Arlington officials are gearing up once more to ask state lawmakers for permission to change the name of the county’s section of Jefferson Davis Highway, and adopt Alexandria’s new chosen moniker for the road.
The County Board will review its legislative agenda for the upcoming General Assembly session for the first time tomorrow (Nov. 17), sketching out a host of priorities they hope the county’s representatives in Richmond will fight for when the legislature reconvenes in January. The county has long hoped for the state’s permission to change the name of Route 1, but Alexandria’s move to rename its section of the road “Richmond Highway,” when combined with Amazon’s impending arrival in Crystal City, could well lend new urgency to the effort.
Virginia law bars localities from assuming powers that aren’t specifically ascribed to them by the state code — a principle commonly referred to as the “Dillon Rule” for a notable court case on the matter — and that means the county doesn’t have the ability to change the highway’s name without the General Assembly’s permission.
But Republicans have consistently blocked any efforts to give Arlington the authority it needs to strip the former Confederate president’s name from the highway. Most recently, State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st District) introduced a bill to do so earlier this year — that measure was killed on a party-line vote in a Senate committee.
This time around, Arlington could specifically ask lawmakers for permission to “rename the section of Jefferson Davis Highway that runs through the county with the same name adopted by an adjacent jurisdiction,” in a nod toward Alexandria’s June vote to rename the highway. As a city instead of a county, Alexandria has a bit more latitude on the matter.
Republicans still hold narrow majorities in both the House of Delegates and the Senate, however, meaning that any name-change effort will face an uphill battle once more. Amazon’s decision to locate its new headquarters in the exact section of Arlington that’s home to Jefferson Davis Highway could prove to be a complicating factor, though.
Gov. Ralph Northam frequently made the state’s “inclusivity” a key part of his pitch to the socially conscious tech giant, and many Arlingtonians have pointed out the incongruity of Amazon’s public positions on social issues with a new headquarters sitting in the shadow of signs tied to the state’s legacy of slavery.
How long until Amazon realizes that “Jefferson Davis Highway” runs thru the heart of Crystal City? pic.twitter.com/sSL0eVKUnU
— Doug Adams (@DougNBC) November 13, 2018
The County Board is set to open up the legislative agenda for a public hearing at its Dec. 17 meeting, then sign off on the document soon afterward. Other notable proposals include a renewed push to issue driver’s licenses to non-citizens, the expansion of renewable energy initiatives and the maintenance of last year’s dedicated funding deal for Metro.
Photo via Google Maps
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A former ABC News producer whose Columbia Pike apartment was raided by the FBI last year has been sentenced. James Gordon Meek, 53, pleaded guilty in July to transportation and…
Metrorail service was suspended on the Blue and Yellow lines today after a train derailed.
4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage 1/4 acre Jamestown Williamsburg Yorktown pyramid
At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting an online workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Every great endeavor begins with a great plan. This workshop will give you the tools