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Jax Daily Record Friday, Aug. 18, 201710:32 AM EST

JAX Chamber issues statement on Confederate statue removal

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City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche said Monday she wants to relocate statues.
by: Monty Zickuhr Managing Editor
JAX Chamber Board Chair Darnell Smith.

JAX Chamber has reacted to City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche’s statement on Aug. 14 that she wants to begin the process of relocating Confederate monuments away from public property.

On Friday, JAX Chamber Board Chair Darnell Smith issued the following statement:

“JAX Chamber has a long history of working to ensure equal opportunity for all people.  We believe in the dignity, goodness and respect of all citizens. We vehemently condemn individuals and groups that promote the despicable acts of prejudice, hate, discrimination, bigotry and racism which have no place in our community.

“We support the effort to inventory all of Jacksonville’s public monuments and conduct a swift, honest and thoughtful look at who we honor, and more importantly, who is missing from our public landscape. Discussions should include how we heal wounds that may still persist from our past. Among those should be a consideration of how we memorialize our city’s history in public spaces, and will most certainly involve additional tributes to Jacksonville’s historical leaders.

“There is much to celebrate about Jacksonville and our storied past. JAX Chamber will always be engaged in solutions for the challenges we face. Together we will move forward and with a united purpose we will write chapters our city’s history.”

On Aug. 14,  JAX Chamber President Daniel Davis reacted to Broche’s statement by saying the  organization historically has taken a stand on civil rights issues in the community, “and I would expect us to be at the forefront of any discussion on removing Confederate monuments from city property.”

Brosche said she’s asking the city’s Parks and Recreation and Planning departments to begin to inventory Confederate monuments, memorials and markers on city property.

She intends to draft legislation to move the monuments to educational institutions and museums “where they can be respectfully preserved and historically contextualized.” 

“It is important to never forget the history of our great city,” Brosche’s statement read. “And these monuments, memorials and markers represent a time in our history that caused pain to so many.”

The next City Council meeting is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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