Donna Deegan sees no ‘interest’ in Confederate Monument removal from Jax City Council
Image via City of Jacksonville

Donna Deegan
The Mayor also responded to Dean Black's bill giving the Governor the right to remove officials who take down statues.

Jacksonville’s Mayor continues to push for the removal of a Jim Crow era statue from the former Confederate Park.

But she notes there’s little “interest” from the City Council in removing the obelisk paying tribute to the “Women of the Southland.”

During an interview on WJCT, Donna Deegan said the $500,000 the Mayor’s Office has requested for monument removal “has to go through Council and that is something Council is not interested in doing.”

Deegan also said she’s facing more hurdles to take down the monument in what is now Springfield Park than Mayor Lenny Curry did when he removed a monument from what is now James Weldon Johnson Park.

“There has to be a willingness, at least in terms of that pot of money, for Council to want to revisit that,” Deegan told Anne Schindler, the host of “First Coast Connect.”

The Mayor’s position has new urgency in the wake of the filing of HB 395, filed by Rep. Dean Black of Jacksonville. The bill proposes state “protection of historical monuments and memorials” and authorizes “all actions to protect and preserve all historical monuments and memorials from removal, damage, or destruction.”

The bill would punish local lawmakers and officials who voted to remove such memorials, authorizing a fine of the costs of replacing or repairing the memorial out of their personal wealth for removal actions. It would also give Gov. Ron DeSantis the power to remove elected leaders from local office from the time the bill takes effect.

Deegan believes she is being targeted by the bill from Black, the head of the Republican Party of Duval County during the GOP’s failed attempt to hold the office.

“I think it is a bill that was clearly aimed at this administration because I have been such a vocal supporter of taking those monuments down. And I think frankly, if you’ve read the bill, it appears to me to be wholly unconstitutional,” Deegan said.

She argued the bill is also intended to cow the Council and “send a message” that “if you were even thinking about it, don’t think about it or we’re going to fine you or harm you in some way.”

The bill language makes the state preemption explicit against “any local elected officials who may be swayed by undue influence by groups who may feel offended or hurt by certain actions in the history of the state or the nation.”

Gov. DeSantis said he hasn’t seen the legislation, which was filed in a different form and which died in committee in the 2023 Legislative Session.

“I’m not familiar with it. So I would have to take a look at it. I don’t know,” DeSantis said in Jacksonville Monday.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • The Truth

    November 15, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Exactly Mayor, you better. not even think about moving the Women of the Southland monument, cause you will have to spend more to put it back, and put back the one in Hemming Park as well. Just let it go Mayor, you will not win this battle.

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 15, 2023 at 12:59 pm

      The clock is running and the tide is heading out. Better get your klan buddies together and offer to buy the statue for $1 and then move it onto private property. The longer is stays where it is, on public property, the more likely it will end up like Robert E. Lee and his horse: cut into pieces and melted down.

    • Fred

      November 21, 2023 at 10:00 am

      I can’t believe but I guess I better start believing how this writer twists stories. I’m one of the people pushing for this bill. It’s about ALL monuments, memorials, which if he knew anything about, he would tell us how many others are under threat or have been removed. There are many that have nothing to do with the Confederacy or that era. It’s called ICONOCLASM! Marxists don’t want people to know the Confederate stuff was the low hanging fruit, they are far from their goal.

  • Linwood Wright

    November 15, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    It sure would be a terrible shame if some private citizens decided to go out in the middle of the night and tear it down or deface it beyond repair. Just terrible.

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 15, 2023 at 1:17 pm

      No doubt JSO is monitoring the statue, night and day.

      No, the simple answer is Neo-Confederates need to stand up, in public, and make an offer to buy and move the statue. Are they afraid of being associated with what some believe to be a monument to forced miscegenation?

    • the truth

      November 15, 2023 at 1:41 pm

      yes, their are cameras watching the monument, I have seen them, so go ahead and vandalize it, then, pay to repair it and go to jail fool

  • MH/Duuuval

    November 15, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Neo-Confederates — like the truth — need to stand up, in public, and make an offer to buy and move the statue. Are they afraid of being associated with what some believe to be a monument to forced miscegenation?

  • Joanne Dickey

    November 16, 2023 at 8:33 am

    Why move an historical statue??? That’s insane. You can not change history. SO be proud of yourself for rising up from the way things were that you didn’t like. Work hard and be proud 🤗🤗🥰🥰

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 16, 2023 at 9:32 am

      The historically accurate name for the statue in question should be “White Women of the Southland.”

    • Kevin James

      November 16, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      You can’t move history but you can white wash it. Update the description if left in place to show it’s true nature or remove. We are a country that demonizes the poor and make hero’s of wrong dooers.

  • Richard Keene

    November 16, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Lousy headline writer!!! It was not Mayor Deegan’s statement that she had no interest in the frigging traitor statue removal, but that her observation/opinion was that the City Council had no interest in such a removal (whether for monetary/economic reasons or merely political/cultural (b.s.) reasons.

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 16, 2023 at 8:45 pm

      What the Mayor meant: The MAGA deadenders — like Howland, Carrico, and the AWOL Diamond — will block removal. I really have a problem spending $500,000 to remove the statue to White Southern Rebel Women, and wish a majority on the Council would take the initiative to declare the statue surplus and sell to the highest bidder. If there are no bids to remove, then pull it down and melt it down as was done to RELee in Richmond,

Comments are closed.


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