“At last, the Public Design Commission voted decisively and overwhelmingly to remove the statue of Thomas Jefferson from our People’s House, but this alone does not constitute the relief that we seek. We insist that the Administration, City Council, and New York Historical Society work in concert to expedite the statue’s removal from Council Chambers, and do so before the Council conducts its Stated Meeting of Tuesday, November 23, 2021.
Each day it is allowed to linger there serves as a reminder to our members of the horrors perpetrated against Blacks and Indigenous Peoples by revered figures – like Jefferson – who were instrumental in America’s creation, but also known practitioners of slavery that espoused white supremacist beliefs.
Such individuals are no longer worthy of exaltation in an era where the ancestors of those they subjugated now hold the very seats of power derived from the systems of government they established. While there may be ambivalence and a lack of consensus among scholars, historians, and even our fellow New Yorkers about the merits of memorializing this flawed Founding Father in the halls of our government, we are nonetheless resolute in our determination to have his likeness expelled.
We should have sovereignty over the symbols and imagery displayed in the place where we conduct business on behalf of more than 8 million New Yorkers, more than two-thirds of whom are persons of color, and the will of our members should be respected.”
(Black, Latino and Asian Caucus)