Change the Park Names in Charlottesville to Heyer & Cullen/Bates

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I've been through a range of emotions the past few days as I've seen my city of Charlottesville turned into a lightning rod for two opposite sides of the same fight. 

To mention just a few, there's been anger at the hate and viciousness that I've seen. There's been pride in the response form the community. There's been confusion that this could happen in 2017. And there's been heartbreak for the people injured and killed on that day.

Through all of these emotions, I've wondered what I can do, what we as a community can do, to remember this day and honor those that lost their life. I propose that we rename the parks at the center of these issues and protests and honor the victims.

Heather Heyer died after a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters. 

Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates of the Virginia State Police were killed in a helicopter crash. 

  • Emancipation Park should be renamed Heyer Memorial Park. 
  • Justice Park should be renamed Cullen-Bates Memorial Park

Charlottesville City Council recently came up with a panel that debated the new park names, eventually landing on the names Emancipation Park and Justice Park. These names have no specific connection to our rich history, diversity and opportunities that we offer to our community and youth. 

I ask that we remember the day we took a stand and drove hatred a racism out of Charlottesville. There is more work to be done in Charlottesville, but this is a start. 

 



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