Portsmouth, VA – A divided City Council voted late Tuesday to hold a referendum on whether to remove Portsmouth’s downtown Confederate monument.
The proposal, raised by Councilman Bill Moody, appears headed to go before city voters as a nonbinding ballot referendum “in November or some appropriate time.”
“I think we need the citizens to weigh in on this,” Moody said.
It happened moments after the group also approved a resolution that supports moving the monument to Cedar Grove Cemetery, which has a large section of graves belonging to Confederate leaders and soldiers. Councilwoman Elizabeth Psimas dissented along with Councilmen Bill Moody and Nathan Clark, who have all said they don’t want to move the statue. The resolution passed with the support of Mayor John Rowe, who is white, and council members Mark Whitaker, Paige Cherry and Lisa Lucas-Burke, who are black.