NYC to consider removing statues of George Washington, create reparations task force amid budget cuts

Harris Marley
Harris Marley

Global Courant

As New York City cripples under monumental budget cuts due to a migrant crisis straining public resources, the city council is planning to consider a series of measures that would, among other things, remove statues of major historical figures like George Washington and create a reparations task force. 

The items are included in New York City’s council agenda for Tuesday, September 19, 2023. The council’s Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on a measure to remove works of art on city property that “depict a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefited economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity.” 

Peter Gerard Stuyvesant bronze statue in Stuyvesant Square in New York City. (Sergi Reboredo/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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This criteria would include figures like America’s first president George Washington, Dutch governor and New York settler Peter Stuyvesant, as well as Christopher Columbus – all of whom have statues throughout the city. 

The statue of Christopher Columbus on June 12, 2020, at Columbus Circle in New York City. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

If the Public Design Commission (PDC) determined not to remove the work of art, then it would be required to include a plan to install an “explanatory plaque” next to the work of art. The proposal would also require PDC to consult with the Department of Education to install plaques on sidewalks or other public space adjacent to schools named after a person that fits the criteria. 

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Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a proposal to create a task force to “consider the impact of slavery and pas injustices for African Americans in New York City and reparations for such injustices.” 

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Other proposals call for anti-racism training for human services contractors and city employees as well as requiring the placement of an information sign near the intersection of Wall and Pearl Streets “to mark the site of New York’s first slave market.” 

George Washington statue sits in Union Square Park in New York, New York. (Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

These proposals come as the city has been crippled under extreme budget cuts due to the influx of migrants the city’s mayor says are straining public resources. 

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NYC Mayor Eric Adams said last week that the influx of tens of thousands of migrants will bring a “financial tsunami” as departments are forced to slash budgets to accommodate the new arrivals. 

The mayor further warned that every city department will likely see budget cuts to address the anticipated $12 billion price tag of the migrant crisis. 

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A spokesperson for Adams’ office told Fox News Digital that the mayor is reviewing tomorrow’s proposals. A spokesperson from city council did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Bradford Betz is a Fox News Digital breaking reporter covering crime, political issues, and much more. 


NYC to consider removing statues of George Washington, create reparations task force amid budget cuts

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