The Chula Vista City Council has approved a measure to permanently remove the statue of Christopher Columbus from a city park.
On a vote of 4 to 1, with only Deputy Mayor John McCann opposing it, the Council approved the permanent removal of the statue from Discovery Park.
For 30 years, the statue has stood as a landmark in Discovery Park. The city chose to remove it and place it into storage after it was vandalized in 2019.
Protesters let their voice be heard and urged the council to approve the measure. “Columbus represents the genocide and slavery that began in the Americans when he landed in the Caribbean,” Heryl Sanchez told NBC San Diego.
Representatives of the Catholic charitable organization Knights of Columbus offered to buy the statue and put it at the group's headquarters in Fontana. San Diego’s Sons and Daughters of Italy is offering to bring the statue to a museum.
The City Council approved forming a task force to determine where the statue will end up, what will replace it and whether Discovery Park will be renamed. Groups have asked the council to consider renaming the park under the guidance of the Kumeyaay Native American tribes. Council members also voted to recognize October 12 as Indigenous People’s Day.