A local government advisory commission in Washington, D.C. has recommended sweeping name changes for schools, government buildings, and public spaces in the nation’s capital, and is urging city’s Mayor to call on the federal government to possibly ‘remove, relocate, or contextualize’ a group of federal memorials - including the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.
“The Working Group’s research revealed that more than 70% of assets named in the District of Columbia are named for white men, many of whom were not District residents,” the ‘DC Faces’ report stated.
The review was started in the wake of protests over the police killing of George Floyd, which included clashes between demonstrators and police near the White House.
The report singled out a series of schools for name changes, including past U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Zachary Taylor, John Tyler, and Woodrow Wilson, along with other luminaries like Alexander Graham Bell and Francis Scott Key.
The recommendations quickly attracted the attention of the White House, and Communications Director Alyssa Farah.
On Tuesday, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser did not specifically address any of the details in the report.
“I look forward to reviewing and advancing their recommendations,” the Mayor said on Twitter.
Along with schools, parks, statues and monuments, the report also raised questions about the names of 78 streets in the nation’s capital, ten neighborhoods, and two libraries.
The ideas quickly drew scorn from Republicans in the nation’s capital.
“That sound you hear is smart Democratic operatives banging their heads against the wall because this is what we call a softball for the other side,” said GOP strategist Brian Walsh.
“This is not parody,” tweeted Nathan Brand of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“What a joke, except it’s not funny anymore,” said Spencer Brown of Young Americans for Freedom.
While the city could rename schools and parks, no federal memorials could be changed - or moved - without the agreement of the federal government.
You can read the full report at this link.