The full Montgomery County Council wants to see name changes to streets and other county facilities that bear the names of Confederate Army leaders and soldiers.
The council in Maryland’s most populous county sent a letter to County Executive Marc Elrich and Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson requesting a comprehensive review of all county-owned and county-maintained streets and facilities.
The letter doesn’t single out any particular roads but says street names should “appropriately” reflect the communities to which they belong.
The letter reads, in part:
As we work to dismantle the structures that perpetuate racism, we must target the symbols that normalize and legitimize it. The names of public streets and buildings are not merely a reminder of the past; they are a very clear indication of who and what we value today.”
The letter goes on to say:
We cannot recreate history, but we can decide how accurately we reflect it, and who we choose to glorify from it. The names of our buildings and streets should reflect the people in and on them, not threaten and intimidate them.”
In Montgomery County, the planning board has the authority to name, or in this case, rename a street or highway.
Over the weekend, a petition was posted to Change.org calling for name changes to several streets in Potomac. They include Jeb Stuart Road and Jubal Early Court.
By Tuesday night, 74 people had signed the petition.
The push comes as jurisdictions across the country reassess the way Civil War era history is commemorated, including the the naming of roads and public buildings for Confederate leaders.
On Monday, the Maryland State House Trust voted to remove a plaque dedicated to soldiers and Marylanders on both sides of the Civil War.