Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the change on Friday.
In response to growing protests around the nation, Washington, D.C. has made a major symbolic change.
On Friday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a section of 16th Street will is now named Black Lives Matter Plaza. On Friday morning, the road was painted in large yellow letters spelling out the slogan. The painting spans 16th Street NW between H and K Streets.
Coincidentally, the section of the former 16th Street leads directly to the White House.
Wow, it’s done! New “Black Lives Matter” Mural painted in #WashingtonDC on road to White House (16th St.)
They started at 3:00 am & just finished. Mayor Bowser approved it: pic.twitter.com/kqmknUOaDR
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) June 5, 2020
“We want to call attention today to making sure our nation is more fair and more just,” she said. “And that black lives and black humanity matter in our nation.”
Around 11 AM, a city worker officially attached the new street sign. The move came as a shock to many, as Bowser didn’t announce the move before Friday.
Black Lives Matter‘s D.C. chapter urged Bowser to match her words with action. “This is performative and a distraction,” the group tweeted, “from her inaction and active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in community.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, a reporter asked Bowser about the movement to defund police. “You have my budget,” she replied. “My budget invests in making sure we have the officers around the city that we need to keep D.C. residents safe.”
The aforementioned budget for Fiscal Year 2021 includes a 3.3 percent increase for the Metropolitan Police Department. The increase raises its total budget to $580 million. The budget slashes $3.6 million from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. The office houses programs supporting trauma-informed victim services and provides underserved people access to civil legal services.