State lawmakers in New York are moving forward with a bill to rename Donald J. Trump State Park, a 436-acre patch of unused land approximately eight miles east of Peekskill, New York, and 50 miles north of New York City.
“New York State has always been known for its history of welcoming and embracing people of all cultures and backgrounds,” the bill said. “Even our park system reflects these values. According to the Declaration of Policy of the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, our parks should foster and strengthen the sense of purpose, well-being and identity of the citizens of this state. The names of these parks and green spaces should embody the goals of uplifting and unifying New Yorkers. For these reasons the Donald J. Trump State Park should be renamed.”
Former President Donald Trump had originally purchased the land with the intention of building a golf course, but the plan fell through and he donated the land to the state in 2006 with the stipulation that his name be prominently displayed. The land was never developed into a state park and is not listed as one.
State legislators have been trying for years to strip Trump’s name from the property. Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill titled the “Anything But Trump Act” in 2015, which attempted to rename the park because of Trump’s “rhetoric and discriminatory proposals” as a presidential candidate.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Nassau County) said at the time: “It is time the state of New York sends a message to Donald Trump that his hate speech is not welcome in our great state. I am confident that the governor will take our letters into consideration. If he is unable to act, then we are prepared to move forward with this legislation.”
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens), who sponsored the new bill, said, “Our parklands should be reflective of New Yorkers that we can be proud of, New Yorkers that have expressed our values. There are a lot of other New Yorkers who are worthy of the honor of having a park named after themselves.”
“We’ve been working on this for a number of years, and I certainly am hopeful that it will get the green light and move forward,” she added. “At the end of the day, we want people to be able to appreciate parkland and be able to visit it without stigma, without shame, and we want to be able to be proud of our open spaces.”
Tourism Committee Chair Danny O’Donnell (D-Manhattan) said he did not believe Trump or his lawyers will bother to fight the park’s renaming. “I don’t think [Trump] will have the resources to care when the time comes,” he said. “But maybe he would; he’s sufficiently a narcissist.”
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