By On Common Ground News
ATLANTA – State Representatives Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain), Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) and Omari Crawford (D-Decatur) have introduced House Bill 794, which would remove the official designation of Stone Mountain Park as a Confederate Memorial.
The proposed legislation would also remove the word “Memorial” from the park’s official title. HB 794 is co-sponsored by every member of the DeKalb delegation.
“We have been waiting too long for action by the Stone Mountain Memorial Authority to act on needed changes to the false history of the park and the carving,” said Rep. Mitchell, whose district includes the park. “We do not understand the delay and wish to set forth the changes that we see as necessary.”
“I am a native of Georgia and DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain has been a part of all the stages of my life,” said Rep. Oliver. “The park is an important asset for our county and state and enjoys enormous popularity and use. As such, the park needs to change its statutory history of honoring the Confederacy and adherence to a ‘lost cause.’ This legislation is consistent with recommendations from other groups and historians who wish to set forth a more accurate history of the Stone Mountain Park and its carving.”
This legislation would rename the recreational area’s oversight body from the “Stone Mountain Memorial Association” to the “Stone Mountain Park Association.” HB 794 would also remove the requirement for the association to stock and sell Confederate memorabilia. Additionally, the bill would remove the requirement to preserve the carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on Stone Mountain.
“I’m a proud product of DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain was integral to my development,” said Rep. Crawford. “The diversity of DeKalb County is an under-amplified gem in the great state of Georgia. Our ability to work together, despite of our diversity, is what makes DeKalb County unique. Honoring any Confederate history in an area with so much diversity is inconsistent with DeKalb County’s present-day values. It is time that our park reflects our evolution.”
The following state legislators are co-sponsoring HB 794: Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Karen Lupton (D-Chamblee), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Becky Evans (D-Atlanta), Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain), Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), Imani Barnes (D-Tucker), Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia), Saira Draper (D-Atlanta), Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta), Long Tran (D-Dunwoody) and Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers).