Lawmakers Scrap Plan To Name Beach After Obama, Citing Public Complaints

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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A plan to re-name a Hawaii beach park after President Barack Obama has been thwarted by complaints from members of a local Hawaii community.

Honolulu city councilmen Stanley Chang and Ernie Martin, the council’s chairman, said Tuesday they will no longer pursue their goal of re-naming Oahu’s Sandy Beach Park to “President Barack Obama Sandy Beach Park.” Why?

“Martin says in a statement that he heard historic and cultural sensitivity concerns from the community about the name change,” according to the Associated Press. Martin reportedly left the door open to naming something else after Obama.

The Sandy Beach Park incident was the second failed attempt by lawmakers to name something after Obama in one of the places where he lived before becoming president.

Chicago mayor and former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said last month that he will not name a new North Side prep school the “Barack Obama College Preparatory High School” as previously planned, citing “concerns from the community.” The Chicago Tribune reported that the name controversy hinged on black residents who didn’t want Obama’s name on a prep school in a white neighborhood. But community advocates also expressed concerns about the proposed school.

The Chicago community group Friends of the Parks complained that the Obama prep school would infringe on much-needed open space in the redeveloping neighborhood formerly marked by the Cabrini-Green housing project. Emanuel then decided to revise the projected location for the school.

Obama Way in Seaside, California and Barack Obama Boulevard in St. Louis, meanwhile, have both been the site of dangerous crimes.

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