From left are City Councilmember Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Caleb Price and Councilmember Wendell Young, who are proposing the city rename part of Reading Road after President Barack Obama. Photo provided

From left are City Councilmember Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Caleb Price and Councilmember Wendell Young, who are proposing the city rename part of Reading Road after President Barack Obama. Photo provided


President Barack Obama Avenue?

It has a nice sound to it, as well as honoring our 44th President in Cincinnati’s African American communities.

City Councilmembers Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, resident Caleb Price and Councilmember Wendell Young are proposing the city rename part of Reading Road after the country’s first Black President. The renamed section would include the entire stretch of Reading Road that runs from downtown Cincinnati to the edge of Reading, Ohio, at Galbraith Road, according to their proposed legislation.

“Councilmember Wendell Young and I began discussing renaming Reading Road after President Barack Obama several years ago, when I was publisher of “The Cincinnati Herald, ” said Kearney, who was a classmate of Obama at Harvard Law School. “Our office received a groundswell of public support. Councilmember Young’s office began the process, but soon thereafter, Councilmember Young experienced some health issues that required him to recuperate before resuming his duties. When I took a seat on City Council, one of the items on my office’s agenda was resuming the process to rename Reading Road after President Obama. The agenda item took a back seat to pressing issues that our City is facing.

“However, in July, a young man, Caleb Price, came to City Hall and requested that City Council honor President Barack Obama with the street naming. Mr. Price’s enthusiasm and drive, not to mention his work in collecting thousands of signatures, showed us that now is the time to honor our 44th president, and to let his message of “hope and change” for the betterment of all Americans ring across our city.’’

Kearney said given the cost of the renaming, and the urgent needs of our citizens for City funds during this pandemic, her office will work with Price and other members of our community to raise funds for this project before asking the City to contribute any additional funding.

“Our present goal is to immediately gain approval for the renaming project. Such approval not only will help with fundraising efforts, but will give notice to existing and new developments, which could reduce their expenditures for the address change,’’ she said.

Upon City Council granting approval, she said her office will keep Council updated on ongoing plans for the renaming.

The proposed legislation states, “President Barack Obama became the first African American elected to the office of United States President in the more than 200-year history of the United States of America, making his election an historic accomplishment for our country,

It notes United States was on the brink of economic disaster when President Barack Obama took office in 2009, and under his leadership, the United States avoided a second Great Depression.

In addition, “President Obama promoted equal access, opportunity, and respect for all Americans, and stated, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America. There’s not a Black America and White America and Latino America and Asian America. There’s a United States of America.”

It also outlines that President Obama signed into law, on January 29, 2009, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to make it easier to challenge unequal pay and to help address the wage gap between men and women; signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014 to provide grants to states to allow them to assist low-income families in finding childcare for their children; signed The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to give regulators stronger authority concerning breaking up large companies, and the Act to protect the consumer by restricting practices in consumer loans and credit cards; signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to save and create jobs and to provide relief to those most affected by the economic crisis of 2008-2009; signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.,

Hate Crimes Prevention Act to help jurisdictions to investigate and prosecute hate crimes more effectively.

The proposed legislation highlights President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that became law on March 20, 2010, to increase quality, affordability, and access to healthcare He also set forth the Climate Action Plan and signed an executive order designed to lower carbon pollution, prepare for the impending effects of climate change, address reversing climate change as a global endeavor, and prepare the United States’ readiness for climate change and signed other legislation, including relief for students with loans and veterans.

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009, for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

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