Councilman Still Working To Bring Catto Statue To City Hall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Councilman James Kenney expects to revive his quest to honor a 19th century civil rights activist with a statue at City Hall.

For almost ten years, Councilman at-large James Kenney has been working to get a statue placed at City Hall of 19th century civil rights activist, educator, soldier, and baseball player Octavius Catto.

“There is no public space where there is an African-American statue. And we want Catto to be the first,” he said.

Fundraising for the $1.5 million needed to create the statue and for its perpetual care slowed because of the economy. Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to join Kenney in mid-March in a push for corporate and public support for the effort.

“For every person, regardless of their race or their nationality, should be able to walk by him in a statue and say who is this man and what did he do and why should we memorialize him?”

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio

  • Memorial For Civil Rights Activist Gets Big Boost From City of Philadelphia « CBS Philly

    […] Councilman Jim Kenney (at lectern) says this will jump-start fundraising efforts for the $2-million project (see previous story). […]

  • Pope Clement VII

    Does Phila. really need a 1.5 million dollar pigeon roost? Why not a large portrait…perhaps 4′ X 6′ or more….mounted in a place protected from sunlight and behind glass.

  • Ken

    I think this is a geat idea. And I would suggest to also have a statue of Mother Katherine Drexel at City Hall to acknowledge the enormously generous contributuions of Drexel and the Catholic Church.

    • Donna

      Yes, Ken, Mother Drexel left a wealthy family to head a group of nuns devoted to teaching black & Indian children. She was an early civil rights hero whose story should be told.

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