Virginia governor: ‘Discussions ongoing’ about prominent Lee statue


FILE – This June 27, 2017, file photo, shows the Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue that stands in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Newly empowered Virginia Democrats pledged Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, to give local governments the ability to remove Confederate monuments, but Gov. Ralph Northam said he is still weighing what to do with perhaps the state’s most prominent tribute to Gen. Robert E. Lee. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Newly empowered Democratic leaders in Virginia are pledging to let local governments remove Confederate monuments.

However, Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday that he’s still weighing what to do with a towering, state-owned statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

At a news conference with legislative leaders and state officials, Northam also said discussions about that statue on Richmond’s Monument Avenue are ongoing.

Northam unveiled multiple initiatives that he said were aimed at telling a more accurate and inclusive version of Virginia’s past. They include more funding for historic African American cemeteries and cultural sites and the creation of new highway markers. 

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