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Name Park for King

November 25, 1990

That "the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice" was one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s firmest beliefs. Today, when I look at a map of San Diego County, I visualize that "arc of the moral universe" in a rainbow, with all the colors of humanity arched gracefully from the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean beaches to the commanding heights of Vulcan Mountain near Julian.

Under that rainbow arc of the moral universe, where others see the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park, I see the glorious, new Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Freedom Park, embracing all 2.5 million people of San Diego.

Not only would this park memorialize and honor Martin Luther King Jr., but to so consecrate this land, our common ground, would proclaim to all that the greater San Diego community embraces the values of freedom, justice, peace, democracy, cultural diversity and the pursuit of happiness by all peoples without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, education or bank account.

The park will be both a natural wonder and philosophical landmark. Most importantly, I see an opportunity for all San Diegans to come together in harmony and get beyond the acrimony of the Market Street and Convention Center debacles, which embittered and divided our community.

This proposal bypasses objections raised to previous proposals. Unlike the Market Street proposal, no "local history" is obliterated and no business people need feel the hardship of new postal addresses or new letterheads.

For those who objected to associating Martin Luther King Jr.'s name with the crass commercialism of the Convention Center, there is no cause for concern. Nor will those who worried that his name will damage commercial prospects find cause to worry.

For those who felt that changing Market Street's name was of too little consequence, this proposal is on a much grander scale.

For those who felt that the Convention Center or a renamed Market Street would bring glory only to one neighborhood, and for those who feel that the memorial should not be confined to a "black" neighborhood, and for those who felt that the tribute should not be only a city of San Diego project--note that the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Park would encompass 55,000 acres that cross political jurisdictions.

It would join the peoples and cities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Escondido, Poway and San Diego County in common purpose. Appropriately, this would be a memorial under the stewardship and ownership of all San Diegans.

LOWELL T. WAXMAN, San Diego

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