Blue Ribbon Commission Looking Forward to Community Forum

Posted: Updated: Aug 01, 2016 09:52 PM
Charlottesville's Blue Ribbon Commission Charlottesville's Blue Ribbon Commission
Don Gathers, Blue Ribbon Commission chair Don Gathers, Blue Ribbon Commission chair

Charlottesville’s Blue Ribbon Commission is tackling some weighty tasks before its first community forum next week.

Commissioners say they feel like they're already learning and accomplishing a lot. Now, they're getting ready to listen to what the public thinks about the issues.

The group is evaluating the city's Confederate memorials to find a way to respect both the African-American community and the area's history.

Wednesday night commissioners talked about how to get input on different memorials around Charlottesville, like the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park or the Drewary J. Brown bridge.

At the public forum next week, there will be a chance for small brainstorming groups. There will also be time for people to share their opinions in front of everyone.

“Looking forward to lots of input and lots of engagement from the community,” said Don Gathers, Blue Ribbon Commission chair. “It is imperative - I can't stress how important it is that the community actually come out and make their voices heard and let us know exactly what they're thinking.”

Commissioners hope to make their regular meetings a little more accessible to the public by having some of them in churches and neighborhoods

The community forum will last from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center.

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