NEW ORLEANS - Today, five New Orleans Mayors - LaToya Cantrell, Mitch Landrieu, Marc Morial, Sidney Barthelemy and Moon Landrieu - published a powerful op-ed supporting the initiative by Councilmembers Helena Moreno and Jason Williams to rename the current Jefferson Davis Parkway for Dr. Norman C. Francis.
They write, in part:
"In light of the racial moment that we find ourselves in today and the fact that we are moved once again to set history straight, we believe that it is fitting to rename Jefferson Davis Parkway to Norman C. Francis Parkway. This is not solely to remove the reference to Jefferson Davis, although that notion stands on its own and requires no explanation. This particular roadway runs through Norman Francis' legacy to New Orleans and America, Xavier University, which has graduated more African American students earning undergraduate degrees in the biology and the life sciences, chemistry, physics and pharmacy than any other college or university. By standing at the helm of Xavier, Dr. Francis planted the seeds of academic excellence. This is the road that runs through it. And we believe it should bear his name.
We applaud the grassroots movement to honor Dr. Francis, as well as actions promised by current City Council members Helena Moreno and Jason Williams. We look forward to an expeditious hearing by the recommended governmental bodies to make this a reality. Our city and her people deserve no less."
Councilmember Moreno announced that she and Council President Williams would offer an instrument to begin the renaming process at the June 18th Regular City Council meeting. The Councilmembers also declared the need to immediately form a plan and process to promote similar changes for many other public spaces and streets throughout the city.
Read the full op-ed published in The Advocate here.
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno