Upwards of 275,000 people have signed an online petition to name the area of Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower after former President Barack Obama.
The petition, which continues to garner new signatures by the minute, has a new goal of 300,000 signatures after it quickly hit its goal of a quarter of a million. It will be delivered to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to its page on MoveOn.
“The City of Los Angeles recently honored former President Barack Obama by renaming a stretch of the 134 Freeway near Downtown L.A. in his honor,” reads the “background” section of the petition page.
“We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same by renaming a block of Fifth Avenue after the former president whose many accomplishments include: saving our nation from the Great Recession; serving two completely scandal-free terms in office; and taking out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind September 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers.”
Many who signed the petition left comments explaining why they support the proposed measure.
“Thank you! POTUS Barack H. Obama was THE president who cared for all Americans and had no scandals.," wrote MJ from Falls Church, Virginia, who signed the petition on Thursday, Aug. 15. "And FLOTUS Michelle set examples for young girls and women to be proud of themselves, use their potentials and voices to improve themselves and the world around them! We were so lucky back then."
The author of the petition, Elizabeth Rowin, admitted to The Washington Post that she first got the idea for the name change from a comedian who joked about the notion of renaming the street in front of Trump’s signature property after the 44th president and Trump rival.
This prompted Rowin to create the petition, post it to MoveOn.org and write to several New York City Council members, many of whom she says responded and told her they would look into it.
If successful in reaching its goal, the name change has another obstacle: New York City guidelines for renaming a street in Manhattan require the honoree to be dead for a minimum of two years. Of course, in this case, the honoree is still very much alive. However, Rowin said in a recent interview that she is “sure the conditions can be changed,” adding that the laws are “arbitrary and can be worked around.”
Keith Powers, the city councilman who represents the district encompassing Trump Tower, also shared his insight regarding the push for the name change:
“I recognize and understand the great deal of support behind the petition to rename (part of) Fifth Avenue in honor of President Obama," he said in a statement. "President Obama embodies the best of our political system and leaves a remarkable legacy.
"The classiest President of our time deserves better than being honored next to the home of Donald Trump. He has and will always deserve more than that.”
Click here to view the petition.
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