Rename Confederate Street in Old West Austin

Rename Confederate Street in Old West Austin

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Cheyenne Weaver started this petition to City of Austin, Texas and

It's time for the City of Austin to dismantle its memorials of the Confederacy by renaming Confederate St. located adjacent to the historically black neighborhood of Clarksville. The neighborhood was founded by freedman Charles Clark in 1871, who purchased the property, built his home and then sold the remaining land to other former slaves. A Freedmen Community was thereby established and persisted well into the 20th century despite the 1928 Master Plan that denied public works services to the area such as paved roads, sewers, sidewalks, and lighting to draw residents to East Austin. 

The City of Austin is actively upholding a legacy that never fit with the values of this neighborhood. Confederate St. first showed up in city directories in 1924, as part of a trend of naming Confederate monuments in Black neighborhoods as a reminder of white dominance. There are of course countless names more appropriate to the community, but because the street is located between two schools, Open Door Preschool and Matthews Elementary, we put forth the name of freedwoman Maggie Mayes who founded the first school in Clarksville in her home shared by her husband Elias Mayes, a prominent Black state legislator. 

The Austin Equity Office has already recommended the name be changed along with a selection of other names memorializing slaveholders and the Confederacy throughout Austin (linked below). We're calling on District 9 Council Member Kathy Tovo to make this change happen now. Let's begin the process of changing the name to remember, not the Confederacy, but a brave woman who built and educated one of Austin's first thriving Freedmen Communities nearby.

http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/pio/document.cfm?id=302508

 

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