June 4, 2020
Jason Rogers Williams, Helena Moreno
Councilmembers Moreno and Williams Announce Beginning of Renaming Process for Jefferson Davis Parkway
NEW ORLEANS - Today, Councilmembers Moreno and Williams announced they would jointly author a motion to begin the process of renaming Jefferson Davis Parkway at the June 18th City Council Meeting. Jefferson Davis Parkway, a main artery that travels across several core New Orleans neighborhoods, is named after the former President of the Confederate States of America.
"As policymakers, we must ensure that this is a city where people feel uplifted and welcome, which means we have to take a close look at the message our city is sending and be intentional in making necessary changes," said Councilmember Moreno. "Changing the name of Jefferson Davis Pkwy to Norman C. Francis is a small step- in fact, one that should have been taken far earlier than today - to recognize and confront the deeply embedded systematic racism in our institutions. Black Lives Matter. And we cannot mean those words if we continue to sustain landmarks to white supremacy on our city's streets."
"Dr. Francis has been a friend, a mentor, an inspiration, and a hero to many New Orleanians. I am lucky to count myself among them. I am luckier to consider him a friend. I am truly elated and proud for the opportunity to play a role in honoring a bonafide New Orleans pioneer, Dr. Norman C. Francis. He is a brilliant example. I am as proud to work with my colleagues to correct a source of embarrassment to our city. Our streets and shared rights of way are littered with vestiges of a racist past. We cannot allow honors given to war criminals to remain when the people who bestowed those honors don't represent our values. Words and imagery are impactful. We have to make sure that the signals we send to our people are those of inclusivity and tolerance. Most importantly, we must not state tacitly or otherwise that we are ok with the stench of the confederacy staying alive in our welcoming city," said Councilmember Williams.
Councilmembers Moreno and Williams will co-author a motion to begin the CPC process to rename Jefferson Davis Parkway at the June 18th Council meeting. The Trustees of Xavier University, along with community activists and members of the public, have petitioned and requested that the Street be renamed "Norman C. Francis Parkway" in honor of the former President of Xavier University, whose campus sits along the current parkway.
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno