The Slave Trail Commission's executive committee is recommending that the body stay out of the heated debate about whether to build a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, says its longtime chairwoman, Delegate Delores McQuinn.
The four-member committee met Friday about the politically sensitive issue. After "significant discussion," McQuinn says, it decided the commission needed to remain focused on its work to protect and advance sites associated with the historic neighborhood's slave-trading past. That work includes the possible construction of a national slavery museum and the re-excavation of Lumpkin's Jail.
"We don't want to allow ourselves to get sidetracked," McQuinn says. "In terms of standing up to say one thing or another, if we take a stance it will be that we are committed to advancing the work we have done."
So can this be called a neutral position?
"I don't know whether it is neutral or not," McQuinn says. "We feel strongly that any additional development in the area is really the prerogative of the mayor and City Council and that we will remain focused on our work."
The discussion will continue with the commission as a whole during its regular meeting Oct. 3, McQuinn says.