New York lawmakers advance bill to rename Donald J. Trump State Park
Members of a New York State Assembly panel voted Wednesday to advance a bill that if passed and signed into law would rename Donald J. Trump State Park in Upstate New York.
The state legislature’s tourism committee voted 14-7 to advance the bill. Democrats in the state legislature have long pushed to rename the 436-acre park in Putnam County, which has been largely unused since 2015.
“Our parklands should be reflective of New Yorkers that we can be proud of, New Yorkers that have expressed our values,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D), who sponsored the bill, Politico reported. “There are a lot of other New Yorkers who are worthy of the honor of having a park named after themselves.”
The state obtained the land in 2006 when Trump donated it after intending to build a golf course on the property but never doing so. When Trump donated the property, he did so on the condition his name be “prominently displayed at least at each entrance to each property.”
“This is my way of trying to give back,” Trump reportedly said at the time.
Rozic first proposed naming the park after Heather Heyer, a counterprotester who was killed during the deadly clash between white supremacists and Black Lives Matter activists in Charlottesville, Va.
Danny O’Donnell, who chairs the tourism committee, told Politico he does not foresee any legal challenges from Trump to the park’s name being changed.
“I don’t think [Trump] will have the resources to care when the time comes,” O’Donnell told the outlet. “But maybe he would; he’s sufficiently a narcissist.”
Park Commissioner Erik Kulleseid told lawmakers at a budget hearing last month that he has received frequent emails about rebranding the property, according to The Associated Press.
Kulleseid said Trump’s request to keep his name on the property is not in the deed for the donation.
Trump has long rebuffed changes to the state park, threatening to reclaim it.