Detroit city councilmember wants to rename Hart Plaza to Dr. Martin Luther Jr. Plaza

A Detroit city councilmember is proposing renaming Hart Plaza to Dr. Martin Luther Jr. Plaza.

Councilmember Mary Waters says King's values, "dedication to the advancement of all, welcoming to all, and working towards a future free from crime, violence, and poverty," are Detroit values, too.

This proposal comes shortly after the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Walk, where King delivered his "I Have Dream" speech in Detroit. A statue of the civil rights leader was also recently unveiled in the plaza.

Hart Plaza opened in 1975 and is named after the late Sen. Philip Hart.

"I knew Sen. Phil Hart. Hart was a good man. Without Sen. Hart there would have been no Voting Rights Act of 1965. King gave the speech, but it was Martin Luther King Jr.’s teammate Phil Hart, the conscience of the U.S. Senate, that shepherded that Voting Rights Act of 1965 making it the law of the land," said Sam Riddle, the political director of the Michigan National Action Network.

Riddle opposes renaming the plaza and plans to speak against the proposal at a city council meeting Tuesday morning.