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New City Swimming Pool Could Be Named After Late Councilmember Kennedy

Published on Monday, June 5, 2023 | 4:00 am

Councilmember John J. Kennedy, seen outside the Pasadena Public Library in 2018. [James Macpherson/Pasadena Now]
The City is seeking input on the proposed name of a new public swimming pool that could be named after a late City Councilmember.

The Honorable John J. Kennedy Pool could be the name of a pool being built at the Robinson Park Recreation Center at 1081 N. Fair Oaks Avenue.

Kennedy died on July 21. 

In June 2021 Kennedy told Pasadena Now that the new pool could play a key role in teaching local African American children to swim at a young age.

“Minority children, particularly those who are African American, are drowning in significant numbers across this country every year caused by the remnants of racist public policies of old, concerning access to public swimming pools, still impacting communities of color today,” Kennedy said. Those racist policies cannot be overlooked.”

Black Americans are about half as likely to know how to swim as white Americans, Professor Jeff Wiltse from the University of Montana and author of “Contested Waters” told ABC News. 

According to Wiltse, Black children are, depending on their age, three to five times more likely to drown than white children.

The new center’s innovative design includes a larger pool with sloping “walk-in” entry, making it easy for swimmers of all ages and abilities to enter. The center also has a renovated pool building with easily accessible showers and restrooms. The layout was designed to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all city residents.

Residents have until Friday, July 7 to provide input on the proposed pool name. Input can be provided via an online form.

The proposed name and other suggested names from this process will be presented to the Recreation and Parks Commission at their meeting on August 1. 

The Commission will discuss, vote and recommend a pool name to the City Council. 

The City Council will approve the final naming of the pool at a subsequent meeting.

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