Change in city policy forces Killeen NAACP to change location of Martin Luther King March

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 19:33:34-05

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. March is heading to a new location thanks to a city policy change that tacked a fee onto the event.

"I march because of my 3-year-old daughter, she is a lifetime member of the NAACP, I march so she still can dream and so she can continue to live in a nation where she is not judged by the color of her skin, but as doctor king said by the content of her character," Killeen NAACP President, Taneika Moultrie said.

The Killeen branch of the NAACP hosts and participates in the MLK March annually, but the 2019 march ran into some complications.

"Apparently there is a policy in place and so it was voted on by the city council in June of 2018 and I was not aware of the document," Moultrie added.

For the last 20 years, the NAACP has held their annual Martin Luther King March in downtown Killeen, but with a city policy change that would implement a $1,200 fee for the event, the organization was forced to move this year's march to Lions Club Park.

According to the new policy in relation to city sponsorship of nonprofit events, the city will no longer spend tax dollars to "support non-city events," however the city did opt to support ten community events on an annual basis, by providing in-kind services. The list of events did not include the NAACP's annual march.

The change is why, on Jan. 11, the organization received a fee to cover things like traffic control. 

"It's really hard to pallet that no one could have notified us of the fee so we could have figured it out, but with no notification, you can't fix something you don't know about," Killeen NAACP Second Vice President, Delise Coleman said.

The NAACP said while the policy change caused a small setback, they plan to march on.

"Whether it be in a park, whether it be downtown, on a block, whether it be on a street we will march and we will continue to dream," Coleman added.

The NAACP added that as of now, they are on the Killeen City Council's Workshop Agenda on Jan. 22.

The organization will be asking the city to add them to the list of organizations that receive financial support from the city.

Central Texas News Now reached out to the City of Killeen for comment, but we have yet to hear back.

The march will now be on the Hike & Bike Trail at Lion's Club Park on Monday.

Line up at the starting line begins at 8:30 a.m. and the march will follow shortly after.

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