Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)–April 23, 2018
Should streets in Park Forest named after people who fought for or represented the Confederacy be renamed, or rededicated? A Village Board committee originally charged with exploring renaming them now seeks to rededicate them. And the committee, called, simply, Committee A, seeks input from the public.
Following the Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy in August of 2017, which began as a rally to protest the removal of the statue of a confederate general, Park Forest furthered its review on issues of race in the community by announcing the intent to investigate if streets in Park Forest named after confederate soldiers were of concern to residents.
On January 17, 2018, a special meeting was held at Freedom Hall to discuss the issue. Residents residing on streets with confederate names were sent letters asking for their input at the meeting.
Only about 25 Park Forest residents took part in the meeting, including members of Park Forest’s Board Committee A, residents of streets with confederate names, and others interested in listening or sharing their perspectives.
Following opening comments, less than a handful of residents spoke – some voicing their displeasure over the street names, but all agreeing that a renaming of the streets was an unattractive option due to cost.
With the feedback of residents, the Park Forest’s Board Committee A determined that a re-dedication of streets Davis, Early, Jackson, and Lee may be the most feasible option.
Park Forest is now seeking suggestions from residents on historical figures to be considered for honorary street signs.
Suggestion can be emailed to Village Manager Tom Mick at [email protected] by July 31, 2018.
The plan is for the Village Board to consider recommendations in the fall.