JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — City Council voted 13 to 6 against a resolution to remove all Confederate statues in Jacksonville, including the Daughters of the Confederacy monument in Springfield and the pillar left at James Weldon Johnson Park.
The bill, introduced by Council member Matt Carlucci, suggested removing the statues for $500,000.
“What Jacksonville needs tonight is action. That (bill) gets to the heart of the action. And action is long, long overdue,” Carlucci said to council Tuesday night.
The councilmember’s final plea was met with silence by other council members.
At least 88 neighbors signed up to speak during public comment, many for or against the monuments.
Demonstrators on the front steps of City Hall said they wouldn’t stop fighting.
“We’re not going to stop fighting. We’re not going to stop coming out here. We’re not going to stop putting the pressure on (City Council) to do what’s right and be on the right side of history,” Monique Sampson, with Jacksonville Community Action Committee, said.
Sampson joined other demonstrators, including leaders with the Northside Coalition, to rally against the statues.
Inside chambers, several also spoke against removing the monuments.
“How is destroying statues improving the lives of any Americans?,” one woman asked. “Use my tax money to fight evil by making our schools as safe as any government building. You are elected in to office to represent us, not defer bills.”
Carlucci told Action News Jax he introduced the resolution to help keep a promise made by Mayor Lenny Curry two years ago to remove all Confederate statues.
“When companies, academic institutions, medical institutions, not-for-profits look to relocate, they see a Jim Crow culture here and they’re going to go somewhere else,” Carlucci said. “These monuments are not an economic development tool.”
The bill failed two committees before council’s vote in full.
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