An effort is underway to rename Robert E. Lee Road in south Austin. This comes after a nationwide movement to remove tributes and monuments to confederate soldiers.
Council Member Ann Kitchen wants to rename it after a former U.S. Treasurer.
She filed an application with the Austin Transportation Department on Wednesday, proposing the name change to honor Azie Taylor Morton.
The late teacher was born near Lockhart, Texas and is still the only African American to serve as the U.S. Treasurer, the City of Austin says. President Carter appointed Morton to the position, where she served from 1977 to 1981.
“After reviewing ideas brought forward by our community, and after discussions with several neighbors and community members, I am proposing this change because I believe the City should consider honoring a strong woman with roots in our local community who dedicated her life to civil service,” Kitchen said in a statement. “Changing this street name is an important step for healing our community given the injustices of the past. While history itself will never change, nor do we forget the lessons of our history, we must ensure that those we memorialize reflect and honor our own values.”
Several reviews will take place over the next several months. Once completed, the proposed name-change will be put on the council's agenda for a public hearing and discussion before an ordinance heads to a vote.