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City Council To Hear From Public On Moratorium On Renaming Parks, Statues

James Weldon Johnson Park, then Hemming Park, is pictured on June 9, 2020, shortly after the city removed its Confederate statue.
Heather Schatz
/
WJCT News
James Weldon Johnson Park, then Hemming Park, is pictured on June 9, 2020, shortly after the city removed its Confederate statue.

The Jacksonville City Council is set to hold a public hearing on a proposed two year moratorium on the renaming of public parks, buildings and streets during Tuesday’s meeting. The council is also considering more buyouts of homes in flood-prone areas.

The renaming issue has drawn a lot of attention recently as thousands have marched in protests across the country aimed at removing monuments to Confederate figures and renaming places that honor them.

Some on the City Council pushed back against last month’s renaming of Hemming Park to James Weldon Johnson Park, in honor of the late Civil Rights activist from Jacksonville.

Related: Councilman Files To Rename 5 Parks, Following James Weldon Johnson Debate

The council on Tuesday will also consider a pair of ordinances that would appropriate funding to buy and tear down homes that were flooded during Hurricane Irma.

Councilmembers are also expected to vote on a resolution honoring the life and service of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Chris Cunningham, who died of complications from COVID-19 last month.

City Council President Tommy Hazouri, who underwent lung transplant surgery in late July, is expected to lead the meeting. WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reported Hazouri informed City Council members this week he planned to resume his duties as president.

The Jacksonville City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8 and will be held virtually on Zoom. To watch the live stream or to learn how to participate, click here.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.