Position Papers and Public Statements
NAACP Arlington Branch supports legislation to redesignate Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
Press Release - January 24, 2024
NAACP Arlington Branch strongly supports legislation to redesignate “Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial” as “Arlington House National Historic Site.” Descendants of the Branham, Custis, Gray, Henry, Lee, Norris, Parks, and Syphax families who lived enslaved and free at Arlington House Plantation are leading the effort to redesignate the site. Many of the descendent family members live in Arlington County to this day. NAACP Arlington Branch firmly stands with them to support legislation to redesignate the site. The new name will focus on a more holistic history of Arlington House and bring recognition to all who lived there.
Letter to Senator Kaine in support of redesignating Arlington House - January 24, 2024
Letter to Senator Warner in support of redesignating Arlington House - January 24, 2024
Letter to Representative Beyer in support of redesignating Arlington House - January 24, 2024
Statement Supporting Virginia House Bill 1225
Arlington's current form of government was established in 1930. It was a time when physical walls were erected to divide our community and a time when racial deed restrictions were used to keep Black people out. It is well documented that Arlington changed its form of government to weaken minority participation. Fifty years after this change, no single person of color was elected to any county office. In the nearly one hundred years that have followed since 1930, only four people of color have been elected to the Arlington County Board. “This bill is permissive in nature meaning it broadens powers available. It is a step towards eradicating the legacies of racism and discrimination that still bind our community even today,” said Michael Hemminger, President of NAACP Arlington Branch.
In the last few decades, significant efforts have been made to shift power from the Virginia General Assembly to the local jurisdictions. Unfortunately, Arlington has not benefited from those revisions like other Virginia localities have because of our form of government. Arlington has the weakest local power in the region and perhaps the entire commonwealth. This bill shifts power back to local Arlingtonians and our county board to decide what is best for our community. Additionally, NAACP Arlington Branch strongly believes the county board must be given the ability to hire staff. Conflicts of interest have arisen when Arlington County staff members charged with transparency are expected to seek accountability from those who supervise them. These positions must report to the county board, who ultimately report to the people. “For these reasons, NAACP Arlington Branch strongly supports HB1225 and we call on all of our members, allies, and partners to join us in our support for this bill,” said Hemminger.
2023 Position Papers and Public Statements
2022 Position Papers and Public Statements
Pre-2022 Position Papers and Public Statements
From previous years