Albany, NY – Two state legislators have reintroduced legislation (S3166/A5127) providing for the renaming of Donald J. Trump State Park, a 436-acre site straddling Westchester and Putnam counties. The lawmakers, Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg (D-Westchester/Putnam) and State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan) say that the park’s association with the former president is contributing to its neglect and sparse visitation.
In the bill’s memo, the legislators argue that “New York State has always been known for welcoming and embracing people of all cultures and backgrounds, and even our park system reflects these values….The names of these parks and green spaces should do the same.” During his presidential campaigns and his time in office, Trump disparaged many different groups of people. He also actively sought to undermine the results of the 2020 election, going so far as to instigate a violent riot on January 6, 2021, that left five dead and many others injured, including 138 police officers. Given his divisive and un-democratic actions, some liken the renaming of the park to the removal of Confederate monuments.
“I have received many unprompted messages from constituents who are dismayed at driving past signs for Donald J. Trump State Park,” said Assemblywoman Levenberg, who has also opened a survey soliciting local opinions on the topic on her section of the Assembly website. “Frankly, it is triggering for many people to have a daily reminder of the hatred and vitriol Donald Trump unleashed in our nation’s politics. Having one’s name on a park or a sign along our roadways is an honor, one that Donald Trump does not deserve, given his behavior.”
State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said: “New York wants nothing to do with Donald Trump. Just last week, Trump once again called for public protests. The last time he rallied his supporters, five people were killed and mass destruction of the U.S. Capitol ensued. Our public spaces should be named after people that embody the values of civility and inclusivity that New Yorkers are proud to honor. Our bill makes clear that Donald Trump is not that person.”
The bill, also informally known as the “Anyone But Trump Act,” passed the State Senate on June 10, 2021. Hoylman-Sigal and Levenberg hope that the time is finally right for the bill’s passage in both houses.
“This park has tremendous potential, and we deserve a great state park,” said Levenberg. “This park cannot be great with such an ignoble name.”
Senator Hoylman-Sigal added, “It’s the shame of New York that we have a state park named after a twice-impeached U.S. president. Let’s correct this for the benefit of future generations.”