The city council of Los Angeles has voted to rename a 3½-mile stretch of Rodeo Road to ‘Obama Boulevard’ after a unanimous 15-0 vote on Tuesday.
The newly-minted road name has been in the works for well over a year, but this announcement coincided with the 10th anniversary of Obama becoming the first African-American nominated by a major political party for the presidency, August 27th, 2008.
Obama also held a campaign rally at the Rancho Cienega Sports Center and Park, located on the boulevard that will now bear his name, his first stop in California after announcing his bid for the White House.
Mayor Eric Garcetti took to social media to express his unbridled joy that residents of the area would be forever reminded of the former President’s legacy.
It’s official: our City Council has voted to rename Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard!
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) August 29, 2018
The Hollywood Reporter writes that the Baldwin Hills section where the road runs is often referred to as the “Black Beverly Hills.”
African-Americans overwhelmingly voted for Obama – 93% in 2012, and 95% in 2008 – but did he truly earn such support? Did he truly earn the honor of having a road in a predominantly black community named after him?
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On nearly every leading economic issue, Black Americans lost ground under the Obama administration.
Black unemployment rates remained disproportionately higher than the rest of America (16.8 in March of 2011, which was a 28-year high), poverty rates rose, income inequality widened, and the prison population remained high.
Perhaps the street should be named Trump Boulevard instead.
Recent polls have indicated Trump’s approval rating amongst blacks has nearly doubled since last year.
Under the President’s economic policies, the black community has seen historically low unemployment numbers. He signed an executive order on workforce development that encourages employers to increase on-the-job training, an attempt to close the so-called “skills gap.” And he has been an avid advocate of prison reform.
It should be noted that Rodeo Road is not the same road as the more significant Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Some residents upon initially hearing the proposal wondered why they couldn’t find a more significant street to name after the nation’s first black President.
“Obama is something we’ve never had, and in my lifetime we thought we would never see it,” one local gardener told the Los Angeles Times. “He deserves more than a little bitty street.”
In fact, the Times reported, “most Angelenos would be hard-pressed to locate Rodeo Road on a map.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 29, 2018
The name change was first proposed by Los Angeles City Council president, Herb J. Wesson Jr.
“Nine years ago I had the honor of introducing then Senator Obama at his first campaign rally held at Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road,” Wesson, who is the first African-American to hold the position of council president, said.
“The renaming will enable everyone … to celebrate the legacy of President Barack Obama.”
Wesson also noted that the road is located near what is known as “president’s row,” a series of streets named after former U.S. presidents such as Washington, Adams, and Jefferson.
— L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson (@HerbJWesson) June 20, 2017
President Trump has himself had some honors to boast about.
In December, it was announced that a new train station being built near the Western Wall in Jerusalem would be named in honor of the President.
He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that many people seem to pay attention to these days.
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