San Jose committee looking for community support to make Obama Blvd. a reality

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A group of San Jose residents is trying to bring a Barack Obama Boulevard to their city. And they're not having as easy a time of it, as their counterparts in LA, where a street has recently been unveiled in honor of the former president.

In 2008, Alex Shoor was knocking on doors for then-candidate Barack Obama in Cleveland, Ohio, when he told two young boys what he was doing and who he was working for. Immediately, their faces lit up.

The boys ran into their house screaming, "He's here for Barack Obama!"

RELATED: Obama Boulevard unveiled in Los Angeles as crowds celebrate historic occasion

More than a decade later, that moment has never left him. He has now moved back to his hometown of San Jose and founded CatalyzeSV with a mission around community engagement and advocacy.

For the last two years, he's been working with a group of volunteers intent on bringing a Barack Obama Boulevard to his hometown, a nod to that moment of hope he felt and saw in the eyes of those two boys.

"I thought about those boys over the years, this would be a great tribute to their passion for him and every San Josean deserves to have that message of hope," he said.

In early May, Los Angeles unveiled its very own Barack Obama Boulevard after a two year process of petitioning for the name change.

Shoor says the city of San Jose process has been more complicated.

We looked into the differences. To file an application with the city of Los Angeles for a street renaming, you need just 500 signatures of residents affected, or 20 percent, if the population is less than 2,500.

The San Jose application is a much longer list, including signatures of more than 50 percent of residents, the utility bill to prove the signatures and the names of all property owners and occupants in the affected neighborhood.

For his committee of volunteers, the requirements has slowed down the process drastically. Shoor says he is committed to getting it done but it will take some time.

The committee has yet to identify the street but they plan to keep rallying for support. Their petition already has more than 2,000 signatures.

"Anywhere you live in this country, especially here in a diverse city like San Jose, we want to send a symbol to our children that anyone can become president."

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