NAPERVILLE — For Democrats, it’s difficult traveling on the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway and flying into the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C.
As a frequent visitor to Washington, D.C., Congressman Bill Foster would like to see the airport be named after someone else — perhaps Barack Obama?
Well, it might be able to happen. A grassroots movement has brought together several like-minded individuals for the not-for-profit Obama Legacy Initiative (OLI), formed to name community landmarks after President Obama.
The group held a fundraiser June 2 in Naperville that was well attended by both dignitaries and the public.
Looking to OLI Co-Founder Fred Greenwood, Foster said if Greenwood could at least get the Washington, D.C. airport back to its original name, “[You would] be doing the country a service,” he said to laughter.
Foster would like Obama remembered and honored for bringing the country out from an economic disaster, which was teetering on the onset of a Depression.
“I’m very proud to see that President Obama is spending part of his time now, reminding people just how bad it was when he came into office,” Foster explained. “The economic climate between then and now is something our country should be grateful of.”
Greenwood, along with co-founder Sean Tenner, want to commemorate the significance of Obama’s election and presidency in the overall context of American history. They are looking for suggestions to name community landmarks, such as parks, roads and community centers, after Obama.
Columbia College Chicago history professor Lindsay Huge would like to see satellite libraries sprinkled around the SouthSide of Chicago, where the Barack Obama Presidential Center will be located.
Huge joked that something is already named after Obama — Obamacare, penned by the Republicans as a criticism towards the president.
“Perhaps he will not need bridges, or airports named after him, since his opponents did him the favor of naming the Affordable Care Act after Obama,” Huge said.
Unlike the Reagan Legacy Project, which was started by longtime Washington, D.C.-based arch-conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist of American for Tax Reform, OLI was proud to be launched by grassroots volunteers in Obama’s home state.
“We are the exact opposite of the people who put together the Reagan Legacy Project,” Tenner explained. “It’s just folks who think Obama’s presidency needs to be commemorated and serve as an example that anybody in America can grow up to be president.”
For more information to get involved, or to make suggestions, visit obamalegacyinitiative.org