Delegate Joshua Cole introduces bill to rename Jefferson Davis Highway

RICHMOND, Virginia — Delegate Joshua Cole introduced legislation last week to rename parts of U.S. Route 1. If successful, Delegate Cole’s bill, H.B. 2075, would change the name of any section of U.S. Route 1 that is designated as “Jefferson Davis Highway” to “Emancipation Highway.”

U.S. Route 1 runs the length of Delegate Cole’s district (HD-28). Much of the road in the District is currently named Jefferson Davis Highway and would be renamed if this bill passes.

“It is well past time to remove symbols of the Confederacy from our Commonwealth. This legislation goes beyond whitewashing the past and seeks to promote the other side of our history —“emancipation” acknowledges the struggle for freedom in the face of adversity,” said Delegate Cole.

The bill will not rename segments of the road with names other than “Jefferson Davis Highway.”

“If a county or city government has already moved ahead of the General Assembly and removed the name, that segment will not be affected,” clarified Cole.

The bill was pre-filed on January 12 and is cosponsored by Delegates Hala Ayala (HD-51) and Ibraheem Samirah (HD-86).

“I look forward to working alongside my colleagues this session to pass this bill and others like it. It’s time the General Assembly sends a clear message that we’re building a Commonwealth for all Virginians.”

If the bill successfully passes, it will go into effect on January 1, 2022.