The city of Los Angeles officially renamed one of its streets from Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard this weekend to celebrate Barack Obama’s historic presidency.
The city held a renaming ceremony on Saturday where the street intersects with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in one of LA’s historic black neighborhoods. The Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw area is home to Rancho Cienega Park, where Obama held his first presidential campaign rally in 2007.
“For every child who will drive down this street and see the name of the first Black President of our country, this boulevard will serve as a physical reminder that no goal is out of reach and that no dream is too big,” City Council President Herb Wesson tweeted Saturday.
Wesson proposed renaming the nearly four-mile stretch of road after Obama in 2017. The City Council unanimously approved the motion last August, which marked exactly a decade since Obama became the Democratic Party’s first black presidential nominee in August 2008.
Thandiwe Abdullah, a 15-year-old who co-founded the Black Lives Matter LA Youth Vanguard, spoke at the ceremony Saturday. She said she helped fundraise for Obama’s first campaign by organizing bake sales and selling lemonade at street stands, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“A lot of people will say it’s just another street, but for me, being 15 years old, a black child looking up and seeing the name of the first black president in my own ’hood ― that gives me hope,” she said. “That gives me inspiration to step into my fullest purpose, and I know it does for so many others who look like me.”
The street’s renaming adds to a row of boulevards named after former presidents, including George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
“What a proud day for L.A.,” Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted. “This boulevard that connects our city is now named for one of the greatest presidents that this nation has ever seen.”