Cincinnati to rename Reading Road ‘President Barack Obama Avenue’

Cincinnati to rename Reading Road ‘President Barack Obama Avenue’
Cincinnati City Council on Wednesday approved renaming part of Reading Road "President Barack Obama Avenue" in honor of the 44th president who became the first African-American elected to serve the highest office in the U.S. (Source: Obama Archives/The White House)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Council on Wednesday approved renaming a large stretch of Reading Road “President Barack Obama Avenue.”

The move is to honor of the 44th president who became the first African-American elected to serve the highest office in the country.

Councilmembers Jan-Michele Kearney and Wendell Young submitted the motion to rename Reading Road for the entire stretch within Cincinnati city limits, from Downtown north to the city’s border at the community of Reading at Galbraith Road.

Kearney said in a statement attached to the motion that she and Young began discussing renaming Reading Road after President Barack Obama several years ago, when she was publisher of “The Cincinnati Herald.”

“Our office received a groundswell of public support. Councilmember Young’s office began the process, but soon thereafter, Councilmember Young experienced some health issues that required him to recuperate before resuming his duties,” the motion states.

“When I took a seat on City Council, one of the items on my office’s agenda was resuming the process to rename Reading Road after President Obama. The agenda item took a back seat to pressing issues that our city is facing.

“However, in July, a young man, Caleb Price, came to City Hall and requested that City Council honor President Barack Obama with the street naming. Mr. Price’s enthusiasm and drive, not to mention his work in collecting thousands of signatures, showed us that now is the time to honor our 44th president, and to let his message of ‘hope and change’ for the betterment of all Americans ring across our city.”

Given the cost of the renaming and needs of citizens for city funds during the coronavirus pandemic, Kearney says her office will work with Price and other members of our community to raise funds for this project before asking the city to contribute any additional funding.

“Our present goal is to immediately gain approval for the renaming project. Such approval not only will help with fundraising efforts, but will give notice to existing and new developments which could reduce their expenditures for the address change,” the statement reads.

"Upon City Council granting approval, our office will keep Council updated on ongoing plans for the renaming. We are thankful to Mr. Caleb Price for his leadership in being the impetus behind this project and for letting us see the importance of shining a bright light in the middle of a storm.”

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