Diverse group works nonstop to get Confederate statue removed

State News

EL DORADO, Ark. (7/8/20) — Union County residents are two days away from the deadline for submitting letters and petitions about the Confederate statue in El Dorado.

Day and night, a large effort has been put into seeing the states removed from the courthouse lawn.

“I think it’s been a great effort,” Ricky Howard said. “It’s not just one person. We have a lot of black people involved. We have a lot of white people involved.”

The conversation started with one man who presented the issue to Quorum Court then it turned into an entire movement.

Howard has been one of the vocal voices of the group. He says the only time he’s seen the community come together like this has been related to sports.

“It kind of puts pressure on the inside people that has to vote and make the ultimate decision because now you have two sides pushing for one ultimate goal instead of just one,” Howard said.

Petitions are being signed and calls are being made to make sure people’s opinions are taken into consideration.

“Some stand with signs and some stand with a petition but it’s like a teamwork adventure right now,” he said.

Quorum Court members will look at the number of signatures collected in addition to the handwritten letters which Union County Judge Mike Loftin says are coming in daily.

Howard is hoping for a favorable outcome with the final vote but if not he says the fight is definitely not over.

“Hopefully we can come together and get it done the first go-round because I don’t really want to see a second go-round,” he said.

Judge Loftin hopes the court will have a decision made before the initial August date. Packets with the legal information and letters are expected to be mailed out to each quorum court member by late Friday afternoon in hopes that a decision will be made at the meeting on July 16.

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