June 30, 2021

Kristin Gisleson Palmer, Joseph I. Giarrusso

Councilmembers Palmer and Giarrusso Move Forward with the Renaming of Three Public Parks

Councilmembers Palmer and Giarrusso Move Forward with the Renaming of Three Public Parks

Recommendations follow those proposed in final report of the Street Renaming Commission 

NEW ORLEANS - At Thursday’s Council meeting, District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer and District “A” Councilmember Joe Giarrusso will introduce several ordinances that, if passed, will rename three parks that were named after confederate or white supremacist leaders. The proposed parks include Washington Artillery Park in the French Quarter, Behrman Park in Algiers, and Palmer Park in Carrollton. 


The parks were recommended for renaming after a process carried out by the City Council Street Renaming Commission (CCSRC), which was created by a City ordinance authored by Councilmembers Palmer and Jay H. Banks in June 2020.


Ordinance 33,372 will rename Washington Artillery Park after Louisiana’s first Black Lt. Governor, Oscar Dunn. Ordinance 33,374 will rename Behrman Park after Morris F.X. Jeff, a Black New Orleans educator who facilitated recreational activities for disadvantaged students and who later created the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD). 


“Renaming these public parks is a necessary first step to acknowledging the racist past that New Orleans still struggles to shake off today,” said Councilmember Palmer. “Whom we choose to name our public spaces after says so much about who we are as a city. The African American heroes who built our city great deserve to be honored more than the confederates and white supremacists who brought so much pain.”


“I applaud Councilmember Palmer for taking a lead on this," NORD District “C” Commissioner Theo Sanders said. "We have many Black leaders, including Morris Jeff, who were instrumental in uplifting our communities and never received the recognition that they deserve. The street renaming process has given us an opportunity to honor them and their contributions to New Orleans."


In District A, Ordinance 33,356 will change the name of Palmer Park to Marsalis Harmony Park in honor of local jazz patriarch, Ellis Marsalis. 


"Ellis Marsalis and his family lived near the park, and they have enriched this community and the surrounding neighborhoods," Councilmember Giarrusso said. "I have been in contact with the neighborhoods most affected by this name change from the jump. By working together with the nearest neighbors and the Marsalis family, we've 'harmonized' ideas into a celebration of the Marsalis family, their impact on music, and the importance of working together: Marsalis Harmony Park." 


After a robust and citywide engagement process, the CCSRC recommended the renaming of 37 streets, parks, and public places honoring white supremacists across the city. If the Council passes the three ordinances tomorrow, they will become the first of the Commission's recommendations. 





Media Contact:

Tiffaney Bradley

Director of Communications and Special Projects 

District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer


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