Some DC sites could be renamed, removed following committee report

Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial are among them

Some DC sites could be renamed, removed following committee report
In this April 22, 2009 file photo, the White House, Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial are seen in Washington. (Source: AP Photo/Ron Edmonds/AP)

(Gray News) - A Washington D.C. committee released a report Tuesday recommending the renaming, removal or contextualizing of various public schools, residential buildings and campuses, public spaces and government buildings in the district.

Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed the committee in July to work on “evaluating named DC Government-owned facilities and making recommendations as to what, if any, actions need to be taken if the namesake is inconsistent with DC values and in some way encouraged the oppression of African Americans and other communities of color or contributed to our long history of systemic racism.”

The committee was formed in response to the George Floyd protests.

“Since July 15, we have worked with eight working group members and more than twenty staff members to engage residents, examine policy and conduct research in making the recommendations contained herein,” a letter from the chairs said, “Our decision-making prism focused on key disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Right Act.”

In the report, the committee called on the mayor to use her position to recommend the federal government remove, relocate or contextualize specific statues and memorials -- notably, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Others include:

  • Christopher Columbus – Columbus Fountain (federal)
  • Benjamin Franklin – Benjamin Franklin Statue (federal)
  • Andrew Jackson – Andrew Jackson Statue (federal)
  • Thomas Jefferson – Jefferson Memorial (federal)
  • George Mason – George Mason Memorial (federal)
  • Francis Griffith Newlands – Newlands Memorial Fountain (federal)
  • Albert Pike – Albert Pike Statue (federal)
  • George Washington – Washington Monument, George Washington Statue (federal)

The committee “has made several recommendations to standardize and improve the process by which assets are named going forward.”

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