Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

New Jersey town votes to rename Kennedy Center after President Obama, citizens divided

Willingboro Township Council officials in New Jersey voted to rename the Kennedy Center as the President Obama Center. The move, detailed in the Aug. 9 article on the Burlington County Times, has created a mixed reaction by the citizens.

Council member Nathaniel Anderson stated that a resident said the title is needed to remind future generations that Obama was the first black president of the United States. Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Jennings, whose idea it was to rename the center, recalled the excitement in Willingboro when Obama ran for office and was elected to Philly.com

photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

“I think that people have a sense of pride about him. . . . We had so many new people register to vote, people who had never voted before, people who were disenfranchised,” Jennings said Wednesday. “All of a sudden, we had maybe 8,000 people register to vote. We had lines . . . people wrapping around the buildings when the polls opened. It was a sense of history, everybody wanted to be a part of it.”

The Mayor, Eddie Campbell, was the lone “no” vote with Jennings actually missing the vote.The name change comes amid renovations to the structure, which houses a senior center, the Willingboro parks and recreation department, a banquet hall, and an auditorium.

“The vote in 2008 . . . was change for us. It gave us, as African Americans, the opportunity to believe in those dreams that our forefathers sought. For us to be able to live in that historical moment and then have this president reelected, it means a lot,” Anderson said.

The $4.9 million project to renovate and remodel parts of the center began two years ago, and is funded through a municipal bond. The banquet hall and auditorium are being remodeled in the hope that the center will be able to bring in more revenue for the township, Anderson said.

Not everyone shares the positive thoughts on the name change.

“Wow .. dumping the name of an icon for The People (J.F.K.) who was murdered by the Illuminati when he started to dig too deep into corporate financial corruption, and then replacing it with the name of one of the biggest corporate cronies who has received millions in donations from corporate America; Pres. Obama is now allowing the exploitation of the U.S. East Coast on behalf of Big Oil Companies, causing the death of sea mammals in the process of Seismic airgun blasting…Gee? I wonder who decided this monumental change? Let me guess …,” writes Elizabeth on the Philly.com coverage.

“What’s next naming malls after terrorists since he negotiates with them!!” Kristina Darlin wrote on the Burlington County Times Facebook page. She also added, “What a disgrace to (A)merica!!”

“The only place his name should appear is in school textbooks stating he was the worst president in our history,” Lindsey Rotteau wrote. “The only CHANGE he made was making people not be proud to be an American!”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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