Representatives of groups that fought for New Orleans’ famous street, Poydras Street, to get a new name, said on Friday that they would pursue a similar process to rename Lee Boulevard, the main boulevard named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The New Orleans City Council announced earlier this week that it would explore renaming Lee Boulevard and three others.
A spokeswoman for Councilwoman Susan Guidry, who is pushing for Lee Boulevard to be renamed, said Friday that support for the idea was strong. “It seems clear to me that we should consider names that have a positive value to our community as well as connect to the history of our community,” said Simone Levine.
The Times-Picayune reported that an effort had already started to rename Lee Boulevard. Sarah Brennan, a sociologist and the daughter of a member of the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center, told the newspaper that she believed the push had been started by “a small handful of lunatics, to make a big point” about monuments.
While the New Orleans City Council is not expected to act on its own, the effort to rename Lee Boulevard is only one of dozens undertaken in the wake of the deadly August rally in Charlottesville, Va., that culminated in a white supremacist ranting “Jews will not replace us.” At least 17 cities and towns have placed restrictions on the display of Confederate monuments in the wake of Charlottesville.
“I think the failure to sufficiently respond to Charlottesville is revealing,” Susan Stern, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, told The New York Times on Thursday.