New advisory committee will evaluate if street names tied to Confederacy should be changed
BATON ROUGE - A new group created by the East Baton Rouge Metro Council will spend a year studying Confederate street names, and evaluate whether they should be changed.
The EBR Metro Council approved the measure in a unanimous vote Wednesday, after pushing it back two weeks ago due to concerns from certain council members.
Before the vote, lead sponsor Councilwoman Erika Green mentioned a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center that listed 55 streets and roads in Louisiana which had ties to slavery, racism and the Confederacy. Three of those streets are in East Baton Rouge Parish.
"At the end of the day, this committee is meant to start a conversation," said Councilman Dwight Hudson, according to The Advocate.
The new advisory committee will include 10 members: two metro council members, two members from the mayor's Commission on Racial Equity and Inclusion, the director of the city-parish planning commission, one official from a local neighborhood association, one academic historical expert, and a handful of representatives from businesses, non-profits and the faith-based community.
The group will submit quarterly reports detailing their findings over the course of one year. Any name changes to streets will still have to be approved by the Metro Council, but only after the majority of residents of the street being renamed sign a petition.