Valdosta will rename Forrest St. after former President Obama

FILE - Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally as he campaigns for Democratic...
FILE - Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally as he campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)(Brynn Anderson | AP)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:38 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Valdosta City Council has voted to rename Forrest Street to “Barack Obama Boulevard.”

The council approved the name change during a Thursday meeting. A Chance To Initiate Opportunities Now, or A.C.T.I.O.N., completed the necessary requirements for the name change after five months of work.

A.C.T.I.O.N. says it gathered more than the required 60% of resident and business signatures.

DJ Davis, leading this initiative, said it was challenging. He said many times volunteers got doors slammed in their faces.

A.C.T.I.O.N. said Forrest Street was named after a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

“The meaning of names is powerful. It shows how much the community cared about changing his name and these are people on the streets, so the credit doesn’t come to me. The credit goes to the residents of Forrest Street that wanted this name change and they allowed it to happen by signing the petition,” said Davis.

Some residents opposed to changing the name argued that the street was named after a Black business owner, Elbert Forrest, citing past city council records.

The name change will cost nearly $3,000. City officials said the money will pay for things like changing the street signs. A.C.T.I.O.N. said it has already raised the money to cover it.

Now that it has been approved, a 90-day period will be given for emergency officials to update dispatch records and people living on that street to update financial statements.

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