Move over, former President Ronald Reagan -- teen superstar, and oversized hairbow/apparent traction alopecia enthusiast, JoJo Siwa is coming for your eponymous Washington DC airport gig – at least if petitioning teens have their way. Last week, zoomers officially began carrying on the national past time that is dunking on Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economics championing, HIV/AIDS crisis overlooking legacy, launching a viral petition to rename Washington DC's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after a true American hero, the glitter-clad YouTuber and children's musician.
Accompanied by a simple description asking “why on earth is there an airport named after this war criminal,” the petition, entitled “Rename Ronald Reagan Airport to Jojo Siwa Washington National Airport” has garnered more than 4,700 signatures – roughly 300 away from hitting the goal of 5,000 backers -- since emerging on Change.org last week, with fans flocking to express their support for the proposed change. “Ronald Reagan rigged the economy for the rich and screwed over everyone else. Jojo Siwa was on Dance Mom’s and I like her better. Plus she’s gay,” wrote one donor. “I don't know who JoJo Siwa is, but I know she didn't fire 11,000 striking air traffic controllers,” added another.
Now, I know some of you are probably wondering the same thing as the commenter above – who the hell is JoJo Siwa and why do people want her to replace Ronald Reagan as the namesake of Washington DC's airport? Well, aside from not enacting mandatory minimum sentencing drug laws nor finding herself allegedly entangled in several EPA scandals, Siwa has proven herself to be a true American hero over her 17-ish years in the spotlight. A singer, dancer, and social media influencer, Siwa has garnered more than 33 million followers on TikTok and 12 million YouTube subscribers with her original songs, like her 2x Platinum anti-cyberbullying banger, “Boomerang” and fast-talking vlogs, including one in which she wraps her Tesla Model X in images of her face. The teen is also a successful entrepreneur who was worked with high-profile companies like Claire's and Nickelodeon to cultivate a brand worth “millions,” according to Forbes, her business prowess even landing her a spot on Time magazine's 2020 list of most influential people. Aside from her professional endeavors, Siwa is also an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQAI+ community after coming out to her fans as pansexual and introducing them to her girlfriend earlier this year.
Context aside, the Siwa airport initiative was started by Dylan Long, a freshman at Georgetown University who says he was tired of seeing the B-List actor/former President's name every time he arrived in Washington DC. “I always fly in and fly out through Reagan Airport and every time I’m there, I’m sort of reminded of Ronald Reagan and you know, it’s disappointing,” he told DCist of his movement. A member of the LGBTQAI+ community Long cites Reagan's failure to effectively handle the HIV/AIDS epidemic that ravaged marginalized communities in the '80s as a catalyst for his disappointment with the former President, who passed away in 2004. As such, Long, who says he was a fan of Siwa during her time on Dance Moms in the early 20-teens, thought the teen star would be a great replacement.
Despite the movement's overwhelming success, a predictable outcome considering many people refer to the airport as “DCA” or “National Airport,” notably sans Reagan's Moniker, according to the Washington DC-based publication, it's unclear how, exactly the move would be implemented, considering the petition is addressed to the mayor of Arlington, VA, a role that doesn't exist. Although it seems this is an error, which Long says he “should probably fix …," there's another hangup at hand – it seems Siwa isn't aware of the movement to make her the face of Washington DC's major transportation hub, with both the star and her representation not responding to inquiries on the matter.