In New York City’s Tuesday Council meeting, members discussed the possible removal of statues “[depicting] a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefited economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity.”
This would include figures such as the first president of the United States of America George Washington, in addition to Christopher Columbus and New York settler Peter Stuyvesant.
A public hearing will be held by the council’s Cultural Affairs Committee on the statue removal efforts. If the Public Design Commission does not go forward with statue removal, the Cultural Affairs Committee requests that an “explanatory plaque” be placed nearby.
The Department of Transportation would also have to consult with the Department of Education to ensure plaques are added adjacent to schools named after figures who fit the aforementioned criteria.
The city council, currently facing major budget constraints, also discussed the creation of a reparations task force that would “consider the impact of slavery and past injustices for African Americans in New York city and reparations for such injustices.”
Additional actions noted during the meeting included anti-racism training for employees of human services contractors and agency employees, the creation of a citywide New York City freedom trail, and more that can be viewed here.