Bellamy hopeful to change the name of Preston Avenue

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- City councilor Wes Bellamy is looking to change the person for whom Preston Avenue is named.

The road is currently named after Thomas Lewis Preston, a Confederate soldier and slaveholder who owned 29 slaves.

Preston was also the first Rector at the University of Virginia.

Bellamy does not believe that Thomas Preston's reputation should be recognized and would rather have the road named after someone who had a more positive impact on the city.

"After understanding the impact that may have had on our community and then coupling with everything that's transpired with our community over the past couple of years, I think it's important for us to be willing to say that we're willing to make a change," said Bellamy.

Bellamy said he submitted a proposal to the city council on Monday to name Preston Avenue after Asalie M. Preston.

She was an educator in Albemarle County in the 1900s who has a scholarship named after her.

"It's important for us to honor those individuals," said Bellamy. "One of our main streets in the city does not need to be named after an individual who gained their wealth on the backs of black people as well as not representing values of what we are looking to represent in our community today."

Bellamy hopes the city council will have a discussion on the subject in the coming weeks.

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