News & Politics  |  Opinion

Five Reasons Why Reagan National Airport Should Be Renamed for Jojo Siwa

Nothing but respect for MY president

A petition to rename Arlington’s Reagan National Airport after YouTube star and singer Jojo Siwa has gained some serious traction. Created by Georgetown University student Dylan Long, the petition has garnered almost 58,000 signatures and has been endorsed by Siwa herself. Maybe they’re onto something? Here are our thoughts for why the name change should go into effect.

Siwa’s an LGBTQ Queen

DC is a deep Blue city with a large LGBTQ community, so why on earth is its main airport named after the man who prolonged the AIDS crisis by ignoring the needs of gay Americans (Long makes this point in his petition’s argument)? The sparkly, rainbow queen of camp, Siwa recently went from LGBTQ ally to icon when she went public with her girlfriend.

She’s a Modern, Influential Artist

So Reagan acted in a few movies before becoming president. Cool. Triple-threat superstar Jojo Siwa was a crucial part of Dance Mom’s Abby Lee Miller dance squad, headlined her first international concert tour before turning 18, and has performed in film and television, becoming the youngest contestant to appear on the Masked Singer. Oh, and she’s an entrepreneur and trendsetter who’s released a line of giant sparkly hair bows in a collaboration with Claire’s. For all the reasons above, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in 2020 alongside the likes of Ibram X. Kendi, Anthony Fauci, and Joe Biden.

It Would be More Pro-DC Statehood Than the Current Nomenclature

As many things seem to go with the District, its residents didn’t have any say over the airport’s original renaming from Washington National to Reagan National, which was put into effect by Congress in 1998. The Washington Post conducted a poll in 2015 that showed almost two thirds of individuals who currently or had lived in DC refrained from referring to the airport as “Reagan” or “Reagan National.” And while Siwa is yet to make her DC statehood stance public, the Reagan admin “vigorously opposed” ending taxation without representation in the District.

She Would Make Traveling a Joy

In a city oft-defined by its proliferation of buttoned up lawyers and politicos, we deserve to show the world that we know how to have fun. National’s current airy, light-filled architecture is a good starting point, but imagine a transit hub with rainbow support beams, glitter floors, and quirky stained-glass inserts. Trés Jojo!

She Did Not Fire All the Air Traffic Controllers

On August 5, 1981, Reagan fired 11,359 air traffic controllers who were striking for better pay and working conditions. Jojo Siwa has never ordered the mass firing of air traffic controllers taking collective action.

Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.