One of the basketball courts at Columbia’s Douglass Park will soon be known as the “Coach Willie Cox Court”, under a $995,000 improvement project approved by Columbia’s city council Monday night.
The improvements will include major upgrades to the basketball courts, a skate park and renovations to the aging Douglass park family aquatic center. The voter-approved Columbia Parks sales tax will provide $400,000 for the project, while a state grant will provide another $495,000. Mizzou Sports Properties and the Columbia-based Veterans United Foundation are each donating $50,000 for the project.
Supporters say that since 2020, recreational programming such as Moonlight Hoops have not taken place at the park. Willie Cox, who passed away in 2019, served as the recruiting director for the Mizzou women’s basketball team.
Meantime, the chair of the Mizzou Democratic Socialists of America is calling on Columbia’s city council to approve a sanctuary city ordinance to protect its LGBTQ citizens. Mel Tully testified before the city council last night.
“To quote from the text, the ordinance would declare the city of Columbia a sanctuary city for the LGBTQ community, their families, their right to gender-affirming health care, their rights to free speech and expression,” Tully tells the council.
Supporters say Columbia residents support the proposed sanctuary city ordinance. They also say Kansas City’s Council has approved a resolution declaring Kansas City a safe haven for gender-affirming care. The council listened to Tully’s testimony but did not vote on the issue last night.
Columbia spokeswoman Sydney Olsen tells 939 the Eagle that Columbia’s legal department and the city’s Commission on Human Rights are both reviewing Tully’s proposal. Ms. Olsen expects them to bring something back to the council as soon as possible.