Willingboro Renaming Its Kennedy Center After Barack Obama

Although the woman who spearheaded the change missed the vote to rename the town's rec center after our current president, the vote passed anyway.

The township council of Willingboro, New Jersey, voted Tuesday night to rename the town’s rec hub and senior center after Barack Obama. The site, which used to be a high school and is undergoing a major overhaul, is currently named the Kennedy Center.

The mayor voted against the change, which was apparently brought up just Tuesday by Councilman Chris Walker. He made a motion at the meeting to add it to the agenda. The soon-to-be-former Kennedy Center is currently under renovation, but don’t get too upset for JFK: Not only is he moving $1,250 coins, but a street and shopping center in Willingboro are named after him.

Mayor Eddie Campbell Jr. voted against the proposal, primarily because he said Tuesday night was the first he’d heard of it. Deputy mayor Jacqueline Jennings didn’t vote — she was late to the meeting — but she “happen[s] to idolize Barack Obama.”

But she doesn’t just support it: Although Jennings was late to the meeting, the Inquirer reports she was the one spearheading the change. “The vote in 2008 … was change for us,” she told the paper “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.”

The center is currently undergoing a $4.9 million renovation, turning the cafeteria into a banquet hall. The township is soliciting bids for a renovation of the auditorium.

Although he is still a sitting president, Barack Obama already has an impressively long list of things named after him.

[Burlington County Times | Inquirer]