Supervisor Margaret Angela Franklin, D-Woodbridge

Supervisor Margaret Angela Franklin, D-Woodbridge

Supervisor Margaret Angela Franklin, D-Woodbridge, issued a directive Tuesday requesting that county staff begin the process of renaming Jefferson Davis Highway, also known as U.S. 1, which runs through Woodbridge and Potomac magisterial districts in Prince William County. 

The highway is named after Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. 

“It is unacceptable that in 2020 we continue to have landmarks and roads that honor the treacherous, dark past of racism and slavery,” Franklin said in press release Wednesday. 

Franklin and Supervisor Andrea Bailey, D-Potomac, are the first black women to be elected to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Franklin said that she will “stand up against these symbols of hatred,” in Prince William County. 

Fairfax and Arlington counties and the city of Alexandria have already renamed the Jefferson Davis Highway where it passes through those jurisdictions. Prince William County is one of the few remaining Northern Virginia localities that have not changed the name of the highway.

The renaming of the highway will require authorization from the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board. The process has been made easier, however, by legislation passed earlier this year by the Virginia General Assembly, which allows localities to remove or relocate Confederate monuments and rename public infrastructure named for Confederate figures without state lawmakers’ approval.

Supervisor Andrea Bailey, D-Potomac, said it is time for the county, and nation, to move forward, and leave behind “past reminders of devastation, hurt, pain and sorrow.” 

“To be a whole community we can’t just speak action we must be about action for everyone. This change will breed positivity for the future and closure to a dark past,” Bailey said. 

Supervisors last discussed renaming Jefferson Davis Highway in 2017 following the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that ended with the deaths of a counter-protester and two Virginia State Police pilots. The county board rejected that effort, which was led by former Woodbridge supervisor Frank Principi (D), and passed an equality resolution instead.

Franklin said Tuesday she expects the board to move forward with the renaming after staff determines a process for the board to do so. 

“I think particularly as we go through this time of racial tension, renaming Jefferson Davis Highway will hopefully start to heal some of these tensions,” Franklin said Tuesday. “It’s a step in the right direction. In a majority-minority county, especially in the eastern part of the county, we cannot have a major highway named after the president of the Confederacy.”

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(15) comments

Whitneyb81

🙏🙏 this is great!!

nova33

White people love their traitor history! Only in America where traitors are honored! It’s time to change the name for route 1 in Prince William County!

Catharpin411

Too funny. Confederates ARE the party of the Democrats, they ARE the party of Klan, they ARE the party of segregation but hey let's change the name of a road and all will be well...PANDER. Want to change things, go after Washingon and Jefferson as they owned slaves, sold slaves, had slaves beaten and one bedded slaves and had kids by her.

Yaaaa, leave them alone right cuz cuz well they arent Confederates...your whole movement is a shallow sham

Louise

Ms Franklin I’m a white woman who supports BLM, there are far more important issues at the moment than the name of a street that would do more to further the cause. The first time I heard you speak I was shocked at the racist comment that came out of your mouth. You can’t fix racism when you too say racist things. In order to make change we all need to take ownership and educate ourselves. Not all white people are privileged or racists.

Omarndc72

Hold on, i thought those generals were all democrats?

Mg

Jeff Davis was not a General, but history classes are not a thing any more

James Young

So, virtue-signalling Democrat tries to remove another Democrats name from a public space while remaining on the Liberal plantation.

Got it.

Louf

She may want to change it to "Louis Farrakhan Hwy".

Mg

ha ha

OBLUE

1395 jeff davis hwy my address growing up wont ever change that

Marty

You won't solve the tension by renaming streets and removing statues. You solve the tension by assuring that the law and order is maintained and illegal riots and the destruction of property is dealt with in accordance to the law regardless of race, sex and political affiliations of the participants. That's how you do it. Unfortunately, this is not what's taking place in PW County as we have seen recently.

Omarndc72

How about she worries about the crime in Woodbridge?

Marty

that's the last thing the PC army cares about.

zcxnissan

It will always be Jefferson Davis Highway. Rewriting history doesn't change it. Just like Hampton will always be Godwin, because realistically who here other than a radical has ever heard of Mr. Hampton? Godwin did more for the school system In Va. than Hampton ever will.

OBLUE

[thumbup] Iits gonna get bad

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