As part of a “reimagining” of San Jose’s Columbus Park, the city issued a call in April for potential new names.
And the public responded in a big way, with 75% of the 233 people who responded agreeing the park needed a new name and offering 85 possibilities.
The San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services reviewed these suggestions and narrowed it down to a list of 19 that meet the city’s naming policy and other criteria.
The picks include notable people connected to San Jose – Bank of America founder AP Giannini, Mexican American activist Sofia Mendoza, attorney Clara Shortridge Foltz, labor organizer Ernesto Galarza, former mayors Janet Gray Hayes and Josiah Belden – as well as national and international figures including Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Harvey Milk and Ida B. Wells.
People also made geographic or community suggestions like Asbury Street Park, Polhemus Street Park, Walnut Street Park, Taylor Street Park, Indigenous People’s Park, and Miwuekma Ohlone Park.
The 10-acre park just south of Mineta San Jose International Airport has been around for 75 years and has hosted countless games of softball, volleyball, basketball and even horseshoe throwing. Today, the area is dotted with tents and encampments.
People can choose their top three selections in a new survey open until July 24. These comments will be used when the Parks Department makes its recommendation to the Parks and Recreation Commission, which will make a recommendation to City Council. The board has the final say.
You can see the suggestions and vote for your favorites, in English or Spanish, at bit.ly/ColumbusPark2.