Earlier this week, the Hollywood City (Fla.) Commission voted to move forward with plans to change the names of streets named after Confederate generals that, coincidentally or not, lie in the heart of the city’s African-American neighborhood.
According to the Miami Herald, the commission voted on two key measures. One measure will have the city waive its policy of conducting a poll of residents who would be affected by the name change in order to avoid any tensions. Commissioner Richard Blattner, who proposed the measure, noted that if the commission takes the poll and most people don’t want the street names changed but the city goes ahead with the changes anyway, it would look as if the commissioners were not taking residents’ opinions into consideration.
The second measure, proposed by Vice Mayor Traci Callari, called for a dual-naming system for the streets over two years so that people could get used to the new names before the old names of “Lee,” “Forrest” and “Hood” completely disappear.
The streets are named after Gens. Robert E. Lee, John Bell Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
The commission will vote on the overall issue Aug. 30.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating on Aug. 30 when we finally vote on the street names officially being changed,” Esther Pereira, a resident and a Black Lives Matter activist, told the Herald.
“It is time to change the names, and the time is now. Hollywood has a proud history as a multicultural and nondiscriminatory city, and we the commission have an obligation to ensure that legacy to our residents in a consistent and timely manner,” Commissioner Debra Case said Monday. “We must do the right thing. And we must do it now. In conclusion, I support the street-name change of Forrest, Lee and Hood.”
Read more at the Miami Herald.