Let's Top of the Michelle Obama Neighborhood LibraryRelease Date: 2016-03-10
“Our young people need role models and leaders that will inspire them to continue in their endeavors to better themselves, improve their lives and that of their families and community,” Congresswoman Janice Hahn wrote in a letter supporting the naming proposal. “Every time anyone looks at the name of the library, they will be encouraged and inspired to continue striving towards greatness.”
Megan Kerr, the Long Beach Unified School District board member representing Richardson’s district also endorsed the idea, with her support being featured in a series of posts on Richardson’s Instagram account over the weekend.
“I believe that honoring first lady Michelle Obama is the right thing for North Long Beach, for our community today and for generations to come,” Kerr’s statement read.
Community members on hand to support the vote were sparse, most likely because the vote of approval was considered a forgone conclusion, but those present continued the narrative that had filled all the previous meetings, with a large majority voicing support for the initiative. Benjamin Miranda, a student at Jordan who was part of the organization that initially proposed the name to Richardson, said using the first lady’s name was a way the youth at Jordan could honor Obama for fighting for their generation’s educational and health needs, adding that her name could encourage attendance from his peers.
“All youth respect Michelle Obama as a person; she’s paid close attention to our educational system because she wants all of us to have a bright future,” Miranda said. “If we see a local library with one of our role model’s names on it, we are bound to go and check it out.”
The Obama name being put on the library is historic because it becomes the first building in the city to be named after a minority women. A directive for city staff to extend a formal invitation to the first lady to attend a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the library later this year is expected to be sent out once construction on the library is completed in the coming months.