Yesterday, an intriguing idea was put forward in a bill proposal by D.C. Councilmember, Jim Graham: rename Girard Street Park to honor Barack Hussein Obama. Graham, who helped administer a preliminary vote by ”the people” during the park’s recent grand reopening, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, ”[t]he park is a jewel. I think the overwhelming point of view that has been expressed is that park should be renamed in honor of our president.”
But as pointed out by the commenter “dcvoterboy” in a recent Washington Post article and in a post on Greater Greater Washington (GGW), the proposal is prohibited by D.C. Code, which does not allow the use of a living persons’ name for such an honor. (Here is the portion of the relevant code: “DC Code: § 9-204.05. Use of living persons’ names prohibited; use of deceased persons’ names restricted. No public space in the District shall be named in honor of any living person, or in honor of any person who has been deceased less than 2 years, unless the deceased person was a President or Vice President of the United States, a United States Senator or Representative, a Mayor of the District of Columbia, or a member of the Council of the District of Columbia.” If you want to read the code on the D.C. Council website, click here and search 9-204.05.)
What to do? I’m sure Graham and the rest of the D.C. Council could figure out a way around this by amending the code. Maybe. Another idea is to choose another name. Another commented in that same GGW article that the park be renamed Malcolm X Park, so “that way, people could stop calling Meridian Hill Park that.” Hmm. Personally, I think they should stop calling Malcolm X Park by the name Meridian Hill Park. Still, I think the renaming of Girard Street Park is a good idea (as does this blogger who earlier had asked readers to help think up a new name). In fact, there is already another Girard Street Park only two blocks west of the reconstructed park. So, I have an alternative proposal: how about “Hope Park?” The concept of hope is forever tied to Barack Hussein Obama’s campaign and ultimate ascent to the presidency. He inspires hope. How ’bout it, Mr. Graham, what do you think D.C.?
Here is a Google Map of the Park in question:
Barack Obama Hope image downloaded from http://www.flickr.com/photos/peel/.