In his press release today Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer called on the Governor to allow a special session for the expedited removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park.
“With the terrorist attack, these monuments were transformed from equestrian statues into lightning rods. We can, and we must, respond by denying the Nazis and the KKK and the so-called alt-right the twisted totem they seek. And so for the sake of public safety, public reassurance, to magnify Heather’s voice, and to repudiate the pure evil that visited us here, I am calling today for the removal of these Confederate statues from downtown Charlottesville.
Today, I applaud Governor McAuliffe’s call for legislative action and request that the Governor and the General Assembly come together in a special session so the legislature can swiftly act to enable localities to determine the fate of monuments like the Lee statue. Whether they go to museums, cemeteries, or other willing institutions, it is clear that they no longer can be celebrated in shared civic areas, like Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. These steps would allow Charlottesville City Council’s decision earlier this year to move and sell the Lee statue to happen as soon as possible.”
Mayor Signer also called for a re-examining of open carry laws following the August 12th events,
“I will work with my colleagues on Council and our staff to launch a comprehensive review of our permitting process to give the City the maximum ability to prioritize public safety in such situations, including by limiting the size of events and by exploring updating the current legal “credible threat of violence” standard with a new approach that can address the threat of the intentional creation of mayhem before it happens—particularly when it’s fomented through social media and shadow networks.”
Lastly, Signer called for an effort to memorialize Heather Heyer, who he called,
“a martyr in what Senator John McCain recently described as the battle here between our better angels and our worst demons.”
“I will propose to my colleagues on City Council and tostakeholders in our community that we take concrete steps to memorialize Heather’s name and legacy. Many good options may surface from our creative and loving community, and we should consider them all seriously, including whether Emancipation Park could include Heather’s memory in some fashion.”
His full statement can be found on The Atlantic.