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This South L.A. Street Could Be Renamed For Obama

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(Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)
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Certainly, Los Angeles is no stranger to streets that are named after former presidents. There's Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Lincoln (Hoover Street, we should mention, is not named after Herbert Hoover).

Soon, Obama could join the ranks of presidents who are honored with L.A. infrastructure. As noted at Urbanize LA, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson has put forth a motion requesting the City Engineer to start the process in which Rodeo Road (row-dee-oh, not row-day-oh) in South L.A. will be renamed as Obama Boulevard. The name change would apply to an approximate 3.5-mile stretch that runs through Crenshaw between Arlington Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard.

Obama has ties with the L.A. area, so the move isn't so out of the blue. He'd studied at Occident College from 1979 to 1981, and it's said that he'd delivered his first political speech ever on campus. Also, as Wesson pointed out to LAist, then senator Obama held his first L.A. presidential campaign rally in 2007 at the Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, which is by the intersection of Rodeo Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. "At that time, there was not much security," Wesson told LAist, remarking on how (relatively) low key the event was. "And here's a man who'd ultimately become president, and he rides off in a minivan." He adds that Obama Boulevard wouldn't be far from Washington, Adams, and Jefferson boulevards, which all run parallel to the 10 Freeway by the mid-city area—Wesson hopes to refer to this series of roads as "Presidents' Row" in the future.

Wesson says he aims for the Council to vote on the proposal within a week.

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There are also plans to rename a section of the 134 Freeway after the former president. The proposal, introduced by State Senator Anthony Portantino back in December, would rename a stretch of the 134 that passes by Eagle Rock, where the Occidental campus is.