Move to rename confederate street name in New Orleans

New Orleans City Councilmembers Jason Williams and Helena Moreno want to change the name of a major road in New Orleans.

"We have to take a close look at what the message is that our city is sending," Moreno announced.  "We must be intentional about making necessary changes. "That is why I believe it is important that this council begins to move forward with changing the name of Jeff Davis Parkway to bear the name of Dr. Norman C. Francis."

Moreno today said they are preparing a motion to begin that process.

Jefferson Davis Parkway is named after the former President of the Confederacy.  

Francis was the president of Xavier University.

"Dr. Francis has been a friend, a mentor, an inspiration, and a hero to many New Orleanians," Williams said in a statement. "Our streets and shared rights of way are littered with vestiges of a racist past."

Moreno added, "Changing the name of Jefferson Davis Pkwy to Norman C. Francis is a small step- in fact, one that should have been taken far earlier than today - to recognize and confront the deeply embedded systematic racism in our institutions. Black Lives Matter. And we cannot mean those words if we continue to sustain landmarks to white supremacy on our city's streets."

The issue led to a larger discussion about other individuals councilmembers suggested are deserving of a street named after them and other streets and landmarks that need to be looked at for renaming... including Lee Circle where a statue of former Confederate General Robert E. Lee previously stood.