NY Lawmaker Wants Park Named After Trump Changed

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A New York lawmaker wants to change the name of Donald J. Trump State Park to commemorate Heather Heyer, the woman who died during an Aug. 12 vehicular attack when white supremacists and anti-racism protesters clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Assembly Member Nily Rozic introduced a bill that calls on the commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to rename the park, which is on land donated to the state by Trump, according to BuzzFeed.

The legislation cites state guidance that "state parks should foster and strengthen the sense of purpose, well being and identity of the citizens of this state."

"The renaming would acknowledge that its current designation does not reflect the goals of uplifting and unifying New Yorkers," the bill states, according to BuzzFeed.

The park has been closed since 2010 and is described by some as dilapidated. Trump gave the land to the state on the condition that the state display his name prominently in the park.

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"Heather Heyer's life was taken away by white supremacists who have been emboldened ever since President Trump took office," Rozic told BuzzFeed. "In New York, we continue standing by one another and calling out those who seek to divide us. This activism is not new -- it is embedded in our state's history and re-naming Donald J. Trump State Park would serve as a reminder of the transformative power it holds to carry us forward."

Rozic has also initiated a petition to build support for her effort.

"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," the petition states.

The move coincides with the emergence of a resolution in the Senate aimed at compelling Trump to condemn the right-wing extremist groups behind the violence in Charlottesville.

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Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both from Virginia, and Republican Sens. Cory Gardner, Lisa Murkowski and Johnny Isakson announced the measure on Sept. 6. If it passes, it would force Trump to go on record in forcefully condemning the violence in Charlottesville while at the same time "rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups," according to Politico.

Some resolutions adopted by the Senate are non-binding. But since the bill has been introduced as a joint resolution, it will be sent to Trump to sign into law if it passes the Senate.

"Let there be no mistake: what happened in Charlottesville was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by a white supremacist, one that tragically cut short the life of a young woman, Heather Heyer, who was speaking out against hatred and bigotry," Warner said.

Sources: BuzzFeed, Politico / Featured Image: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Ian.Cliff/Wikimedia Commons, U.S. Department of State/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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