JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A hot topic in Jacksonville is the status of the removal of Confederate monuments in the downtown area and with new elected officials taking office, we’re breaking down how the election could impact the status of those monuments.
One council member says whoever is voted as the new mayor of Jacksonville will have the power to change or continue with plans to remove confederate statues across the city.
Activist Wells Todd with Take Em Down Jax is applauding the removal of the remaining part of a monument in James Weldon Johnson Park that honored Florida’s confederate soldiers.
“It’s a victory for the entire community of Jacksonville, this statue has been up for over 125 years," said Todd.
City Council Member Matt Carlucci says that removal was only done so that the city can start repairing the park.
“They’ve got to tear that water feature out so the column had to be taken out, they can’t work around it, And James Weldon Johnson park is going to be restored and renewed," said Carlucci, who represents Group 4.
That still leaves more than a dozen others standing in the city.
In 2022, Mayor Lenny Curry set aside $500,000 in the city’s budget to remove confederate monuments and markers on city property, but council has still not approved any proposal to use the funds for monuments across the city.
“The money is still there, but until we have a council that has the political will and the historical understanding of what those monuments really are, it will be tough to get them moved," Carlucci said.
Last year, the mayor put out a list of Civil War related monuments and markers on city property. With the removal of the one here in James Weldon Johnson Park, there are 10 left standing.