RICHLAND, WA - Former Richland city council member Jim Stoffals went in front of the Richland City Council early July, asking them to change the name of Lee Boulevard. The reason Stoffals wants the name changed is because Lee Blvd. is named after the former Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
In addition to the street name, there is a sign on the corner of Lee Blvd. and Thayer St. that honors the Confederate general. Stoffals has a theory on why this may be the case despite the state of Washington being founded 20 plus years after the Confederacy ended.
"Robert E. Lee was a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and that's probably why the street was named after him in the 1940s, because the Corps of Engineers was constructing what was then called the Hanford Engineers Works," said Stoffals.
Despite this, Stoffals believes now is the time to change this because of General Lee's history.
"I believe it's time for Richland to join that movement and not honor a man who was a traitor to our country fighting to preserve slavery," said Stoffals.