from City of Springfield Press Release
Mayor Ken McClure will host a reception and unveiling of the new signage at 4 p.m, Friday, Dec. 21 in the new Councilman Denny Whayne Conference Room in the Busch Municipal Building 4th floor. City Council unanimously passed a resolution recently honoring former him for his service on City Council and his decades-long commitment to justice and equal rights.
“We felt it was fitting to name this particular meeting space after former Councilman Whayne because it’s where we have our weekly council workshops and council committee meetings and frequent community-wide collaborations occur,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “In the many years I have known Denny, he has always been about bringing communities of people together.”
Whayne was the first African-American elected to City Council since the Council/Manager form of government was adopted in 1953 and served as the Zone 1 representative for two consecutive four-year terms. First elected in 2001, Whayne served until 2009 and was a member of the Finance, Plans and Policies, Administration and Public Involvement committees.
“My time on council was one of the best experiences of my entire life,” Whayne has said. “My mindset on council was to try to move the city of Springfield forward.”
Whayne, who grew up in Springfield, joined the NAACP at 11, later participating in the Freedom Rides of 1961. He continued his civil rights work in Tulsa, where racial tensions were high in the late 1960s. He moved back to Springfield in 1972 and served as president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP from 1980 until 1988. He worked for the City’s Finance department from 1975 until 1985.