Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Congressman Backs Effort To Strip “Donald J. Trump State Park” Of Its Name

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney suggested the park be renamed after folk singer and environmental activist Pete Seeger.

Alan Kroeger

Democratic congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, whose district is home to much of Donald J. Trump State Park, said Tuesday that he backs an initiative introduced this week by a New York state senator to rename the park following Trump's derogatory rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Maloney said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that Trump's recent anti-Muslim rhetoric was against the values of the district he represents.

"Donald Trump's rhetoric and proposals are hateful, un-American, and certainly don't reflect the values of my friends and neighbors in Putnam and Westchester Counties," Maloney said.

Maloney suggested legendary folk singer and environmental activist Pete Seeger, who famously wrote the progressive anthem "If I Had A Hammer," as a possible alternative to name the park after.

"Local heroes like Pete Seeger fought to make this country a better place for everyone, and are far more deserving of this lasting tribute," Maloney wrote.

On Monday, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who represents the 26th district in the New York state legislature, announced plans to introduce legislation to strip the park of its name. He also wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking him to begin the process of renaming the park.

The more than 400 acre park is largely undeveloped and was closed due to budget cuts in 2010. The land was donated to the state by Trump in 2006 after environmental regulations and permit requirements kept him from building a golf course. Trump donation resulted in a tax credit.

Meanwhile, the state assemblyman who represents the park, Steve Katz of District 94, said renaming the park is a distraction from economic issues facing the state. "New York State is ranked dead last in economic development because members in the state legislature do not have their priorities straight," he told BuzzFeed News.


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