JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Monday issued a statement to News4JAX after a new measure was proposed last week to speed up the process of removing confederate monuments in the city.
“On October 21, 2021, my administration proposed a solution (Ord 2021-752) regarding confederate monuments. This legislation provided a secure funding source for the removal and relocation of the Tribute To The Women Of The Confederacy monument in Springfield Park. The City Council had the opportunity to support or reject the removal of this monument. At their meeting on November 9th, they refused to vote, and instead withdrew this important piece of legislation,” Curry’s statement reads.
When the Jacksonville City Council decided last year to withdraw the ordinance to spend $1.3 million to remove the Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy monument in Springfield Park, the monument remained in place but covered up. But now it’s uncovered and displayed as it was when it was first revealed in 1916.
City Councilman Matthew Carlucci on Thursday announced new legislation “concerning statuary and monuments glorifying the Confederacy and removal of such items from public property and public park spaces.”
Carlucci is calling for the mayor, city administration and City Council to produce and present a revised plan along with community conversation by July 26 and to cap removal costs at $500,000.
“I am trying to kick the conversation off because July will be upon us before you know it and this bill could be voted up or down before then,” Carlucci said. “But if you’re going to have a community conversation, we need to develop a roadmap on how we are going to make that happen.”
Carlucci’s legislation will be introduced Tuesday night and then will go to committee for discussion.
Nearly two years ago, the city removed the statue of a confederate soldier atop a pedestal across from City Hall. It was the start of a promise by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to remove all monuments -- which has not happened. In fact, protesters are still upset that the words “confederate monument” are still there.
As they have for close to a year, protesters gathered outside of City Hall on Monday, demanding the city “Take ‘Em Down.” They want all confederate statues and markers removed.
Organizers are pleased that Carlucci is bringing up the issue once again.
“I think what needs to be done now is we need to stop having meetings and actually taking these statues down,” said Wells Todd, with Take ‘Em Down Jax.
News4JAX Insiders are also weighing in on this debate.
“I personally think there are way more serious problems that “my” taxes should go to, then trying to erase history,” one Insider wrote.
Another Insider wrote: “I think it’s a good to have them removed. The confederacy is nothing to be proud of.”
We want to know what you think about the continued removal of confederate monuments in Jacksonville. Let us know below.