District B Councilwoman Lesli Harris wants to change the name of Lee Circle to Harmony Circle, formally submitting an ordinance at the Council’s April 7 meeting.
This proposal comes on the heels of the renaming of Robert E Lee Blvd. to Allen Toussaint Blvd., among other actions by the Council to eradicate the glorification of white supremacists throughout the city.
“In 2022, we should not see monuments to white supremacy which work to tear our country apart and treat our ancestors as less than human,” said Councilwoman Harris. “Renaming Lee Circle is a critical step to honoring values that truly matter to our city, rather than glorifying racist figures of the past. The word harmony reflects the city of New Orleans, where we all join together to make our community whole, unique, and joyful.”
Finding a new name for the city landmark has been a persistent question since the statue of Robert E. Lee was plucked of it’s off its pedestal in 2017 along with three other monuments that paid homage to the Confederacy and white supremacy.
“The reasons that necessitated taking down the Robert E. Lee monument are the same reasons why Lee Circle must be renamed,” said state Rep. Royce Duplessis. “I am proud to support the renaming of Lee Circle to Harmony Circle. Harmony is emblematic of New Orleans, as we celebrate blending our diversity together as a strength.”
Councilwoman Harris submitted an ordinance to initiate the process of changing the name of Lee Circle during the Council’s regular April 7 meeting. The item will be considered by the full Council at a future meeting date.
“This city has such a rich and multicultural history. When we come together, we create something better, something more than these individual cultures and traditions. We create a New Orleans that we can all take pride and joy in. Harmony Circle gives us the opportunity to unite our people rather than divide them and will be a beacon of light for future generations,” said Mark Raymond, Jr., vice-chairman of the City Council Street Renaming Commission.