CHEVY CHASE, Md. (WDVM) — Some of us drivers use Chevy Chase Circle when traveling from Montgomery County into Washington, D.C., but some things may change.
Lawmakers are trying to get the name of a segregationist removed. Francis G. Newlands, a former U.S. Senator from Nevada, held racist views and worked to keep working-class, Black, and Jewish families out of the Chevy Chase community. Because of Newlands’ history, officials want his name removed from the plaque that sits on front of the fountain. This circle is located partially in the District of Columbia and partially in Maryland, but is under federal jurisdiction and managed by the National Park Service.
“For decades, racism and redlining in our nation’s housing market have perpetuated a pattern of discrimination in access to home-ownership. Francis Newlands – who developed Chevy Chase – was a white supremacist who worked to actively ensure his developments were inaccessible to Black, Jewish, and working-class families,” said Senator Van Hollen.
We should not be memorializing him and the deeply harmful policies he stood for – the legacies of which are still impacting marginalized communities to this day. As we work to take meaningful action to root out the racism embedded in many of our institutions, we must also end the glorification of those who focused on promoting those policies,” said Senator Van Hollen.
Senator Cardin, Representative Raskin and Eleanor Holmes Norton are also behind the bill.