Chula Vista votes to permanently remove the statue of Columbus
Stains of red paint are still visible on the sidewalk where the statue of Christopher Columbus once stood Discovery park in Chula Vista.
The painting recalls the vandalism and protests that led to the statue’s removal last June.
the Chula Vista City Council voted 4-1 to get rid of the status and declared Oct. 12 “Indigenous Peoples Day” in Chula Vista.
Elena Izcalli, who grew up playing softball at Discovery Park, was among dozens of people who spoke at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“I walked past the statue of Columbus several times a week. I am literally looking at a man who has committed genocide against people like me, ”said Izcalli.
The city Human Relations Commission played a big role in promoting the removal of the statue, claiming that it did not represent the people or the values of Chula Vista.
Commission member Ricardo Medina said the statue should be replaced with a marker.
“Marking the dates the community came together in the name of justice, truth and reconciliation to recreate and conceptualize the park,” Medina said.
RELATED: Chula Vista Columbus Statue Removed Ahead of Planned Protest
The Commission will be tasked with developing a task force to help rename and transform the park into something that unifies the community.
Councilor John McCann was the only person to vote no, adding that he was not in favor of changing the name of the park.
Medina finds the name problematic.
“It perpetuates this concept of finding that no one was there, that no one was occupying these lands when Columbus first came here,” Medina said.
San Diego News; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, the environment, the border, and more. New episodes are ready on weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and Imperial County Station NPR and PBS.
To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.