Opposition to plan to rename City-County Building in Madison after Obama

MADISON (WKOW) -- Some people in Madison don't think it's a good idea to rename the City-County Building (CCB) in downtown Madison after former president Barack Obama.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the proposal at a news conference outside the CCB on Thursday. "President Barack Obama was the JFK of our generation. He deserves to be honored and deserved to be recognized," Parisi said.

One of the main reasons people are speaking out against the proposal is because the building houses a jail. For Alice Howard, the CCB invokes bad memories, so she's opposed to the plan to rename the building. "Made a dumb mistake, dumb choice. And that's what happens when you make dumb choices."

Dane County supervisor Sheila Stubbs agrees that Obama should be honored, but she doesn't think placing his name on a building that houses a jail is the way to do it.

"The jail on the 6th and 7th floors. It is a deteriorating building. We have life-threatening issues," Stubbs said of the CCB.

As the only African-American serving on the county board, Stubbs feels she should have been consulted first about the proposal before it became public. "I actually hold leadership as second vice-chair. And I was never contacted, communicated, asked my thoughts and ideas."

Stubbs wants to see more community input before such a change is made.

"The nobility of the effort, I applaud. But again, the process I'm in disbelief about," Stubbs said.

We also spoke with Madison city alder Maurice Cheeks about the idea. "The prospect of putting Barack Obama's name on a building that houses prisoners is really problematic," Cheeks told 27 News.

"If they had that building where there was a positive note behind it, where when people went in there, they didn't come back, I would love to see his name on it," said Howard.

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/35686361/2017/06/17/opposition-to-plan-to-rename-city-county-building-in-madison-after-obama

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