Winchester City Council discusses Jubal Early Drive name change

Virginia

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM)– At their June 23rd meeting, City Council members held a discussion regarding petitions, emails, and comments that came forward demanding the name change of Jubal Early Drive. Jubal Early is noted as a white supremacist in history and served as a Confederate general during the Civil War.

“I can’t abide by a street in Winchester being named to honor a white supremacist,” said one city council member.

The discussion did not reveal a clear answer as to how exactly the name change would be handled. City Council members discussed several key points. One of those involved the businesses located on Jubal Early Drive and the cost associated with changing signage if the name change were to occur. Many council members agreed that they’d want to allocate money in the budget for the businesses.

Another consideration is what the name would be changed to. Community members sent in several suggestions. Some of those names are of prominent members of the Black community, like Martin Luther King Jr. Others are more neutral such as Magnolia Drive. Council members mentioned that it may be best to not pick the name of a person, and to go with a more neutral option, due to the emotional nature of the situation. No final answer was determined during the meeting.

“Citizens are urging us to have this discussion and we’re doing it but I urge us not to forget why we’re having this discussion and it’s because of racism,” said another city council member.

City Council members said they want to try to find a solution to address other racial symbols in the community as a whole instead of resolving each one individually.

City Council members ended the meeting deciding that more public comment was needed before making a final decision. A date for further public comment has not yet been determined.

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