Move Over State Street Because There’s Now A Barack Obama Boulevard In Los Angeles

A 3.5 miles long street in Los Angeles has officially been renamed to commemorate former president Barack Obama.

According to the Associated Press, President Barack Obama Boulevard, which was formally called Rodeo Road, was celebrated with a concert and ceremony on Saturday. The street runs across the city’s historically black neighborhood, intersects with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and collides with other presidential streets like Washington, Adams and Jefferson boulevards. It’s also close to the site of an important 2007 Obama campaign rally. 

On Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled the street. “As we drive through this city and we see past presidents on Adams, on Washington, on Jefferson, now we’ll have one that was in our lifetime, who was a president for everybody: Barack Hussein Obama,” Garcetti said, per The Los Angeles Times

Many residents also celebrated the road’s opening, including a young Black Lives Matter organizer. Thandiwe Abdullah, who raised money through bake sales for Obama’s 2007 campaign, told The Times that the street’s naming is incredibly important. 

“A lot of people will say it’s just another street, but for me, being 15 years old, a black child looking up and seeing the name of the first black president in my own ‘hood—that gives me hope,” Abdullah said. “That gives me inspiration to step into my fullest purpose, and I know it does for so many others who look like me.”

Since 2017, City Council President Herb Wesson has pushed to rename the street. It was eventually passed 15 to 0, CNN reported.

“With this change, we are publicly documenting what Obama’s legacy as our nation’s first black President means to our city and our South Los Angeles community,” Wesson said, according to the AP News. “For every child who will drive down this street and see the President’s name, this will serve as a physical reminder that no goal is out of reach and that no dream is too big.”

While Obama didn’t attend the celebration, the President and CEO of the L.A. Urban League Michael Lawson read a letter he wrote to the crowd.

“While Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I are so humbled by this day, we’re still mindful that this is not about us. This is about this neighborhood’s next generation and all we want for them. We hope they look at the new street signs and find inspiration in all that a group of committed citizens can achieve together.”