ATLANTA — Advocacy organizations and elected officials are leading the efforts to remove Confederate symbols across Georgia.

Georgia and Atlanta NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, along with other groups gathered for a news conference Thursday at the National Center of Civil and Human Rights.

Just days before state lawmakers begin the session, they are coming together to demand a Georgia state law change that stops local communities from removing Confederate monuments.

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The organizations are calling it the first phase of a statewide effort that hopes to allow local communities to determine whether they want to keep Confederate symbols in their public spaces.

This comes after the Atlanta City Council approved plans back in October to change the name of Confederate Avenue in Grant Park to United Ave.

In 2017, two former state lawmakers announced their support for a bill that would allow cities and counties to find private owners for any Confederate monuments in their communities if they choose to do so.

At a Thursday news conference, the organizations announced they will establish statewide chapters.  They are planning a rally the day before Super Bowl LIII, Feb. 2, calling for change.