What’s In A Name?

I’ve been working on the highway pages again, and I’m up to the legislative changes. I just finished with the Assembly, and ran into the updated version of ACR 100, the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path, the Ohlone Kallentaruk Highway, the Oceanside Police Officer Daniel S. Bessant Memorial Highway, the Los Angeles Police Officer Ian J. Campbell Memorial Highway, the Officer Ryan Stringer Memorial Highway, the Officer Dale M. Krings Memorial Rest Area, the Ronald Ledford Memorial Bridge, the Hawthorne Police Officer Andrew Garton Memorial Highway, the Donald Mark Lichliter Memorial Highway, the Christopher Meadows Memorial Highway, the California State Engineer Memorial Interchange, and the Christian Vasquez Memorial Highway Resolution. You read that right. 26 names.

So, as part of my updates, I’m reading about these people and getting more and more upset. Now, I have no problem with recognizing people for meritorious service. We all owe a debt and immense gratitute to our service men and women who give their lives, to our public safety officers who die in the line of duty, and all who give public service. But naming a 2 mile stretch of highway or an intersection after them, especially when all people will see is the name, is not the way to do it. Tell their story. Give a thank you to their family. But not this way.

By picking one person to name something after, you cheapen the service of all those who are not named. Why name after this Iraqi vet when you don’t name after all of our other WWI, WWII, Korea, or Vietnam vets? Why name after this particular officer who was killed by a drunk driver and not some other one? It just seems the wrong way to do it to me.

Further, a number of these resolutions give loads of personal details: wives, children, grandchildren and birthdates. Where they were born, where they went to school. This information opens up the opportunity for identity theft or spearphishing attacks on the family. They don’t deserve it.

This, of course, is just one example. I encourage everyone to go to the state legislature website. Look at all the “work” your legislature is doing (2700 bills in the Assembly alone). The new website allows you to comment on the bills and subscribe to updates. I encourage you to do so.