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Confederate Ave., Dixie Dr.: Austin City Council votes to start renaming places linked to white supremacy

Confederate Avenue, in the historically Black Clarksville neighborhood, was also cited in Austin's 2018 equity report as a candidate for renaming.

The City Council unanimously approved beginning the process of renaming streets, parks and other locations around Austin tied to the Confederacy and white supremacy.


Wednesday's vote came two years after the city published a scathing equity report on streets and places in Austin, including the city's name itself, that should be renamed so as to discard ties to the Confederacy and white supremacy. Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison authored the resolution.


"It would be the height of hypocrisy to say, 'Black lives matter,' and not address the elephant in our streets: Confederate Avenue, Plantation Road and Dixie Drive," Harper-Madison said during the meeting. "These existing street names have no place in the city of Austin."

The resolution directs city staff to bring five to 10 possible "city assets" to the council in September. The renamings will then be under consideration over the following six months as the council discusses them and gathers public input.

However, despite including the possibility of renaming Austin, due to its founder Stephen F. Austin's staunch support of slavery, Harper-Madison told KUT that changing the city's name may not be on the table.

The city has already moved to rename some locations: Robert E. Lee Road and Jeff Davis Avenue, which were changed to Azie Morton Road in honor of an Austin resident who became the first African-American U.S. treasurer, and William Holland Avenue to commemorate a former slave who became a Travis County commissioner in the late 1800s.

"It is the stated goal of the Austin City Council to rename all City assets dedicated to the Confederacy and white supremacy to recognize esteemed state and local heroes, places, and concepts that uphold the noble ideals of liberty, democracy, and self-determination," the resolution passed Wednesday states.

The 2018 Equity Office report listed seven places as "high priority" for a rebranding: Littlefield Street, Tom Green Street, Sneed Cove, Reagan Hill Drive, Dixie Drive, Plantation Road and Confederate Avenue.

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