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Kitchen has a new name for Robert E. Lee

Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

Just a month after the violence in Charlottesville sparked conversations about race and the Confederate monuments dotting the South, Council Member Ann Kitchen has put forward a new name for Robert E. Lee Road in her district. After concerns about honoring Confederates reached a fever pitch in mid-August, Council members voted to move forward with renaming that road as well as Jeff Davis Avenue in North Austin. This week, Kitchen suggested renaming the road after Azie Taylor Morton. Morton, who died in 2003, was a longtime teacher, civil servant and the first African-American to become U.S. Treasurer. She was appointed to the post by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. In the announcement, Kitchen said, “After reviewing ideas brought forward by our community, and after discussions with several neighbors and community members, I am proposing this change because I believe the City should consider honoring a strong woman with roots in our local community who dedicated her life to civil service. Changing this street name is an important step for healing our community given the injustices of the past. While history itself will never change, nor do we forget the lessons of our history, we must ensure that those we memorialize reflect and honor our own values.” Learn more about Morton here, and learn more about the street renaming process here.

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