San Diego

Petition Calls for Name Change at Andrew Jackson Post Office in Rolando

In recent years, the elimination of statues, shrines and memorials for historical figures associated with corrupt morals has become more common

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A man living just a couple blocks away from the Andrew Jackson Station post office on El Cajon Boulevard in Rolando wants the office’s name changed in light of the seventh president’s past and policy.

President Jackson is credited for many things, but he’s also criticized for owning slaves and blamed for the forced relocation of thousands of native Americans during his time in office.

It is for those reasons, petitioner Erik B. Anderson wants his name off the building. And while his online petition is picking up steam, it’ll take an act of Congress for any change to be made.

“Why wouldn't a slaver offend anyone, and someone who is responsible for genocide?" Anderson asked.

He’s circulating homemade flyers pointing folks to his petition which has acquired over 300 support signatures in four days.

“A name on a post office is glory. That's propaganda, really. That's not erasing history, that's erasing propaganda,” he said.

According to the Congressional Research Service, and verified by a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson, changing the name of even a branch office requires new legislation.

In recent years, the elimination of statues and shrines of historical figures with flawed ideals has become more common. Just last week, a marker commemorating Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from Horton Plaza, and in Chula Vista a statue honoring Christopher Columbus was removed from public display.

It’s a movement Rolando resident Ahmed Almi seems to support.

"There was a time when humans belonged to a human and they were like sheep or goats or whatever, but today we consider humans are equal so we have to change it,” neighbor Ahmed Elmi said.

Neighbor Patti Kadlec says removing tributes to figures whose morals were corrupt won’t erase history.

"What he [President Jackson] did good for the country and what he, you know owned slaves and stuff, we can't change it by taking the names down,” Kadlec said.

NBC 7 reached out to 53rd Congressional District Rep. Susan Davis Monday and did not hear back.

On Tuesday, City Council President and Council District 9 representative Georgette Gomez sent a letter to Davis in support of a name change at the post office.

"Monuments to our nation’s history should serve to guide us to end injustice and suffering rather than be reminders of it," the letter read, in part.

Anderson said he’s been giving Rep. Davis’ office updates of his petition’s progress through email.

Before there was a petition, Anderson said there was a discussion began a week before on the NextDoor app that included input from hundreds his neighbors.

And if his petition drive doesn't lead to changing the post office name, Anderson is happy that he’s at least it raising awareness.

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