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Tempe moves forward with plans to rename landmarks connected with Ku Klux Klan members

The locations include Hudson Drive, Hudson Lane, Laird Street and Hudson, Harelson and Redden parks.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Tempe city leaders announced Tuesday that several landmarks named after people just discovered to have connections with the Ku Klux Klan are in the process of being renamed.

After a public hearing, city council members voted unanimously to move forward with plans to rename certain parks and streets.

The locations include Hudson Drive, Hudson Lane, Laird Street and Hudson, Harelson and Redden parks.

Last week, Tempe Elementary School District officials alerted families that several landmarks – and some of its schools –  were named after community leaders that newly discovered records show were active members of the hate group during the 1920s.

According to the district, the local chapter of the KKK was focused on "anti-Catholic activity, and specifically against Catholic teachers in public schools."

There are no immediate plans to rename Gililland Middle School, Hudson Elementary School, and Laird School, but district leaders added that they are seeking opinions from the students, parents, and faculty.

Meanwhile, the city will form an advising committee to find new names for the parks and streets.

The records were located by Tempe History Museum staff with information from the Arizona Historical Society and Phoenix Public Library.

The city has also created an online platform for public comment.

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