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Jacksonville councilmembers looking to push city forward with removal of Springfield Park Confederate monument

Councilman Reginald Gaffney along with two other council members is in support of the mayor's plan to remove the monument to the Women of Confederacy.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Council members Reginal Gaffney, Matt Carlucci and Ju'Coby Pittman are supporting Mayor Lenny Curry's promise to remove the monument to the Women of Confederacy at Springfield Park. 

Although the statue remains covered up at the park, plans to remove it are in the works. 

“It's time for Jacksonville if we want to be a big-time city to move forward together and move forward together means erasing some of the old history and bad history that people right now have a lot of pain about," said Gaffney.

Councilmember Matt Carlucci told First Coast News that he supports the removal of the monument Wednesday night.  

You can read Carlucci's full statement below.

"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, with the Northside Coalition, says it's a step in the right direction.

“We applaud council members Matt Carlucci , Reginald Gaffney and Ju'coby Pittman for having the political integrity to move the city forward in the right direction. We expect that there will be others who will also come on board," said Frazier. 

As of now, the project is estimated to cost $1.298 million, a price Gaffney says can't be put on equality.

“I think if that’s going to erase some people's pain then I think it's worth paying $1.2 but I also think we can get it done for a lot cheaper than that. We just have to determine if that’s what we want to do and I want to do that, begin the conversation so real soon I hope," said Gaffney.

Gaffney says he can understand concerns of erasing history but the park should be inclusive to everyone.

“We’ll keep your history but it shouldn’t be at a public park. A public park should be for all of us not for your good history or my bad history it should be for all of us. I think there’s a place for that but not at a public park," said Gaffney.

Gaffney says in addition to getting the statue removed from his district he has also filed to make Juneteenth a city holiday.

There has been no set date on when the statue will be removed. 

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