In a ceremony that took place in South Los Angeles, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas joined by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO Michael Lawson, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and State Senator Maria Elena Durazo officially unveiled Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th President of the United States of America. The ceremony, held where Obama Boulevard intersects with Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, was the highlight of a day long music and street festival that featured food trucks, an array of local vendors, and performers.
“In this moment of political tumult on the national level, it’s important to take stock of the tremendous accomplishment that was Barack Obama’s presidency,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “His ascent to our nation’s highest office represents, in some ways, the fulfillment of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.”
The newly named Obama Boulevard will replace Rodeo Boulevard, a 3.5-mile street that runs from Culver City to Mid-City Los Angeles. The boulevard is home to Rancho Cienega Park — the venue where Obama held his first campaign rally more than 12 years ago shortly after announcing his candidacy in February 2007.
“Those eight years in the white house — It was never about me. It was always about you. It was always about us and what we could do together to bring this county more in line with our founders’ ideals. We knew our work wouldn’t be finished in one presidency. But we believed that our efforts would make America more equal, more just, and a more hopeful place,” said Urban League President Michael A. Lawson reading a letter from Obama.
“The renaming of Rodeo Blvd. to Obama Blvd. represents a truly historic day for our city and country,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson. “With this change, we are publicly documenting what Obama’s legacy as our nation’s first black President means to our city and our South Los Angeles community. For every child who will drive down this street and see the President’s name, this will serve as a physical reminder that no goal is out of reach and that no dream is too big.”
This is the first time a name change has been made to a street in Los Angeles to honor former President Barack Obama. The addition of Obama Boulevard will add to an area of the city known as President’s Row. Other presidential boulevards that run parallel to Barack Obama’s include George Washington Boulevard, John Adams Boulevard and Thomas Jefferson Boulevard.