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Across the country people are considering changing place names that may engender outdated values. We’re listening, learning, and discussing.
Community Forward task force
The Mosby Woods Community Association created a task force to solicit feedback from the entire neighborhood on the possibility of changing the names of our streets and/or neighborhood. This group was created because of current events, because the city of Fairfax is working on its own renaming projects, and because neighbors expressed interest in the topic. Additional volunteers were invited in an early summer Tattler, and a group of about 25 residents is now meeting weekly to lead research and outreach in our community.
The Community Forward group seeks
- to help Mosby Woods residents learn the inputs to renaming consideration
- to gather opinions and input from all Mosby Woods residents
- to report our neighborhood’s perspective to the City of Fairfax
Who is involved?
Our streets are owned by the City of Fairfax. The city council is the decision maker for any street renames. They are considering renames to streets, edits to historic plaques, and the future of a memorial that includes references to Confederates. (Learn some history of street renaming in our City in this blog post.)
The opinions and preferences of city residents may influence the city’s decisions on renaming. The Mosby Woods neighborhood could be one voice they hear. Other voices include individuals in and out of our community, as well as advocacy groups. A group has formed to advocate for renaming. This group is not associated with the association board or the Community Forward group the board created.
Current events and place names
The death of George Floyd in June sparked unrest including protests and dismantling of Confederate memorials (both by citizens and also by officials.) Locally we have already seen work on renaming of school teams, streets, and more. These changes have required collaboration, compromise, and time.
What we’re doing
Our first work is to define what needs research and communication. We are:
- Defining and researching the inputs to renaming decisions such as history, current events, other ongoing renaming, and logistics (like costs, the 18 month window for address updates, etc)
- Planning ways to connect with all our neighbors to share information and gather input
- Preparing for effective outreach to stakeholders outside Mosby Woods
- Planning community listening sessions to share information and invite dialogue.
The City Council reviewed a proposal with a rough timeline for this process in their October 6 work session. Learn more in this blog post.
What comes next
We will be updating this website with more information and updates as we make progress in our research, hear from residents, and plan next steps. Most of these updates will be on our blog, so we encourage everyone to sign up for email notifications at the top of the blog page. We’ll be looking for ways to effectively reach all Mosby Woods residents; that will likely include social media, The Tattler, meetings, and possibly other means of communication.
We are listening. If you want to ask a question, make a suggestion, or volunteer to help in the Community Forward effort, please feel free to connect with us at CFMosbyWoods@gmail.com. You can also visit the Contact page and send a message using the form.
Let us know if you’d like to be included on email communications about Community Forward. The quickest way to keep informed is to allow blog notification emails; look for an email from WordPress asking you to confirm you subscription! Association membership is not required.