The Neighborhood Commission 2A, which covers the Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., has voted to rename a street “Jamal Khashoggi Way” in honor of the slain reporter.
The street in question is in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy. Re-naming the road will be a lasting and poignant reminder of the role Saudi Arabia played in the murder, which U.S. intelligence believes was ordered by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The proposal to re-name the street is headed to the District of Columbia city council for approval. The commission usually handles issues like trash collection, zoning, and parking. However, Commissioner James Harnett said that the group was furious about Khashoggi’s murder and the president’s subsequent reaction to it.
“We are extremely disappointed over the lack of concern,” he said, according to CNN. “When there’s a vacuum of leadership that someone steps up and makes sure that the community knows that this is something that we take seriously.”
Turkey has provided evidence of the killing, and says that Khashoggi was killed by a veritable hit squad of Saudi agents, many of whom personally worked for the Saudi crown prince.
In a lengthy statement, Trump praised U.S.-Saudi relations and said that he will not take action against Saudi Arabia in the wake of the killing.
The embassy’s address is 601 New Hampshire Avenue NW. By changing part of New Hampshire Avenue to “Jamal Khashoggi Way,” Harnett says he hopes the street will be a constant reminder to the Saudis.
“This action will force the Saudis to remember, every day. This assault on the press is unforgivable and is deeply harmful to fabric of the truth,” he said. “Leaders at all levels of government need to stand up in whatever ways they can to support people, make their lives better, and push for what’s right. Up against the leaders who have abandoned their duty, this proposal is our way of pushing back.”
The campaign to change the name of the street started last month with an online petition. The petition has more than 8,000 signatures and the full backing of the Neighborhood Commission.
The resolution will be with the District of Columbia city council for six to nine months. And like all laws in the District of Columbia, it is still subject to approval from Congress.
Khashoggi was a journalist with the Washington Post, and was openly critical of the Saudi Arabian royal family in the past. He was living in the U.S. under self-imposed exile from Saudi Arabia after being threatened.