MIAMI — Donald Trump is getting a street named after him in Hialeah.
The Hialeah City Council voted on Tuesday to designate Palm Avenue as “President Donald J. Trump Avenue,” making good on Mayor Esteban “Steve” Bovo’s promise less than a week ago to honor the former president with a namesake road in the majority-Hispanic, Republican stronghold.
The vote came just days after Trump rallied supporters at Henry Milander Park as five of his GOP rivals participated in the third Republican presidential debate in Miami. During that rally, Bovo presented Trump with a street sign bearing the former president’s name.
Tuesday’s vote wasn’t the first time city officials considered naming a road after Trump. Hialeah weighed a similar proposal last year, but the resolution was unanimously rejected by the city’s Historic Preservation Board.
The decision means that Trump will become the first president, current or former, to have a road named after him in Hialeah. And in some ways, it’s a natural fit. A heavily Republican city where the vast majority of residents are Hispanic and nearly 75% are Cuban, Trump has proven deeply popular in Hialeah, carrying it handily in the 2020 presidential election.
The vote was more of a formality than a real debate. Meeting attendees who spoke out in favor of the resolution outnumbered its opponents 2-to-1 in public remarks, and City Council members made clear early on that they had every intention of approving the measure.
At the start of the meeting, Bovo had the Trump Avenue sign — autographed by the former president himself — placed at the front of the council chambers. Many meeting attendees donned red Trump-themed baseball caps and shirts. Each of the few community members who stepped up to the lectern to oppose the designation faced jeers from a largely pro-Trump crowd.
Robert Gewanter, the owner of M&M Liquors in Hialeah, was among those who spoke out against the Trump Avenue resolution. He claimed that Trump’s long history of alleged corruption — in both his business and political careers — made the notion of naming a road after him unthinkable. Gewanter’s remarks were interrupted at one point by meeting attendees chanting “USA.”
Another opponent of the resolution, Ferny Coipel, the chairperson of Hialeah’s Historic Preservation Board, proposed naming a road after former President Barack Obama. Councilman Carl Zogby loudly put down the suggestion: “Absolutely not.”
Bovo offered an even harsher response to Coipel’s proposal. In remarks ahead of the Trump Avenue vote, Bovo recalled Obama’s 2016 trip to Havana and his meeting with then-Cuban President Raul Castro and accused the former U.S. president of shaking “the hand of the devil.”
While Obama made “Cuba great again,” Bovo said, “Trump made America great again.” He said that message carried particular resonance in Hialeah.
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“This is an American city first and foremost,” Bovo said. “We may be a little different from other American cities, but we are an American city.”