Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is requesting the removal of his City’s Christopher Columbus statue as a “part of reckoning with the legacy of systemic racism,” he announced Wednesday.
The decision comes as protests continue nationwide and as rioters call for the downing of historic monuments and statues.
Kenney added that the recommendation will be given to the Philadelphia Art Commission on July 22 for final approval, Kenney wrote on Twitter.
Part of reckoning with the legacy of systemic racism means reconsidering what figures deserve to be commemorated in our public spaces.
On July 22, the City will ask the Philadelphia Art Commission to approve the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue. https://t.co/pmX1CHrvqH
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) June 24, 2020
“In recent weeks, clashes between those individuals who support the statue of Christopher Columbus in Marconi Plaza and those who are distressed by its existence have deteriorated to a concerning public safety situation,” Kenny said in a statement Wednesday. “It is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue.”
He added, “The City is committed to finding a way forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage and culture, while respecting the histories and circumstances of others that come from different backgrounds.”
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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