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Petition aims to rename Trump Tower street for Obama

CBS News logo CBS News 3 days ago Sophie Lewis

Police take security measure in front of the Trump Tower during a protest in response to violence erupting at the white supremacist rally those organized by racist and nationalist groups  in Charlottesville, at Federal Plaza Square in New York, United States on August 14, 2017. People from different ethnicities and groups gathered to defend and demand peace against the hate crimes and racists acts ending up in violent consequences. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday amid violent clashes between hundreds of white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville that resulted in at least three deaths. © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Police take security measure in front of the Trump Tower during a protest in response to violence erupting at the white supremacist rally those organized by racist and nationalist groups in Charlottesville, at Federal Plaza Square in New York, United States on August 14, 2017. People from different ethnicities and groups gathered to defend and demand peace against the hate crimes and racists acts ending up in violent consequences. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday amid violent clashes between hundreds of white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville that resulted in at least three deaths. Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition to rename a one-block stretch of Fifth Avenue in New York City after former President Barack Obama. That particular block also happens to be the home of Trump Tower

In May, Los Angeles renamed a stretch of Rodeo Road in honor of the 44th president, and the creator of the MoveOn.org petition hopes New York will follow. The petition is addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, and as of Wednesday afternoon more than 135,000 people had signed it.

"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 September 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers," creator Elizabeth Rowin wrote. 

The petition requests that all buildings between 56th and 57th Streets on Fifth Avenue change their addresses. If the campaign is successful, Trump Tower's new address would read: "725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue, New York, NY 10022."

Rowin said she started the petition back in December after seeing a comedian joke about it on Twitter. "I thought, 'That's a great idea and probably no one is going to do anything about it,' so I decided to do it," she told CBS News Wednesday.

A few news sites picked up the petition in January, but then it "kind of died out," Rowin said. It started to gain traction again after a viral tweet this week from a man in Scotland. 

While a few city council members said they would look into it, Rowin said she has yet to receive any concrete responses from officials. 

"I really didn't think there was a chance that it could happen," Rowin, who lives in Los Angeles, said. "I think it would be fabulous. I think people feel kind of helpless right now, and it's a way to troll him," she said of President Trump. "If he does hear about it, maybe it would slow him down and distract him." 

While New York regulations only require 100 signatures for the local area to consider a secondary street name, it prohibits street re-naming if the honorees are still alive. 

But Rowin isn't concerned. "That's an arbitrary rule," she said. "In L.A., there are two streets named after him. So there's no reason New York couldn't do it as well."

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