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Lawmaker Wants to Rename Trump State Park to Honor Heather Heyer

"The names of these public parks and green spaces should embody the goals of uplifting and unifying New Yorkers."

by Gabby Bess
Sep 7 2017, 7:48pm

New York Democratic legislator Nily Rozic proposed a bill to remove Donald Trump's name from a state park, citing the Trump administration's "discriminatory, divisive, and misguided" policies.

"According to the Declaration of Policy of the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, parks should foster and strengthen the sense of purpose, well-being and identity of the citizens of this state," Rozic said in a petition in support of the bill.

"The names of these public parks and green spaces should embody the goals of uplifting and unifying New Yorkers. For these reasons, we believe Donald J. Trump State Park should be renamed."

Read more: Hundreds of Protestors March on Trump Tower in Support of DACA

Rozic's bill, which was filed today, would rename Donald J. Trump State Park to Heather D. Heyer State Park, in honor of the woman who was killed when a car rammed through counter-protestors at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In the petition, Rozic notes that since Trump took office, New Yorkers and people across the country, like Heyer, have "push[ed] back against the rise in racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic rhetoric that has no place in our communities."

The petition continues, "As we move forward, it is important to recognize those who embody these values and their contributions. 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."

As Buzzfeed pointed out, this isn't the first time lawmakers have attempted to remove Donald Trump's name from the state park. When Trump began his anti-immigrant presidential campaign in 2015, Long Island Assemblyman Charles Lavine proposed that the park should be renamed after a Muslim Revolutionary War veteran.

The park is named after Trump because he donated the land to the state of New York in 2006 when he could not obtain the permits to turn it into a golf course. According to reports, the park is now dilapidated and abandoned due to lack of funding.

Rozic believes that changing the name of the park would also help build momentum to restore the land. "The ultimate goal is to get funding so people can actually use it, and it can become a great testament to [Heyer's] life and her activism," she told Broadly.