Jackson County voters to decide whether to remove statutes

July 13, 2020 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Voters will decide in November whether to remove the statutes of President Andrew Jackson from the downtown Kansas City courthouse and the Historic Truman Courthouse in Independence.

The seven white members of the Jackson County legislature voted Monday to put the local question on their general election ballot, The Kansas City Star reported. Its two Black members voted against it.

Andrew Jackson, for whom Jackson County is named, was both a slave owner and oversaw the forceful removal of Native Americans from their homes.


Chairwoman Theresa Galvin argued the people of the county should decide whether to remove the statues.

But Jalen Anderson, one of the two Black members who voted against it, urged his colleagues to have the courage to make the decision themselves.

“The people put us here to make decisions,” Anderson said.

County Executive Frank White, who is also Black, scolded the legislature for punting on this issue: “This is truly is a body that doesn’t want to do what it was elected to do.”

White had called for the removal of the statues last month in the midst of nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in the custody of a Minneapolis police.