WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Ward 2 District of Columbia Councilmember Brooke Pinto brought legislation to the Council on Thursday, January 14, to symbolically rename three roads after late trailblazers and influential leaders of America. These symbols would memorialize journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Congressman John Lewis, and Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Councilmember Pinto said the legislation comes as a response to the riot that happened at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6. She said, “In light of the recent deadly riot on Capitol Hill, which included assaults on journalists, and the President’s lack of regard for justice, equality, and our free and fair election process, it is fitting that today we take this symbolic, but important action to acknowledge and honor three individuals who sacrificed so much to fight for our democracy and whose examples continue to inspire the kind of action this moment requires.”
Under the act, the portion of New Hampshire Avenue, NW, between Virginia Avenue, NW and F Street, NW, will be designated as “Jamal Khashoggi Way.” This is the portion of the road in front of the Saudi Embassy and is a place of significance because Khashoggi was murdered in 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey while working as a reporter for the Washington Post. Councilmember Pinto said, “Jamal Khashoggi knew that by shining a light on Saudi Arabia and seeking truth, he risked his freedom and, indeed, his life. Journalists around the world and here in America face similar dangers every day, and we must never let those who seek to intimidate them succeed because when journalism is under assault, our freedom and democracy are under assault. Freedom of the press is fundamental to our democracy and safeguarding human rights where democracy does not exist. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with journalists. Everyone who visits the Saudi embassy will be reminded of Mr. Khashoggi’s courage.”
Further, the portion of H Street, NW, between 15th and 17th Streets, NW will be designated as “John Lewis Way.” According to a press release, this portion of the road was selected because of its proximity to the White House and Lafayette Square, and it intersects with Black Lives Matter Plaza, which is where one of Lewis’s final public appearances were made. “Our nation lost a true hero with the passing of Congressman John Lewis, but his spirit, memory, and example live on within all of us. His ability to stand face-to-face with racial injustice and roll up his sleeves to begin to root it out is unmatched, and our world is better for it. May his legacy continue to inspire the next generation to fight for a just and equitable city and country,” said Councilmember Pinto. “We are pleased to formalize his legacy with this designation. We will continue to show up, stand up, and speak up.”
Finally, Virginia Ave, NW, between Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway and New Hampshire Avenue, NW, will be known as “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Way.” “Justice Ginsburg was an incredibly bold trailblazer for social equality and ardent, reasoned advocacy on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens. Her work made significant strides in allowing women in our country to be empowered to use their talents and gifts free from discrimination. I will forever be inspired by her vision and commitment,” said Councilmember Pinto. “Always persistent in fighting to ensure equality, Justice Ginsburg reminds us of the imperative responsibility to use the law to better people’s lives, not inflict harm.”