NJ lawmaker wants to rename Route 1 after President Obama
TRENTON — A Democratic New Jersey lawmaker wants to rename one of the busiest stretches of highway in the state after President Barack Obama.
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, D-Union, on Monday will introduce a resolution to name 41 miles of Route 1 between Mercer and Essex counties as the President Barack H. Obama Highway.
The naming would be ceremonial — the highway would still be Route 1. But signs, paid for by private funds, would be posted along the roadway.
“President Obama was a transformational president,” Quijano said Friday in a statement. “When our children look back on the accomplishments of this president, they will look back in reverence the same way we look back on Franklin Roosevelt. He will be the measure of what it means to be a great president, and I believe memorializing President Obama with the naming of one our most important state highways is a significant honor to bestow.”
New Jersey voters overwhelmingly backed Obama during his re-election in 2012 and historic election in 2008, when he became the nation's first black president.
The resolution credits Obama for creating jobs after a economically devastating recession, presiding over "major foreign and domestic policy advancements" and the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden, lifting the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy that punished gay and lesbian service members, among other accomplishments.
"President Obama’s story has been characterized by hard work and the conviction that one’s life should be spent in service to others, and his legacy and triumphs will live on in the hearts of the Americans that he has inspired," the resolution says.
Several public and charter schools in New Jersey already have been named after Obama, who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia and served as a state legislator in Illinois before running for president.
This year the Jersey City Board of Education approved renaming School 34 the Barack Obama Elementary School. There also is a Barack Obama Green Charter High School in Plainfield and a Barack Obama Elementary School in Asbury Park.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.