NEW ORLEANS – Big changes could be coming to New Orleans’ city streets before the year is over. Some are relieved while others say, this process isn’t happening fast enough.
Street names like Robert E. Lee BLVD and Jefferson Davis Parkway may not be up much longer. That’s because the New Orleans City Council has selected nine people to rename city streets that don’t align with current values.
“Each council member would have an appointment, the mayor would have an appointment and the city planning commission would have an appointment,” City Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer shared.
While the cost for this process is still unknown, Palmer says, at least 17 streets will be renamed that currently honor confederates or white supremacists.
“The New Orleans Public Library is right now doing research on names as is the Historic New Orleans Collection is gonna partner with us as well,” Palmer told WGNO this afternoon.
Palmer also says, recent protests across the nation have sparked the expedition of the street-renaming. Changes could come as soon as this November.
Many New Orleans residents rejoiced the start to this new beginning. However, activist organization Take ‘Em Down NOLA says this should have happened long ago.
“In our opinion, there is no need for a commission,” Co-founder of Take ‘Em Down NOLA, Malcolm Suber said. “Every other city around the country- the city councils and the mayors or whoever makes the decision says ‘let’s get rid of this stuff’ then it’s gone!”
“Well, actually, that’s not true. It’s a land-use issue so you’re gonna have to deal with it at the city level, at the code level,” explained Palmer. “Think about having to make sure that if a street name is changed, every single block and the signs also have to be changed.”
Suber says, along with the street signs, there’s other things that need to be addressed immediately. “We’ll be happy when all of the statues are down, especially Andrew Jackson,” Suber said.
Palmer tells us, New Orleans may have a while to go, but the city is taking major steps in the right direction for equality.
“Changing names is a reflection of who we are. These names were strategically put there in order to perpetuate the lies of racism,” Palmer said.
WGNO is told, on Thursday, the street-renaming commission should be approved.