The petition to rename 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower after Barack Obama gains momentum

Odette Odendaal
Jan 09, 2019
08:34 P.M.
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With the petition quickly gaining it's required signatures, different opinions flare-up regarding the renaming of the street in front of Trump Tower.


Since renaming street names in New York happens frequently, it came as no surprise when an online petition started doing the rounds last month to change the name of another street in honor of someone noteworthy.


This is however not a random street or name change. The change of name seeks in honoring the former President Barack Obama with a road of his own.

The street chosen for this change sits in the heart of Midtown on Fifth Avenue. Right between East 56th and East 57th streets, which is home to Trump Tower and possible headquarters for Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020.

The petition on MoveOn.org strongly urges supporters to “rename Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower to President Barack H. Obama Avenue.”


It praises former president Barack Obama for serving two “scandal-free terms” and for taking out Osama bin Laden. To date, the signatures amount to 32,543 with a new goal of 75,000 with signatures climbing at a steady pace.

Elizabeth Rowin, the petition organizer, said that the idea to rename Fifth Avenue originated from a popular meme that did the rounds a while ago. It joked about what Trump Tower’s address would have eventually become, “forever.”

And now that meme is become less far fetched as Rowin plans on submitting the required amount of signatures to Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council, as approval from both is required for the renaming to be authorized.


The people who do not support Trump welcome the change while one of the protestors outside the Trump Tower had another point of view as she remarked:

“I mean whatever they do is what they do. It makes me laugh that they would want to do that because obviously, it’s a slap in the face of Donald Trump.”


Others are of the opinion that the renaming can very well happen since the city council has been on a roll with approving street name changes recently.

Both Woody Guthrie and the Notorious B.I.G. got honored recently. Some might say that it would be too much for Barack Obama to have both a highway and a street named after him, irrespective of where this street happens to be.


One person that is bitterly disappointed by the highway name change is Daniel B. Ryan III. Grandson to the former Cook County board president, Dan Ryan. Together with former Mayor Richard J. Daley, they paved the way for the completion of the expressway that became his namesake.


After the proposed highway name change by Bill Daley after 56 years and renaming it to the former president Obama did not sit well with Ryan III as he said:

“I’m hurt. I feel bad that he didn’t try and contact us to see what we would think,” Ryan III said. “We feel very honored to have this named after our grandfather. Why would you take an honor away from one man to honor another?”


The proposed name change got approved, and the new signs were put up on January 6, renaming a section of a freeway in Los Angeles to President Barack H. Obama Highway. The section runs from Interstate 210 in Pasadena to State Route 2 in Glendale.

Fairly soon Barack Obama may require a booklet to keep track of all the things named after him, as there are schools in towns in Connecticut and Maryland who have schools named after Barack.


Another school in Richmond did the same seven months ago when the proposal to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama Elementary School got approved. For the School board Chairwoman, Dawn Page, it signifies that Richmond as a city is moving forward.

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