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Graham Proposes 'Barack Hussein Obama Park'

Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) introduced a resolution today to rename Girard Park in Columbia Heights "Barack Hussein Obama Park."

The recent renovated park, located at 14th Street and Girard, features a basketball court and play equipment.

"The park is a jewel," Graham said. "I think the overwhelming point of view that has been expressed is that park should be renamed in honor of our president."

If approved, the park will be the first official District facility or asset to be renamed in honor of Obama. Last month, the Prince George's County school board voted unanimously to name a new elementary school in Upper Marlboro "Barack Obama Elementary."

But in recognizing Columbia Heights's diversity, Graham stressed that Obama's middle name also would be included in the park's name. (During the campaign, Obama shied away from highlighting his middle name, but he used it when he was sworn in).

Graham said he hopes Obama will visit the park if it gets renamed in honor him.

"It has a great basketball court," Graham said. "Hopefully, the new president will use it."

Update: It may harder than Graham thinks to rename the park.

According to the D.C. Code, "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."

Since Obama is still alive, the Council would first have to change the law before it could move forward on Graham's resolution.

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  July 14, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
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I think it should be called Jimmy Carter Park. I mean, he has done more for humanity than just being President.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | July 14, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I think its bad karma to name things for sitting presidents. Better to wait until they complete their term(s).

Posted by: 123cartoon | July 14, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree. I don't see where any harm is done to wait until the man is out of office to start naming public spaces after him.

The Diarist

Posted by: RobertBise | July 14, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Before the District starts naming things after Obama, first let the man finish his first term! Dang Graham he's straight so no need to kiss up to Obama now, he will never be for "Same-Sex Marriage"! We should not be treating him as the Great One!

Posted by: CashNDC | July 14, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That's the first thing that I thought...Trying to get same-sex marriage in DC. I think it is the most outrageous thing I've heard since I read the cover of the city paper this week.

Posted by: Nick20 | July 14, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't Mr. Graham be working on more important issues like crime, the budget crisis, and oh, I dunno, METRO? He needs to re-evaluate how he's spending his time. Clearly, this was done with the selfish intent to win votes for the next election cycle. How about addressing issues that actually matter?

Posted by: kulwicki7 | July 14, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Look, I'm as much of an Obama fan as almost anyone, and even I think we should maybe wait until he's out of office to start naming stuff after him. Maybe there should be a similar rule as for postage stamps as there is for naming public parks/buildings/etc: five years after death for most people, first birthday after death for ex presidents. Or at least first birthday after leaving office.

Posted by: thurdl01 | July 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The guy has been in office only a few months, has done basically nothing, and yet you're all lining up to name crap after him. He didn't even serve a full senate term, most of which he spent campaigning. Sure he's a likable guy, but wait until he's done something before you start naming things after your "savior." All this fawning over a guy who has accomplished almost nothing really makes me sick.

Posted by: futbolclif | July 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Jim is responding to an informal poll taken by somebody in the community (I'm guessing at the Park's opening ceremony) who thought that naming the park after the president wasn't a bad idea. That person claims to have received 33 votes for the idea (although it isn't clear when and where the vote was taken).

Posted by: jeffhops | July 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is doing a fine job so far, but let's wait, as we should, to name parks and schools after him until he's out of office. Frankly, I don't think we should name any building or park after any person for any reason; let's name them after things in nature, or the stars, or their simple geographic location. Where I grew up in NYC, we just called the neighborhood park skater's park because that's where everyone roller skated.

Posted by: logan303 | July 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I can think of others that the park should be named after. How about Ms. Dorothy Height?

Jim Graham, please go away. This measure will not assure you any votes!!!

Posted by: pineywms | July 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

this man will end up having the entire hood named after him before it is over!

Posted by: loudountaxrevolt | July 14, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

If they change the law, I'm very confident that there will be a Marion Barry Park (or five) well before Obama gets one.

Posted by: ah___ | July 14, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL. That's all I have to say about that. Keep the law in place.

Posted by: forgetthis | July 14, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Stupid move by Graham (not his first!)

1. President Obama won't apprciate the inclusion of "Hussein" in naming any public facility after him. Can't you just hear that windbag Rush Limbaugh repeatedly using that to whip up the rabid frothing-at-the-mouth right wing?

2. Good job reading the governing law, Graham. I've often wondered if you do any research before acting or speaking, and now I know the answer: you don't.

Posted by: PostToastie | July 14, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Terrible idea. I think parks and such should be named after people once that person has completed notable service to community or country. I think it's likely that Obama will someday meet that qualification, but he's only 6 months into his first term as president for goodness sake. Let the man do his work and then we'll talk about naming stuff after him.

Posted by: gasdorian | July 14, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens in a mostly black city when a very white, very gay man tries to suck up to black voters. Especially when he does not do his homework.

Not pretty.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | July 14, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

It totally should be called "Jose Jiminez Memorial Park" to honor our very first Hispanic astronaut.

Do it now.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | July 14, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I have an alternative suggestion for the renaming of Girard Street Park:

Posted by: petew1 | July 16, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

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