By Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
Organizers said Tuesday that thousands of people were expected to gather at high noon on Wednesday, Aug. 21, for a rally in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York.
The crowd is expected to urge New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of City Council to rename Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets, “President Barack H. Obama Avenue.”
Trump Tower, owned by the president, is located at that address.
“Participants will hold signs reading, ‘Welcome to Obama Avenue,’ ‘Honor a leader, not a creepy tweeter,’ and ‘President Troll is a racist bully,’” said the rally’s organizer, Pulin Modin.
Since launching last week, more than 430,000 people have signed a petition started by MoveOn member Elizabeth Rowin. The petition calls for the renaming of the stretch of Fifth Avenue.
“New Yorkers, and Americans nationwide, are sick of Trump’s racist, sexist, and bullying conduct and policies,” Modi said.
“People are responding to this petition because they miss the empathy President Obama led with while in office and the example he continues to set for the nation,” Modi said.
New York City Council hears street naming requests twice a year – in April and October.
Under the city code, a prospective honoree should have a minimum of 10 years community involvement and should have demonstrated an extraordinary and consistent voluntary commitment and dedication to the community.
The criteria stipulate that it should be a person who has contributed significantly to New York City or national life and have lived or otherwise are identified with the community in a substantial way.
The one line in the criteria that could stymie efforts in naming a city street after Obama is that the individuals must be deceased for at least two years prior to consideration.
An exception could be made at the council’s discretion “where the proponent sets forth a rationale which, although not falling precisely within the guidelines, demonstrates extraordinary and highly-acclaimed accomplishment or involvement to such an ex-tent that it meets the spirit of the guidelines.”
Trump has upset many with his racist rhetoric and policies, including caging immigrants in a detention center and separating babies from their parents.
Among his recent racially charged messages, the president said four American women of color should “go back to their countries.”
Trump repeatedly has taken shots at Obama, the nation’s first African American president.
For years, Trump promoted the so-called “birther” movement, a false claim that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.
Trump also made claims that Obama secretly wire-tapped his office. Since taking office, Trump has decimated the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislation.
He immediately withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran that Obama orchestrated, and Trump rolled back Obama’s policy that attempted to warm U.S. relations with Cuba.
The City of Los Angeles recently honored Obama by renaming a stretch of the 134 Freeway near Downtown in his honor.
“We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same by renaming a block of Fifth Avenue after the former president whose many accomplishments include: saving our nation from the Great Recession; serving two completely scandal-free terms in office; and taking out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind Sept-ember 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers,” the petition reads.