President Donald Trump’s response to the attack at a violent white supremacist rally, that left one counter protester dead, has pushed a New York State lawmaker to introduce a bill that would strip Trump’s name from a state park.
Assembly member Nily Rozic, a Democrat from Queens, has started a petition to change the name of the Donald J. Trump state park to honor Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when a man affiliated with white supremacists allegedly drove his car through a crowd of counter protesters at the Charlottesville, Virginia rally in July.
The bill will direct the state parks department to change the name to the “Heather D. Heyer State Park” and cites the parks’ policy that “state parks should foster and strengthen the sense of purpose, well being and identity of the citizens of this state,” Buzzfeed reported.
“The renaming would acknowledge that its current designation does not reflect the goals of uplifting and unifying New Yorkers,” Rozic told Buzzfeed.
Renaming the park is just one of many actions that those opposed to the President can take to resist the Trump administration’s policies, she said.
“Across the nation, we have spoken out against the policy proposals the Trump Administration has put forth that are discriminatory, divisive, and misguided. Since January 2017, we have organized protests and rallies in defense of our values while pledging to uphold progress that has taken place on the local level,” she wrote in the petition.
“The events that unfolded in Charlottesville are a reminder that the work ahead requires us to stand united in the face of hate. It was for this reason that Heather, who worked as a paralegal, had joined so many others that day to push back against the rise in racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic rhetoric that has no place in our communities,” she said.
Trump donated the 430-acres of land to the state in 2006 under the condition that New York prominently display his name at the park, Buzzfeed reported in February 2016 when a different state legislator was trying to remove Trump’s name from the space.
The park is now mostly abandoned, but Rozic thinks the change would send a message.
“We believe that re-naming Donald J. Trump State Park to Heather D. Heyer State Park would not only honor her name and her activism, but serve as a reminder of how important it is for us to denounce those who seek to divide us,” she said.
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