Hurled profanities and chants of “Shame, shame!” greeted the Prince William Board of County Supervisors at its Oct. 3 meeting, after lawmakers declined to debate a proposal aimed at changing the monikers of county buildings and roadways named after Confederate figures.
Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge, was proposing a resolution moving the county toward renaming Jefferson Davis Highway (commonly known as U.S. 1), and a volunteer fire station and two schools named for Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in western Prince William. The board doesn’t have the authority to change any of those names unilaterally, but Principi designed the measure as a way to condemn the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville this summer and recommend the re-namings to the relevant parties.
Yet supervisors refused to even discuss Principi’s proposal — his motion to open debate on the issue didn’t earn a “second” from a single one of his fellow board members, so it didn’t move forward. That prompted the dozens of community members and activists in attendance, all of whom spoke in support of Principi’s measure, to erupt in jeers and expressions of disbelief at the board’s reticence…
…Supervisor John Jenkins, D-Neabsco, admitted that he had some concerns about the resolution’s “structural deficiencies,” but he also said that he planned on seconding Principi’s motion to open debate on the issue. But he claimed the crowd “drowned out” his attempts to do so.