Rep. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) today issued a statement as the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB), the panel tasked with overseeing the Ohio Statehouse grounds, voted to implement a new rule requiring any removal of a statue on the grounds first be subject to a five-year waiting period before a final vote can be taken. The measure comes as a number of groups pushed for the removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus on the West lawn of the Statehouse. A CSRAB member, Rep. Crawley voted against the measure.
“Maintaining the Statehouse isn’t just about making sure we’re keeping the paint fresh and leaves raked. It’s about ensuring our halls of government are open and welcoming to all Ohioans. Erecting barriers and throwing up roadblocks in order to dodge difficult conversations sends the wrong message from those responsible for maintaining the People’s House. Surely, we don’t need a study to determine whether a statue should or shouldn’t be on our grounds. And it shouldn’t take five years to do it. We should have these conversations now. In this case, it’s pretty clear—statues of Columbus are being taken down around this city and across the nation because of his connection to slavery and genocide. It’s time for us to have this debate if we want to be a progressive state.”