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Assembly Member Nily Rozic, a Democrat who represents Queens, is expected to introduce a bill that would change the name of a state park named after President Donald Trump. Rozic’s bill would rename the park to honor Heather Heyer, the woman killed last month by a white supremacist in Charlottesville. As BuzzFeed first reported, a similar push was made in both houses of the state legislature and from local members of Congress in 2015 and 2016. Trump donated the 436 acres of land to New York State in 2006 on the condition his name be “prominently displayed.”
The state park sits within Yorktown and Putnam Valley in Westchester County and Putnam County. Trump purchased the property for $2 million in the 1990s, but decided to donate it to the state in 2006 after he was unable to get approval to build a private golf course on the property. Trump claimed the land was worth $100 million when he donated the property and used the donation as a tax write-off. Maintenance of the park stopped in 2010 because of budget constraints, and it sits largely neglected today.
Rozic, who directs the commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, has started a petition to gain support for renaming the park. “Heather Heyer’s life was taken away by white supremacists who have been emboldened ever since President Trump took office,” Rozic said.
She added: “In New York, we continue standing by one another and calling out those who seek to divide us. This activism is not new – it is embedded in our state’s history and re-naming Donald J. Trump State Park would serve as a reminder of the transformative power it holds to carry us forward.”
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