The Washington Post

Montgomery County Council punts on resolution calling for Redskins name change

Don’t expect the Montgomery County Council to be weighing in on the Redskins name change issue anytime soon.

Last week, County Executive Isiah Leggett asked his Office of Human Rights to review the idea of asking the council for a resolution that backed D.C. lawmakers in pressing the team to find a less offensive name.

As Human Rights director James Stowe explained, it will not be a quick turnaround. He said his office will have to research the matter and then put it to a vote of the 15-member Human Rights Commission. It will likely be sometime in the first quarter of next year before that process is complete.

“We have to do a lot of catch up to see what’s going on,” Stowe said.

Meanwhile, Council President Nancy Navarro (D-Midcounty), circulated her own name-change resolution among colleagues earlier this month. She planned to put it on the agenda for the Nov. 26 session--her last as council president.

But that plan was scrapped when she found little interest among council members, who saw it as a distraction from issues such as the minimum wage, the zoning code rewrite and bus rapid transit.

What will happen if Leggett ultimately sends a resolution to the council is anyone’s guess. But right now the matter is as dead as the team’s playoff chances.

“A majority of my colleagues didn’t think it was something the council should support,” Navarro said Monday.

Council members might still have some scar tissue from their last dip into social issues. A 2011 resolution calling on Congress to redirect war spending into social programs was not well-received by Bethesda-based defense contractor Lockheed-Martin. Members received a wave of letters from constituents telling them to stick to county business. Council member Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring), the measure’s sponsor, withdrew it from the council agenda when her support started to wobble.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.



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