Panel OKs resolution barring Shelby County from naming property after Trump

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just hours after Joe Biden’s swearing-in as president, a Shelby County Commission panel gave a favorable recommendation to a resolution that would prohibit the county from naming any parks, roads or other county property after former President Donald Trump.

The resolution was put forward by Commissioner Tami Sawyer, the founder of the Take ‘Em Down 901 organization, which was instrumental in the removal of Confederate statues from Memphis public parks in 2017.

Sawyer said Trump, a twice-impeached president, had become a symbol for white supremacists. She did not believe that was appropriate for a community in which the population was majority Black.

“This resolution is one that is actually in line that are happening across the country in the wake of the January 6 insurrection,” Sawyer said. “Unity can’t just come by us saying we want to get along or we want to be good friends. Unity comes through us actually healing through changing laws, changing policies.”

Commissioner Mark Billingsley, who said he began the morning by praying for President Biden, said no proposal to name any county building for Trump has been submitted and he couldn’t foresee that happening. He abstained from the vote with several other commissioners following suit.

“I don’t like to vote on things that are not before us and there is not effort to name anything before us at this time.”

With five yes votes and six abstaining Wednesday, the resolution was moved forward to the full commission meeting scheduled for Monday.

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