JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (The video above is from a previous story)
Three members of the Jacksonville City Council have reportedly announced their support for the removal of the Monument to the Women of the Confederacy that still stands in Springfield Park.
This is the first time any member of City Council has announced support for its removal in an official capacity.
Council member Matt Carlucci told First Coast News that he supports the removal of the monument via phone conversation Wednesday night.
He also forwarded a statement via email.
"Regarding the confederate statue in Springfield, I have reached the conclusion that it should be carefully dismantled, preserved, and stored until such a time that a new location may be found. After welcoming many diverse opinions in recent months, I believe this is a necessary step. As a third term At-Large council member, I have had the opportunity and privilege to hear from a broad range of voices. For our city as a whole, I believe this will bring healing and help Jacksonville move ahead, keeping our eyes on the future. As always, your comments and thoughts on this matter are welcomed."
Ben Frazier of the Northside Coalition says Council Members Reginald Gaffney and Ju'coby Pittman have also pledged their support for the movement to remove the monument.
First Coast News has reached out to Gaffney and Pittman and are waiting to hear back.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is expected to call on the city council to remove the Monument to the Women of the Confederacy at Springfield Park.
His office sent city council two emails and a document with the proposed cost of the project, which a council member sent First Coast News. The cost of removing the monument alone is projected at $1.298 million.
Frazier organized a September rally at City Hall calling on Mayor Curry to take down Jacksonville's last Confederate monument, as the mayor promised in June 2020.
"The Mayor has finally decided to stop beating around the bush, sitting in the middle of the fence, and decided to take some type of definitive action," Frazier said. "The bottom line is that the Confederacy fought a Civil War to keep my people in chains."
A representative from the mayor's office said they have no date yet on when the proposal will be complete or when it will be presented to city council.
Statement from Northside Coalition:
“The Mayor should use his leadership, power and influence to encourage the council to pass legislation to get the monument removed.
The civil war is over and It's way past time to remove a monument that represents racial hatred and bigotry. Elected officials should stand up courageously and on the right side of history to make this One City And One Jacksonville.”