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Richmond City Council To Vote On Confederate Monument Removal

Crews removing a statue of J.E.B. Stuart from Richmond's Monument Avenue
Crews removing a statue of J.E.B. Stuart from Richmond's Monument Avenue earlier this month. (Crixell Matthews/VPM)

On Monday night, Richmond City Council will take a final vote on whether the city’s Confederate monuments should remain down. 

Even though Mayor Levar Stoney took down more than a dozen Confederate statues and iconography earlier this month, keeping them down will require a vote from City Council. Monday’s meeting, which is set to begin at 5p.m., will also be the last chance that the public has to voice their support or opposition. It’s unlikely however, that public input will sway the council into leaving them up. All nine members have previously said they’d support removal

As cranes rolled up to the Stonewall Jackson statute on July 1, Stoney said in a video statement that he feels it is past time to turn the page on the Confederacy.

“Since the end of Richmond’s official tenure as the Capital of the Confederacy 155 years ago, we have been burdened with that legacy,” Stoney said. “The great weight of that burden has fallen on our residents of color, but it’s also placed a weight on all of our brothers and sisters who saw the unmet potential for Richmond to become an international example of a diverse, compassionate and inclusive community.”

In all, the removal of Confederate symbolism throughout the city has cost Richmond at least $1.8 million. 

Localities were given the ability to remove Confederate statues by the General Assembly this year. The process outlined in state law requires the final public meeting to have a physical location, so residents can show up virtually or at City Hall. 

If City Council votes to remove, they’ll have to offer the monuments to historical societies or museums for 30 days. Whether the monuments are displayed somewhere else or remain in storage will ultimately be up to City Council to decide. 

The meeting will be live streamed here.