Los Angeles Boulevard Named in Honor of Barack Obama

The city of Los Angeles will unveil Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th president during a free day-long music and street festival on May 4. Obama Boulevard will intersect with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in one of the city’s predominately Black neighborhoods.

“I’m thrilled that Los Angeles will be home to Obama Boulevard,” Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said in a statement. “Our history is important and this is one way that we will ensure that America’s 44th president’s legacy is shared for generations to come for Angelenos and visitors alike.”

The day-long festivities will kick off at noon and include celebrity musical guests, vendors, food trucks and finally the boulevard unveiling, Wesson’s statement said. Doug E. Fresh, Yo-Yo, BJ the Chicago Kid, Battlecat, Kurrupt, and others are scheduled to perform.

Obama Boulevard will replace Rodeo Road, a 3.5-mile street that runs from Culver City to Mid-City Los Angeles. Obama famously held one of his first presidential rallies at the Rancho Cienega Sports Center and Park in 2007. The newly renamed street will join nearby George Washington Boulevard, John Adams Boulevard, and Thomas Jefferson Boulevard.

The event is free, but attendees must enter their ZIP code to get tickets; there is a six-ticket limit per household. Wesson partnered with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Urban League, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-37) to organize the unveiling ceremony. Wesson proposed renaming a portion of Rodeo Road in 2017. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously, 15-0, in August 2018 to approve the name change, according to council voting records. Mayor Garcetti applauded the decision in a statement shared on Twitter.

“It’s official: our City Council has voted to rename Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard!” Garcetti tweeted. “We’re thrilled that Angelenos and visitors will forever be reminded of the legacy of President @BarackObama when traveling across LA.”

https://twitter.com/MayorOfLA/status/1034650065904619521?s=20 Obama Boulevard is not the only homage to the former president in California. In 2018, part of Freeway 134, which runs between Glendale CA-2 freeway and the 210 Freeway, was renamed the President Barack H. Obama Highway, Newsweek reported. Obama lived in Pasadena, California, and attended Occidental College in Los Angeles between 1979 and 1981.

In September 2017, California State Senator Anthony Portantino proposed naming the freeway after Obama. State lawmakers approved the freeway renaming a year later.

“The president has often mentioned his fond memories of living in Pasadena and attending Occidental College, so it was very appropriate to name the portion of the freeway he traveled after him,” Portantino said in a statement at the time. “It is an honor to be in a position to have helped facilitate this wonderful symbol of our collective respect for the grace and dignity embodied by our 44th president.” President Obama has kept busy since leaving office and has used his foundation to support a number of causes, including gun control and health care. He is said to be quietly giving advice to Democrats ahead of the 2020 presidential election but has not given anyone his endorsement.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.