Fairfax Co. supervisor moves to change district name from Lee to Franconia

On the wave of many Confederate name changes in Virginia, Supervisor Rodney Lusk said he will request the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to change his district’s name from Lee District to Franconia District.

In a tweet Sunday, Lusk said that while, for some, the name Lee District “invokes images of the Old Gravel Pits, the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows, or pride in the history of Laurel Grove School,” the name also stands for “the most recognizable figure in confederate history, General Robert E. Lee.”

“The time has come to change the name of Lee District,” Lusk said.

Lusk said the measure will be introduced when the board meets on Tuesday, and he hopes fellow members will join him in voting for the change.

Similar to many areas of Virginia and the South in the last few years, community town halls regarding the district’s Civil War namesake have been held in Lee District over the past few years. From those, and other outreach activities, Lusk said that the name “Franconia” was most synonymous with the community and its values.

“Franconia is a name that is synonymous with our community,” he wrote. “From Franconia Road, the Franconia Springfield Metro, the Franconia Museum, and the Franconia Governmental Center, the name Franconia has always been central to our identity. It is also a name that memorializes a place and not a person.”

It is unknown if Lusk will have majority approval on the board to rename the district, but he has already received support from other political figures in the state, including state Sen. Scott Surovell.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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