NEW YORK CITY (TND) — New York City will vote on a slew of measures seeking to acknowledge the city's history of slavery Tuesday, including removing any statues of slave owners.
Statues that could be impacted by one of the NYC Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations' proposals include those of American Revolution heroes George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette.
Also up for removal could be Dutch explorer and settler Peter Stuyvesant, Founding Father John Jay, and prominent early New York political figure and Erie Canal proponent DeWitt Clinton.
If the city elects not to remove the statues, it must adorn them with plaques denoting their past involvement with slavery.
A separate measure would direct NYC officials to place plaques on sidewalks and other spaces near public schools which are named after individuals who owned or benefited from slaves. The city is also debating placing a similar “informational sign” at the intersection of Wall Street and Pearl Street, marking it as the historical site of the city’s first slave market.
Other items up for consideration look to promote "anti-racism" in several city taxpayer-funded institutions.
Sponsors of Int 0716 seek to create a new diversity monitor in the city’s Human Rights Commission, a position which would monitor and report to Mayor Eric Adams on racial segregation in schools.
Int 1101 directs the city’s Chief Diversity Officer to create a yearly "anti-racism" training for human service contractors. Similarly, Int 1118 would also create such a training for all employees of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
Int 1073 would amend a city administrative code to create a “truth, healing and reconciliation process” which would “empower affected persons” and hold public displays related to the city’s history of slavery. A similar proposal, Int 1082, would establish a task force to "consider the impact of slavery,” as well as decide on appropriate reparations for those affected.
A media affairs representative for the New York City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The National Desk Tuesday.