Mayoral candidates debate renaming 'Stonewall St.'

- In light of the violence in Charlottesville, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and other candidates for mayor say we should change the name of Stonewall St. in uptown.

Though others strongly oppose the idea, the question came up during a political forum Tuesday night. Since then it has caught the attention of both democrats and republicans running for mayor.

Stonewall is the first street you see as you drive into Uptown on the southwestern side. After the violence in Charlottesville and several Confederate monuments coming down, the question is, should this street be renamed?

“I would support and orderly process to change the name of Stonewall,” said state Senator Joel Ford.

“Absolutely not change the names of our streets,” said Gary Dunn.

Dunn is a Republican running for Charlotte mayor. State Senator Joel Ford is a Democrat who’s also running for the seat.

“We need to take a look at our history from the perspective of African-Americans and other people in our community who have been negatively impacted by the Confederacy era,” said Ford.

“Just leave our streets and history and let them remind us of history, let us learn from it so we don’t repeat it which is even scarier,” said Dunn.

Currently, several construction projects are underway along Stonewall St. Many of them carrying the name.
Senator Ford says he’s sensitive to the cost businesses would incur to change everything from signs to business cards.

But if the name is changed, where do we go from here?

“If you take that to the extreme, you’d have to rename all the streets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama. They all have relationships to the history. To change Stonewall St., absolutely not. We shouldn’t change history,” said Dunn.

“We have a responsibility to our entire community and to display and tell history in the correct way and manner that we preserve it but we respect our past and look at the damage and deep dark past of the Confederacy,” said Ford.

We reached out to the other candidates running for mayor for this story as well. At the time of our newscast, we did not hear back from them.

The current mayor Jennifer Roberts said in a statement, "Yes, I absolutely support renaming Stonewall Street. As I've said for years, confederate monuments belong in museums, not in places of public prominence. We should evaluate the names we are making prominent in our public square, and this issue is worthy of council discussion."

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