Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Ulysses. Yes these are all names of former presidents, but they are also the names of a few of the many streets in Northeast Minneapolis named after their presidential counterpart. As a way to celebrate both President’s Day and Northeast’s unique presidential connection, nearly 50 people attended the first “We Love Our Presidents” Walk sponsored by the Northeast Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Feb. 14.
The idea for the walk came from Minneapolis City Councilman Paul Ostrow when he heard that a friend of his mother’s used to celebrate President’s Day by walking along the presidentially-themed streets.
Participants began the walk at the Firefighters Hall and Museum and started off down 22nd Avenue, renamed “Obama Way” for the day. Walkers continued down to Northeast Middle School where they were fed a chili lunch that was put on by the Northeast Royalty, an ambassador program for young girls in Northeast that promotes community involvement and volunteering. Along the way, Councilman Ostrow told presidential fun facts to the shivering walkers, before they hurried on, looking forward to the warm meal and hot cocoa that awaited them.
Those who came were there to participate for many different reasons. Northeast resident David DeGrio brought along around a dozen people all wearing campaign shirts to support Doron Clark’s bid for City Council. Jonathan Hamilton and Sara Hanson were there to promote ArtShare, an organization that works on community art projects in Northeast. Sheila Biernat and her husband, former City Councilman, Joe Biernat, said they were out there to be “ambassadors for Northeast and ambassadors for the community.”
Sadie Lundquist is a student at the University of Minnesota and an intern at the TC Daily Planet.