Creating a Path Forward June 25, 2020
As shared in last week's newsletter, a collaborative effort began nearly a year ago with representatives from Memorial for Peace and Justice, Heritage Organizations for Rural Social Justice (HORSE), Coos History Museum, Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery, and the City of Coos Bay towards the collective goal of memorializing Alonzo Tucker. Out of these discussions, a two-part plan evolved to daylight the racially violent event that occurred in Coos County over a century ago, and to establish a memorial in memory of Alonzo Tucker.
In coordination with the Coos History Museum, the City of Coos Bay agreed to pay for a plaque to be placed on Front Street memorializing Alonzo Tucker. The City had hoped to have the plaque in place by late February. However, due to COVID 19 the Coos History Museum and City were unable to meet the deadline.
What started out as collective effort to participate in the Oregon and National Remembrance Project has grown to be a larger social equity issue, involving multiple parties with varied interests. We recognize that the landscape has profoundly changed. We believe this presents an opportunity to circle back, take a fresh look and conduct a broader process to allow for additional collaboration with stakeholders and community members.
As such, the City has asked the Coos History Museum to conduct community and stakeholder engagement and develop a plan which will be presented to City government for approval.
Our goal remains to find the best way to remember Alonzo Tucker and others who were victims of racism and injustice which occurred in the history of our community.
-Joe Benetti, Mayor of Coos Bay