Streets in the African-American neighborhoods will no longer be named after Confederate generals.
City commissioners have agreed to begin the process of renaming. During a contentious three-hour meeting Monday night, the Hollywood City Commission voted 5-2 to begin renaming Lee Street, named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; Hood Street, named after Gen. John Bell Hood, and Forrest Street, named after Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest. The current plan calls for Forrest Street to become Savannah Street, Hood Street to become Macon and Lee will be renamed Louisville.
“It is time to change the names and the time is now,” Commissioner Debra Case said during the meeting. “We must do the right thing and we must do it now.”
The final vote will be held on August 30.
About 15 years ago there was the first call for change. Two years ago vandals painted over streets signs. A clash broke out last month at city hall between those pushing for the name change and those against it. Five people were arrested.
Local residents also want to remove the streets named after the slave-owning presidents and urge commissioners to go on with the change.
The commission decided to ignore the city’s policy requiring that property owners on all three streets receive mailed ballots and vote on the matter.
The debate isn’t over.
One of the commissioners wants to impose a 10-year moratorium to prevent any other street names from being changed. And another one wants to change the name of every street to a number throughout the entire city.