More Than 100,000 Signees Want the Street Outside Trump Tower Named After Barack Obama
"I’m pretty confident we can find a better way to honor the greatest president of my lifetime than by trolling the worst," New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson says
New York City’s Trump Tower could soon see a new address — that is, if the internet has anything to say about it.
A petition to rename the stretch of Fifth Avenue that houses the towering skyscraper after former President Barack Obama has recently picked up steam, garnering more than 133,000 supportive signatures.
The petition launched on MoveOn.org seeking to change Trump Tower’s address to 725 President Barack H. Obama Ave.
The campaign lists various Obama accomplishments to support the renaming, including “saving our nation from the Great Recession, serving two completely scandal-free terms in office, and taking out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind September 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers.”
Petitioners also point out that the former president received a similar honor in Los Angeles, which recently renamed a stretch of the 134 Freeway after him.
Creator Elizabeth Rowin told ABC News she started the petition after seeing a tweet that proposed the idea on social media.
“Because [President Donald] Trump uses Twitter so much to tweet people, and bully people, I thought it would be fun to troll him back,” she said. “Some people have said you should make the petition about Hillary Clinton or John McCain. However, Obama is the one who [is] responsible for getting Osama killed so, in a way, New Yorkers have a soft spot for Obama.”
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Trump Tower, the president’s former home in N.Y.C., was built in 1983 and still serves as the Trump Organization’s headquarters.
While the petition has gone viral and has found support in stars like Patricia Arquette and Marg Helgenberger, it likely won’t go anywhere, considering city council guidelines state that a prospective honoree must be deceased for at least two years before they’ll be considered.
According to the guidelines, the honoree must have contributed significantly to N.Y.C. or national life and have “lived or otherwise are identified with this community in a substantial way.”
“As much as I love the idea of celebrating President Obama, I am not positive this is the best way,” Speaker Corey Johnson tells PEOPLE in a statement. “The Obamas epitomize class, dedication to public service and respect for the Oval Office. I’m pretty confident we can find a better way to honor the greatest president of my lifetime than by trolling the worst president of my lifetime.”
Obama has long been a sore spot for his Oval Office successor, as Trump frequently criticizes him on social media for everything from his economic efforts to his foreign policy while in office.
“If President Obama made the deals that I have made, both at the Border and for the Economy, the Corrupt Media would be hailing them as Incredible, & a National Holiday would be immediately declared,” Trump wrote in June. “With me, despite our record setting Economy and all that I have done, no credit!”
For years, Trump notoriously spread the “birther” conspiracy that Obama was not born in the United States.