Dunn Offers Series of Initiatives for Black Lives Matter, NAACP

Leesburg Councilman Tom Dunn sought his colleagues’ support last week for a series of work session discussions regarding paying homage to the Black Lives Matter movement and current and former African American community leaders.

At the end of the council’s July 14 meeting, during the portion of the meeting where council members make disclosures of their private meetings or make comments, Dunn sought support for discussion on several areas dealing with racial justice. For each topic to be considered at an upcoming work session, Dunn needed the support, via a head nod, from at least three of his colleagues.

He was successful in garnering that support for two of those initiatives. A work session discussion will be scheduled on establishing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for town employees. Gov. Ralph Northam announced shortly before the June 19 this year that he intended to make Juneteenth a permanent, state holiday.

Dunn also found support for a future council discussion on painting Black Lives Matter lettering on a town street. Similar paintings have popped up in several metropolitan cities, like New York City and Washington, DC.

Dunn was not successful in finding support to move forward on several other discussion points, including directing that the next land development application contain street names honoring African American leaders; offering town funding for the NAACP to erect a monument on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds; and granting NAACP representatives special status to participate in Town Council meetings.

Dunn also said he would be willing to reconsider his vote on not moving forward on the possible purchase of the former Westpark Golf Club property, as long as it was stipulated that a future park on the site would be called Black Lives Matter Park. He also did not find support to move that discussion forward.

Dunn said he was surprised that council members did not consider moving forward with a discussion on four of the six items that he introduced. He said he decided to introduce the initiatives following the previous evening’s discussion about the town’s Memorandum of Understanding with the NAACP. He said the ideas were his own, and he did not discuss them with the NAACP ahead of time.

“It was really just to try and be proactive and come up with processes that we can establish to even consider any number of those items,” he said.

Dunn, who frequently is in the minority on council votes, added that it may have been the messenger and not the message itself that council members did not want to support. Dunn came under sharp criticism from the NAACP last year after council members objected to a statement he wrote on a proclamation honoring the Juneteenth holiday. NAACP leaders at the time called for his resignation, although he later signed the proclamation with his name, and the statement was removed.  Dunn points out his initiative last year in promoting the transfer of the Sycolin Cemetery to the Loudoun Freedom Center for the continued maintenance of the land, which includes gravesites associated with the Lower Sycolin African American community beginning in the late 1800s.

6 thoughts on “Dunn Offers Series of Initiatives for Black Lives Matter, NAACP

  • 2020-07-22 at 12:52 pm
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    I will not frequent any business on a street with BLM painted on it and I will encourage others to boycott it as well. BLM is an anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic Marxist movement that has been supporting destruction and anarchy across the country.

  • 2020-07-22 at 4:45 pm
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    Mr. Dunn is not anti-American, but he is grossly uninformed. The nexus if BLM is Marxist and the founders have acknowledged it openly. The message that Black lives matter, as do Latino lives matter and Asian lives matter, Caucasian lives matter is all well and good, but the vehicle of BLM is so incredibly flawed, Mr. Dunn needs to re-think his proposal and do more due diligence!

  • 2020-07-23 at 8:35 am
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    What next a monument from the NAACP erected on the court house grounds. Juneteenth is not a holiday and not needed.

  • 2020-07-23 at 10:14 am
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    Mr. Dunn, has certainly had a difficult past with issues relating to the NAACP and support for initiatives that have been raised by the African American community. He as been guilty of showing his displeasure with African American citizens in the Town Council chamber and guilty of defacing proclamations specifically regarding Juneteenth. I rightfully tried to question him on his motives bringing forth a series of items that did not come from any community organization and he declined to answer my question. These ill timed and ill conceived series of requests can only serve to distract this Council from its present work and possibly only to serve some political purpose. I don’t think of Mr. Dunn as the standard bearer for African American causes in our community. At the work session meeting the night before, I offered for the Council to consider receiving a memo from the Town manager in regards to the policy of having political messaging on town property. Once we know the policy, then we could consider the direction for any request from council members or the community. Mr. Dunn was silent when all were asked for their support of my request. The ability to be a legitimate ally or supporter for any concerns that affect the entire community or for any population in our community requires a legitimate relationship. Offering to change your vote on an important item to coerce consideration for the naming rights for a park is neither right or legitimate for any cause. Mr. Dunn voted to send a letter to the NAACP as a follow up from a meeting that took place with two members of the Town Council in August 2019, instead of a face to face meeting with the entire council as I had requested and I was the only Council member who voted in favor of. I am certainly in favor of initiatives and efforts that might come from unlikely people but let’s be real all your history Mr. Dunn cannot be erased by writing Black Lives Matter on the street.

  • 2020-07-24 at 6:04 pm
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    Amazing how Campbell sets himself up as judge and jury in all matters. Dunn has been working for the Town and community for a couple decades, yet never a mention of his “displease” with any group until Campbell came along.
    Campbell’s comments as usual lack of facts. Campbell asked Dunn’s intention not “motive” and Dunn answered him at the meeting. Like most of RC’s comments on line, and letters to the editor, and at meetings the facts just get in his way. And Campbell still has an issue with being the lone vote about a meeting a year ago?? What is Campbell talking about and how does that help anyone today or with Council’s “present work”?

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