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Richmond asks Assembly for control over Confederate statues

(AP) Virginia’s capital city has voted to ask the General Assembly for local control over the Confederate monuments on city-owned land.

The 6-2 vote came at a special Jan. 6 Richmond City Council meeting , the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Two similar resolutions requesting authority to decide the monuments’ fate were previously proposed by 9th District councilman Michael Jones but were rejected.

Richmond has a prominent display of Confederate statues along Monument Avenue and has been wrestling for years about whether they should be removed or altered. Currently, state law prohibits local governments from moving or changing such memorials.

Opposing the resolution were 4th District Councilwoman Kristen Larson and 8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell, the newspaper said.

Trammell has opposed each of Jones’ efforts on the issue. She said she voted against it a third time based on feedback she received from constituents who indicated they have other priorities they want to see the council focus on, the newspaper reported.

Larson said she didn’t think the vote had been vetted through the council’s typical legislative process.

Absent was Kim Gray, the 2nd District councilwoman who represents much of Monument Avenue. Last week, Gray called Jones’ resolution divisive and said she wouldn’t support it. A representative for Gray told news outlets she couldn’t attend the meeting because she was at the hospital with her daughter.

Richmond’s decision came as the Virginia General Assembly prepared to convene its legislative session on Jan. 8. Proponents of removing Confederate statues think there’s potential the state law protecting them could be changed since Democrats have assumed control of the body for the first time in a generation, the newspaper said.

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