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edmund boulevard rename change

Who Was Edmund Walton?

Edmund G. Walton (1865-1919) was a prominent land developer in Minneapolis. He introduced dozens of housing additions into the property market, including much of the emerging south side. In 1910, he became the first developer in the area to apply racially-restrictive covenants to the properties he sold, which introduced a way of segregating the Twin Cities. Edmund G. Walton is also the namesake of Edmund Boulevard, a magnificent tree-lined street that traces the Mississippi River for about 1.5 miles. 

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What are racial covenants?

racial covenants longfellow edmund walton

Racially restrictive covenants are clauses in property deeds. They specified that a particular piece of land could only be held by white people. Walton showed other developers by his example that covenants were not just about particular properties, but also creating and marketing exclusively white neighborhoods. Until the Civil Rights era, government allowed covenants to stand. Over time, covenants led to other kinds of racial segregation and discrimination and helped entrench the racial wealth gap. In 2021, a study found that Minneapolis has the worst-in-the-nation gap in home ownership between white-headed households (70%) and Black-headed households (23%).

Why change the name?

The names of our streets, parks, and schools tell a story about our history and values. We currently have eleven street signs -- Edmund Blvd -- with the name of a man who instituted racial exclusion in our neighborhood. Removing his name is one step toward acknowledging our racist history, repudiating the man and his practices, and imagining a more fair and inclusive future in our community.

Change Edmund boulevard blvd rename
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