A petition to officially change the name of Ohio's capital city of Columbus to "Flavortown" is nearing 20,000 as protests over police brutality and racism have begun to target statues of Christopher Columbus.
Tyler Woodbridge, a 32-year-old former Columbus resident, started the petition to rename the city after the catch-phrase of television restaurateur Guy Fieri, a native of Columbus. Woodbridge pointed to Fieri's charitable work and contributions to LGBT causes, saying it stands in sharp contrast to the "tarnished legacy" of the city's current namesake.
"We as a culture in America are waking up to how bad of a person he was," Woodbridge said. "Now is the time for progressiveness. It's a time for change."
Mayor Andrew Ginther ordered the removal of the iconic Columbus statue from City Hall last Thursday and commissioned the Columbus Art Commission to come up with a replacement that better embodies the spirit of the city.
"For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness," Ginther said in a statement. "That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past."
The mayor has not made a public statement about the effort to change the city's name.
Woodbridge currently lives in Tennessee, but plans to drive the printed petition up to Columbus officials some time this week.