NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council Street Renaming Commission (CCSRC) met virtually on Monday, Nov. 30 to discuss a handful of streets in Lakeview that are under consideration to be renamed.
Referred to as “The Lakeview Five,” Bragg, Lane, Mouton and Walker streets, along with Robert E. Lee Boulevard are all on the table to be renamed—each named after a Confederate-era soldier and leader.
About 70 people participated in the virtual meeting to ask questions and express their thoughts on the renaming process.
For the last few months, the CCSRC has listened to historians, researchers and residents in communities about the process.
Chair of the CCSRC Karl Connor says commissions like this help the city make decisions based on what’s important to the people they serve.
“I’m proud of this council for actually coming to grips with what has been a sore topic for quite some time and has needed a discussion at a minimum, and a solution at a maximum,” he said.
Renaming streets is proving to be a tough item to tackle, as Lakeview, with the exception of Algiers, will be impacted more than other areas of the city, having more names up for renaming consideration. Having community members weigh in, Connor says, helps the process move in a more positive direction.
Robert E. Lee Boulevard is a major thoroughfare that runs through two city districts. Commissioners say for that reason, it’s important that residents of Lakeview and across the city give their input. But in the end, he says it’ll be up to the two representing city council members to make a decision.
Some participants of the meeting offered suggestions to renaming Robert E. Lee to honor leaders at the University of New Orleans, which is nearby. Another suggestion, to honor the nuns of Mt. Carmel. One resident felt the renaming process was unfair in that he felt like the renaming was done regardless of feedback from the community.
Connor, along with other commissioners, mentioned the four streets in Lakeview named after Confederate-era people (Bragg, Lane, Mouton and Walker), could possibly be renamed with the theme of “emancipated slaves,” since historically and geographically, Lakeview was a place where some emancipated slaves lived.
Commissioners assured residents that suggestions, comments and concerns from everyone are taken into consideration and say the renaming of streets is something of a moving target until final recommendations are made. They say nothing is set in stone, and everything is subject to change.
“Everybody’s not going to be completely happy with whatever solution or process you come up with, so it’s not a question of making everyone happy, but it is a question of making sure that everyone feels heard,” Connor said.
Tonight’s meeting was just one step in the entire process.
To submit thoughts or feedback on the renaming process, visit www.nolaccsrc.org and click on the ‘submit feedback’ button at the top of the page.
The website also has an interactive map to learn more about the street names in question.
Commissioners want residents to know, the renaming is solely for Confederacy-specific and Confederacy-adjacent streets. The CCSRC also mentioned future motions are possible to expand to streets named after slave owners and even the King of France—King Louis XIV, who defined how slavery was processed in the new world.
Connor mentioned the full list of possible new names for the streets up for consideration reflect the diversity of the city. Everything from generic names like “Jazz St.” to notable leaders, musicians, artists, philanthropists and more.
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