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Supervisor to recommend renaming Lee District to Franconia District

Lusk takes part in a ceremony celebrating WISH (via Fairfax County government)

Supervisor Rodney Lusk will recommend renaming “Lee District” to “Franconia District” at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ meeting tomorrow (Tuesday).

“The time has come to change the name of Lee District,” Lusk said on Twitter over the weekend.

In a statement and video posted to his social media channels, Lusk explained that more than two years of discussions with the community revealed to him that an “overwhelming majority” of participants supported the name change.

He believes that the name Franconia is the right choice to replace Lee.

“Franconia is a name that is synonymous with our community,” he wrote. “From Franconia Road, the Franconia Springfield Metro, the Franconia Museum, and the Franconia Governmental Center, the name Fraconia has always been central to our identity. It is also a name that memorializes a place and not a person.”

Lusk will introduce a board matter at Tuesday’s meeting asking his fellow supervisors to vote in favor of the name change.

Back in March, the county’s Redistricting Advisory Committee recommended renaming both the Lee and Sully Districts due to the names’ historical ties to the Confederacy and slavery.

However, the committee’s report noted that the historical record is “somewhat inconclusive” about if the Lee District is actually named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee or another member of his family. Despite that, the committee still believed the name needs to change due to the confusion it could cause if left in place.

The committee also recommended a name change for the Sully District. That is named after the Sully Historic Site, a plantation once owned by Richard Bland Lee.

“Lee named the land he inherited Sully in 1789 and for twenty years under his charge the Sully Plantation was the location of commercial activity and profit from the kidnapping, human trafficking, and abuse of over one hundred lives — men, women and children,” the report read.

Sully District Supervisor Kathy Smith tells FFXnow they are still in the “process of gathering community feedback.” She says they held its first meeting to discuss a change earlier this month and “doesn’t want to rush” the process. There’s currently no timeline for when a name change recommendation might occur for the Sully District.

Lusk’s recommendation has already gotten at least one show of support so far, from state Sen. Scott Surovell (36).

At that moment, it’s unclear if a majority of the Board of Supervisors will vote along with Lusk to change the name from the Lee District to Franconia District, but Chairman Jeff McKay has signaled his support for such a move in the past.

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