The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to rename Jeb Stuart Road and Fort Johnston Road. The board also directed staff to amend county naming standards and initiate renaming roads that include Confederate and segregationist names. In a November 3 meeting, Board Chair Phyllis Randall said the issue had been a long-time priority for her during a minor dispute with Supervisor Juli Briskman over who would second one of the motions.

“Having a name on a road school or structure is an honor that should be reserved for a very select few,” Randall said in a county press release. “People who supported the enslavement of others, who raped, beat, and sold human beings have not earned the right to have their names enshrined in perpetuity on a road or structure. I’m proud of the unanimous, bipartisan votes by my colleagues to right this wrong. This is a morally correct decision and sends the message that Loudoun is now and will continue to be a welcoming inclusive county.”

The action is the culmination of an effort to identify and inventory public-owned Confederate and segregationist-linked memorials in the county, launched in September 2020. In that inventory, county staff identified 11 public roads and a canoe launch facility. Additionally, the county identified a sign belonging to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Separately, the county is conducting an independent review of schools.

Republican members of the board clarified that the motions only granted authority to rename the streets to county officials if they had Confederate or segregationist-linked names, and asked for reports on any name changes to be made to the board.

Vice Chair Koran Saines summarized, “This is huge, for this county, and for us to be doing what we’re doing here today, changing these street names and roads, and also for what we’ve done separately, regarding Route 15 and Route 7 as well. This is historic, and Chair Randall, you’re absolutely right. If you want to talk about history, you actually look at these street names, a lot of them were different names, but for various reasons were changed to these names to honor these terrorists and traitors which we should not be honoring them.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Meeting” by Loudoun County.