CONGRESSMAN CHRIS VAN HOLLEN

Maryland’s 8th District

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2015

CONTACT:  Bridgett Frey – 202-225-5384

Ian Jannetta – 202-225-1527

Van Hollen Urges Immediate Removal of Confederate Statue in Rockville

Rockville, MD – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen released a letter to Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and members of the Rockville City Council urging the immediate removal of the Confederate soldier statue near the lawn of the Red Brick Courthouse. Congressman Van Hollen’s District Director will submit the letter for the record at tonight’s hearing to discuss the statue’s future.

“I stand with County Executive Leggett in supporting immediate action to remove the statue from the lawn,” Congressman Van Hollen wrote. “Beyond the Confederate battle flag, there is no place for other symbols of a shameful era of institutionalized racism in public spaces – including the statue near the Red Brick Courthouse.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Mayor Newton and Members of the Rockville City Council:

I am writing to express my support for efforts to remove the statue of a Confederate soldier near the lawn of the Red Brick Courthouse, one of Montgomery County’s most historic landmarks.  I stand with County Executive Leggett in supporting immediate action to remove the statue from the lawn.

Last month, I traveled with President Obama and some of my Congressional colleagues to Charleston, South Carolina, where we stood in solidarity with the families of the men and women tragically gunned down at Emanuel AME Church.  We mourned with those families and were uplifted by the President’s powerful eulogy, in which he called for transformative action.

As you know, earlier this month South Carolina voted to take down the Confederate flag that had hung in front of its Statehouse for over fifty years. Beyond the Confederate battle flag, there is no place for other symbols of a shameful era of institutionalized racism in public spaces – including the statue near the Red Brick Courthouse.

I urge immediate removal of the statue from its current location.

Sincerely,

Chris Van Hollen