Plans Unveiled To Rename Iconic Street After Obama

Will White from Ridgefield, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – In Chicago, there is a proposed ordinance by the city council to have Columbus Drive renamed to Barack Obama Drive. 

Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) president Ron Onesti has argued in a press release that the new ordinance was “insensitive and unvetted.” The ordinance had been introduced on Wednesday by Alderman Lamont Robinson. 

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday there was a link to The Chicago Tribune story that dealt with the possible renaming. Robinson had argued that there was a need to “honor more Black men” and that this was one of the ways in which they could do this. He further argued that the children of Chicago deserved to be able to see that it was possible for them to also become Black history while also cementing a new tourist destination that would help to further increase tourism in a city where Black history is being created. 

In the press release, Onesti argued that the group supported Alderman Robinson’s intention to honor a hometown historic figure. However, he questioned why it was necessary for his honor to occur at the expense of a different ethnic group, as well as why it was necessary to take such a noble effort and connect it to an offensive that would be offensive to Italian Americans. As he pointed out, in Chicago there were over half a million Americans of Italian descent. 

Onesti argued that it would have been more appropriate for a part of South Greenwood Avenue to be renamed as that is where the Obama residence is located.

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