Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu formally requested that the City Council begin the process to consider relocating four prominent Confederate monuments in New Orleans and to rename Jefferson Davis Parkway. During remarks to the City Council, Landrieu called on the City to begin a 60-day period of facilitated discussions and public meetings – in conjunction with the City’s Human Relations Commission, the Mayor’s Welcome Table initiative and the City Council. The goal of this process is to offer opportunities for the people of New Orleans to discuss the renaming of Jefferson Davis Parkway and the relocation of prominent Confederate monuments. These monuments include: the Robert E Lee statue at Lee Circle; the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway; the PGT Beauregard equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue at the entrance to City Park; and, the Battle of Liberty Place Monument at Iberville Street.
“This is about more than the men represented in these statues. This discussion is about whether these monuments, built to reinforce the false valor of a war fought over slavery, ever really belonged in a city as great as New Orleans whose lifeblood flows from our diversity and inclusiveness,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Our history before and after the Civil War should not be neglected, nor our identity defined by the Confederacy – our identity is much broader and richer than these symbols. As we look to our city’s tricentennial celebration in 2018, we should be a city where symbols inspire and include, not divide; and, a place a where we celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not death, war and slavery. Supremacy may be a part of our past, but it should not be part of our future.”