ATLANTA — A Georgia state lawmaker is introducing legislation to create a state commission on historic monuments.
State Rep. Vernon Jones, D-Lithonia, said he plans to introduce the bill during the Georgia General Assembly’s 2018 legislative session.
“The recent events in Charlottesville, Va., have spurred on calls for the removal of historical monuments and artifacts that honor a dark era in Georgia’s history,” Jones said in a news release. “While I have my personal beliefs on the matter, I propose that a bipartisan, systematic and transparent study be conducted in an effort to arrive at an inclusive solution.”
If approved and signed into law, the commission would hold statewide hearings to discuss historic monuments and artifacts. The body would make recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly about monument placement and whether new monuments that hold historic value should be erected.
“Hysteria and knee jerk reactions are not the solution,” Jones said. “Sensitive subjects such as this deserve calm, practical and open dialogue. A house divided cannot stand, and Georgians must show the nation that we can unite for the greater good.”
Commission members would reflect and represent a broad spectrum of interest on the subject, and would include, but not be limited to, preservationists, historians and advocacy groups.