make the final two.
Notably, none of the original nine candidate names that honored indigenous people or people of color –Peterson, Randolph or Mosley– made the final two.
Amanda Allshouse, president of the board for Stapleton United Neighbors, which is going by SUN during the renaming process, said the organization is keeping vote totals private until the final results are made public Saturday. She said the decision to withhold vote totals is part of a quality assurance process as the organization tallies and validates ballots.
Allshouse “feels good” about participation in the first two rounds, she said.
Efforts to rename Stapleton are decades in the making, dating back to when the neighborhood was still home to the city’s Stapleton International Airport. Benjamin Stapleton, the city’s mayor for five terms spread across the 1920s, 30s and 40s, pledged his support to the Klan’s racist cause in 1924, according to historian Phil Goodstein.
As recently as 2019, property owners voted down a name change but that was before the name received renewed attention this summer from social justice activists engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement. Shortly after Denver School Board Director Tay Anderson vowed to bring protestors marching through the neighborhood’s streets if the name was not changed, members of the master community association voted to pursue a new name in June.
“I’m so happy that the community has embraced this process as much as possible and the SUN board has really met the timeline that we laid out back in June and stuck with it,” Allshouse said. “With the goal being to have a community and a culture that is welcoming and inclusive for all, a name change doesn’t achieve that alone. There is still going to be work to do after this over.”