New York May Remove Donald Trump’s Name From Donated State Park
New York officials may strip Donald Trump's name from a state park in the Hudson Valley he donated.
Shortly after the riots at the U.S. Capitol, a Change.org petition was crafted in hopes of changing the name of Donald J. Trump State Park in the Hudson Valley to Sojourner Truth Park. The 436-acre state park is near the Taconic State Parkway spanning Putnam and Westchester counties.
"Public record will show that Trump and his associated development company paid $2 million for this property. After being unable to develop the property, the land was donated to the State of New York which he and his firm used as a tax write-off. This was not a charitable gift derived out of generosity but an equitable exchange of real property for a financial incentive," the petition states.
Nearly 176,000 people have signed the petition in two weeks, as of this writing. This is at least the fourth attempt to change the state park's name.
"Several previous proposed names have all been admirable choices but perhaps have not met the benchmark through which most public lands have been rededicated in our State, to honor individuals rather than perhaps individuals who have donated land. The naming of a park should be that of a historic New Yorker who has made an outstanding contribution to the history and development of our state and one who evokes the values of patriotism, inclusiveness and equity under the law. There are few individuals who embodied the spirit and diversity of New York like Sojourner Truth. It seems only fitting that a park stripped of the name of a man who incited insurrection should be replaced with that of a woman who fought against and helped defeat insurrectionists," the petition states.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid is looking into whether the state can legally change the name. AP reports a 2006 agreement states the park must have Trump's name, but Kulleseid told lawmakers this week that the condition is not in the deed adding it's unclear if it's binding.
Trump received a tax write-off when he donated the land after he couldn't get approval to build a private golf course on the land.
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