EAGLE ROCK — Could there be no higher honor in Southern California than having a freeway named after you? That’s what some state legislators want to do by naming a section of the 134 Freeway after soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama.
The L.A. Times reports that state Senator Anthony Portantino with the help of State Assemblyman and Eagle Rock resident Jimmy Gomez introduced a resolution to declare the section of the 134 Freeway between the 2 and 210 Freeways as the “President Barack H. Obama Memorial Highway.”
The proposed Obama Freeway would run along the northern edge of Eagle Rock, where Obama attended Occidental College between 1979 and 1981. It was at Occidental where Obama, according to the resolution, made his first political speech as part of an effort to get the college to divest its investments in South Africa.
Portantino said his resolution was inspired by community activists who suggested the idea after the City of Pasadena installed a comemorative plaque in honor of Obama on the apartment building where he lived while attending Occidental. The state senator told the Times:
“Everybody said, ‘You know what? Why don’t we take this one step further and memorialize his presence in Southern California — in particular in Eagle Rock — by naming a freeway after him?’ … What a great idea.”
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Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.
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