Former Charlottesville councilor weighs in on possible change to statue rules

Former Charlottesville councilor weighs in on possible change to statue rules

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A former member of Charlottesville City Council says a controversial bill moving through the General Assembly might not get immediately get rid of Confederate war memorials.

A proposed bill advanced out of a Virginia Senate committee on a party-line vote Monday, February 3. If approved, this legislation would get rid of the statewide ban on removing Confederate war memorials and leave local governments to decide what to do with them.

The previous Republican majority in Richmond had stood in the way of several Charlottesville leaders and their efforts to gain local control of monuments like the statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in public parks. Democrats currently have the majority in the General Assembly.

Statue of Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in Charlottesville
Statue of Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in Charlottesville (Source: WVIR)

However, former-Councilor Kristin Szakos says if this bill is passed it does not mean those statues are definitely going to be removed.

"There's nothing in this bill that forces localities to take any action at all. It just allows local choice," Szakos explained.

A committee in the Virginia House of Delegates is set to consider the bill Friday, February 7.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.