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Barack Obama Freeway approved

OW Staff Writer | 9/7/2017, midnight
A portion of the Ventura Freeway (134) near Occidental College has been named after former President Barack Obama. The state ...

A portion of the Ventura Freeway (134) near Occidental College has been named after former President Barack Obama.

The state Legislature gave final approval this week to a resolution naming the 134 between the Glendale (2) and Foothill (210) freeways the “President Barack H. Obama Freeway,” said Sen. Anthony Portantino, (D-La Canada Flintridge).

Obama attended Occidental College from 1979 to 1981 and lived in Pasadena during his sophomore year, where he traveled the Ventura Freeway from his apartment to the campus.

“It is so important that California highlights the dignity of President Obama,” Portantino said. “His direct connection to Southern California in general and to the 134 Freeway specifically makes this the appropriate and exciting place to recognize his tremendous accomplishments and the presidential manner in which he led our country.”

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted in June to rename a 3 1/2-mile stretch of Rodeo Road through southwest Los Angeles as Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th president.

The Legislature's final vote came on the same day President Donald Trump announced the rescinding of one of Obama's signature programs, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Democratic leaders have been blasting Trump's decision, and Portantino said it is fitting the freeway renaming for a “compassion-filled president” was approved “on the same day we witness another president turn his back on 800,000 children.”

Assemblyman Matthew Harper, (R-Huntington Beach), told the Los Angeles Times he voted against the freeway naming, in part because he questioned Obama's overall link to Los Angeles County.

“He didn't even graduate from a California university,” Harper said.