SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A new plan to honor Barack Obama is just getting off the ground in San Jose, where one man is spearheading efforts to rename a street after the former president.
The idea is not a citywide slam dunk.
San Jose resident Alex Shoor wants to name a new street or rename an old street after the United States’s 44th president, Barack Obama.
“The first African American elected president of our country is something that all of us can celebrate and recognize,” Shoor said.
Shoor says he knows he’s taking on a project that some people will support and that others will criticize.
“By naming a street or something after President Obama it says that we support that folks other than white males can become president and that has real value,” Shoor said.
“Maybe changing a street like Almaden or Coleman where we have two streets of the exact same name in our city,” Shoor suggested.
But Ray Johnson lives off of Almaden and laughed at the idea of the proposal, saying, “I think it’s ridiculous.”
To get a street renamed Shoor would need to get more than half of property owners to be on board.
Johnson said of Obama, “What did he do for our country? I can’t think of anything he did for our country that was good.”
Debra Gilman also lives off of Almaden and said, “They can name a street after him, that’s fine. But Almaden, this is historic.”
So far, Shoor has collected more than 700 signatures on his Change.org petition and he says the support isn’t just coming from Democrats.
“Republican leaders have already started to come out in favor locally of this measure,” he said.
But Shoor, who worked as a volunteer on Obama’s campaign, says this isn’t about politics, but about much more.
“We want to send a symbol to all our children that anyone can be president. And no matter what you think about this man as a politician and his politics, he represented a crucial moment in our history,” Shoor said.