Politicians in Chicago are clamoring to name a highway after Barack Obama.
Bill Daley, a former Obama White House advisor said, “Renaming the highway for President Obama will be a daily reminder for all of us that America’s first African-American president was shaped by Chicago.”
However, the crime in Chicago is at critical levels, which is one of the reasons that current Mayor Emanuel is not seeking reelection.
Fox News reported that an anti-violence march in Chicago briefly closed Lake Shore Drive on Thursday afternoon, as protesters demonstrated against the city’s spiraling crime crisis and called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down.
Residents have even resorted to pleading to President Trump for help.
From Daily Wire
Now that Rahm Emanuel, former President Barack Obama’s one-time Chief of Staff, has declined to run for a third term as Chicago’s mayor, other candidates for the city’s top office are rushing to court fans of one of the city’s most famous (former) residents.
Bill Daley, also a former Obama White House senior adviser — and relative of the notorious Daley family, which has ruled over Chicago from the mayor’s office on-and-off for decades — declared his candidacy for Chicago mayor earlier this month, and immediately set about to wooing Obama fans, even suggesting last week that the city could rename one of its major highways, the Dan Ryan Expressway, after the former president.
NBC News Chicago’s Ward Room reports that Daley wants to make the honorary renaming one of his first acts as mayor.
“Renaming the highway for President Obama will be a daily reminder for all of us that America’s first African-American president was shaped by Chicago,” Daley reportedly said in a statement. “We were part of history.”
“Barack Obama is from Chicago. He owns a home here. This is where the Obama library is based,” he added. “I’d like to see the legislature act on this early next year.”
There are some logistical issues with the plan: Chicago already named part of I-55 the “Barack Obama highway,” and Dan Ryan, whom the road is already named for, was a key player in developing the interstate highway system. There’s also a “Barack Obama highway” in California.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is also reluctant to sign off on the new name. “As a general policy, IDOT discourages naming two roads near one another for the same person because it causes confusion for motorists,” an IDOT spokeswoman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We are not aware of any existing resolutions or dedications being rescinded in order to rename a road.”