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Richmond Councilman introduces resolution to decide fate of Confederate statues

Richmond Councilman introduces resolution to decide fate of Confederate statues
Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 19:02:13-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Councilman Michael Jones announced a resolution Monday morning asking that the General Assembly grant Richmond the authority to decide the fate of Confederate monuments in Richmond.

Jones, who has been outspoken in his desire to remove Confederate monuments in the city, was joined by Richmond NAACP President J.J. Minor and Charles Willis with United Communities Against Crime.

The resolution is seeking out the General Assembly's permission since state law limits the power of local governments to remove or change historical monuments.

Jones said the resolution has nothing to do with the fate of the monuments but that the localities should have the right to decided what should be done.

"The central issue remains, does council as a body have the ability to determine our own future? I believe we should and I believe this paper represents the necessary work to have this discussion," said Jones. "Let me be clear, I support an approach rooted in substance."

Councilman Michael Jones

This is the third time Jones has submitted a similar proposal. He submitted a proposal in 2017 in the wake of the riots in Charlottesville and in 2018 following the Monument Avenue Commission recommending that the Jefferson Davis Statue be removed among adding signage to other monuments.

Both previous resolutions were struck down by City Council.

Jones's latest attempt comes after Democrats took control of the Virginia House and State Senate in November for the first time in more than 20 years.

"It has failed in the past, for several reasons," said Jones. "The main reason I believe is because we have a Republican-controlled General Assembly. But now, starting in January, we will have a Democratic-controlled General Assembly and I know they are individuals in the General Assembly that are for local control."

The resolution will be introduced at Monday’s City Council meeting, which starts at 6:00 p.m.