AP NEWS

Richmond City Council to vote on monuments resolution

January 5, 2020 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond’s City Council is set to decide whether to ask the General Assembly for local control over the city’s Confederate monuments.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the council will vote Monday on a resolution requesting the authority to decide the monuments’ fate. Currently, state law prohibits local governments from moving or changing war memorials.

Richmond has an especially prominent display of Confederate statues along Monument Avenue and has been wrestling for years about whether they should be removed or altered.

The resolution was brought by council member Michael Jones, who has unsuccessfully pushed for it twice before.

Kimberly Gray, the councilwoman who represents most of Monument Avenue, told the newspaper she will not support a resolution she called “divisive.”

State lawmakers have balked in the past at changing the law. But with Democrats newly in charge of the General Assembly, the issue that’s largely fallen along party lines before is expected to have new traction. A number of state lawmakers are expected to speak at a rally Wednesday being held in support of a bill that would give localities control over monuments in their public spaces.