The Washington Post

Tommy Wells wants to table proposal to name new library for William Lockridge

Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) is asking his colleagues to table a proposal that would rename to a new $15 million library for late school board member William O. Lockridge.

In a letter to council members Monday, Wells notes that six groups, including the D.C. Public Library Board of Trustees, have voted to name the former Washington Highlands library Bellevue, which is the name of the Ward 8 neighborhood.

Wells, chairman of the council Committee on Parks, Recreation and Libraries, said in the letter that honoring the library with Lockridge’s name would “directly contradict the wishes” of those groups.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) proposed the renaming earlier this year after Lockridge, a veteran educator and community activist, died.

Library supporters describe Lockridge, a veteran educator and community activist, as a divisive figure who did not back efforts for city funding to build the new library. Widow Wanda Lockridge, however, said the library would be a fitting tribute for an educator.

Wells wrote: “Out of an immense amount of respect for my friend and former colleague, I will make a motion at tomorrow’s Legislative meeting to table this measure and allow more time for those interested in finding an appropriate way to honor Mr. Lockridge’S contributions in regard to the Bellevue Library. I believe that a better course of action would be to name the library community meeting room after Mr. Lockridge or perhaps create the William O . Lockridge collection on education at the library.”

The council meets Tuesday.


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