The debate over renaming Magruder Park in Hyattsville is moving forward.
Council member Joseph Solomon has proposed directing the city administrator and/or city attorney to spend four months researching whether it’s possible for the city to rename the park without legal trouble.
If it is possible, Solomon’s proposal then directs the city to launch a three- to four-month search for new names and put the top 10 names before the city council.
As we noted previously, the 1927 deed from William Pinkney Magruder stated that the land was to be used as a public park “for the Caucasian inhabitants only” of Hyattsville.
“I think the name change is long overdue and I am honored that a majority of Council is in agreement and has arrived at the same conclusion,” Solomon wrote in an email to the Hyattsville Wire. “This motion demonstrates again, this Council’s willingness to address head-on, issues of race and equity and acting where we can to build a stronger community.”
The motion was under discussion at the March 4 council meeting and will come up for a vote in a future meeting. Though some residents oppose the name change, the main debate among council members is whether the proposal is being rushed and should be put off until a more convenient season.
The issue drew the attention of the Washington Post this weekend, which compared it to recent decisions in D.C. area communities to rename schools and roads named for Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.
You can read Solomon’s proposal in section 9 here.