Barack Obama could soon hear his name being uttered as part of Angelenos’ driving directions, with a Los Angeles city councilman proposing to name a street after him.
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According to a story in dailynews.com :
Obama Boulevard could prove a relatively more innocuous role for the 44th president’s name than “Obamajam” — the oft-used term to refer to the anticipated congestion that accompanied his frequent fundraising trips to the Los Angeles area.
City Council President Herb Wesson wants to rename a 3.4-mile segment of Rodeo Road, between Jefferson Boulevard and Arlington Avenue, after Obama because it would be a fitting addition to what is known in his district as “president’s row.” They are a succession of streets named for three of the country’s founding fathers — George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Wesson said the street also has a story to tell about the most recent former president.
Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road was where Obama made one of his earliest presidential campaign stops while still a United States senator in 2008. His transportation then was a “late-model minivan,” according to Wesson. Obama later upgraded to a motorcade, with a specially designed black Cadillac limousine, nicknamed “The Beast.”
Despite bringing with him much less pomp, circumstance and security than in later years, Obama’s visit still generated unprecedented buzz, Wesson said.
“The crowd was crazy, and his security for the most part wound up being this big guy that used to work for me” nicknamed “Big John,” who had to use his body and arms to hold people away from Obama, Wesson said.
“It was overwhelming,” he said. “You didn’t have crowds like this.”
Wesson said his staffers are writing a letter to Obama letting him know about the plan to change the street name, which would require approval by the L.A. City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Wesson, who lives about four blocks away from Rodeo Road, said that the street was where he and many others first met Obama.
So many good photos were taken at that rally that Wesson made a calendar with them, he said. Now, he is hoping to mark that moment in another way.
“It was history,” he said. “And who knows how people report history, but when they talk about his first official campaign stop in California, it’s going to be in an area that’s off a street that we named after him. That will live on longer, after me and him.”