Residents speak out on planned proposal to remove Confederate statues in RVA


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One day after Richmond officials announced plans to propose a city ordinance to remove Confederate statues sharing Monument Avenue with Robert E. Lee, 8News has learned that ordinance could also include taking down Confederate statues beyond city streets.

Sitting high on Libby Hill in Richmond, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument stand tall. Its future and that of other Confederate statues not erected on Monument Avenue remain uncertain, however.

City Parks and Recreation says the city owns the statue, in addition to the Fitzhugh Lee Cross, the General Wickham statue in Monroe Park and the A.P. Hill monument where Hermitage Road meets Laburnum Avenue.

But after a proposal by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and City Councilmen Michael Jones that would week to remove Confederate statues on Monument Avenue – including JEB Stuart, Stonewall Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury – was announced, Jones told 8News, “If we’re sweeping one, we should sweep them all.” 

So, how do locals feel?

Trudy Lorenc, who frequents to Richmond for work, told 8News, “It’s a part of history, you can’t change it. This is where we done come from, here is where we are going. Put up something that’s going to show where we are going too.”

Yet, Shaylin Conklin is opposed to the statues continuing to stand tall, telling 8News, “At the end of the day it still is history, I mean whether we like it or not. So, the fact that, you know, they are here being able to ride past them every day is not a good thing. But also, We still want to remember what they did just not to the point that we ride past it every day.”

The proposed city ordinance will still need to be presented for consideration, with city council and the public weighing in.

The earliest that can happen is July 1, when the ordinance is expected to be introduced.

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