An online petition to rename a stretch of Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower after former President Barack Obama has taken off in the last week, garnering over 275,000 signatures as of Thursday morning. The appeal, written by Elizabeth Rowin from Los Angeles, asks city officials to change the name of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Avenues to “President Barack H. Obama Avenue.”
6sqft first learned about the Move.org petition last December, when it had received just over 3,800 signatures at that time. If the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio approve the new name, Trump Tower’s new address would be 725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue.
Rowin’s petition lists the “many accomplishments” of Obama as reasons to rename the street after him, including “saving our nation from the Great Recession,” “serving two completely scandal-free terms in office,” and “taking out Osama bin Laden.”
The petition gained support in the month after Rowin posted it online last year, but later tapered off. A tweet posted over the weekend made the petition go viral again, making Rowin increase the total signature goal from 4,000 in December to 300,000 on Thursday.
Typically, to get a New York City street renamed or co-named in honor of a person, the honoree must no longer be living and must have had a meaningful connection to the community, as 6sqft previously reported. Then, a petition signed by 75 percent of local residents will go to the community board, followed by the Parks Committee of the City Council, a vote by all Council members, and lastly, the mayor.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson expressed doubt about the petition. “As much as I love the idea of celebrating President Obama, I am not positive this is the best way,” Johnson tweeted on Wednesday. “The Obamas epitomize class, dedication to public service and respect for the Oval Office.”
He added: “I’m pretty sure we can find a better way to honor the greatest president of my lifetime than by trolling the worst president of my lifetime.”
Rowin told amNY she plans to send a certified version of the petition, if it hits its goal, to City Council members who showed interest.
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Neighborhoods : Midtown