Columbus Day REPLACED in LA

Los Angeles Council voted (14-1) to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as the official city holiday and designated October 12th as a day to celebrate Italian American Heritage Day in LA.

On behalf of the Federated Italo-Americans, I want to thank you all for trying to preserve the second Monday in October as a celebration of Columbus Day, a day that many of us Italian-Americans observe to celebrate our heritage. Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer and navigator responsible for the discovery of the New World, marked the beginning of European colonization of the Americas, thereby mapping the path forward for Amerigo Vespucci, and eventually, our immigration to the United States.

Councilman Joe Buscaino proposed, along with members of the Italian-American community, to establish an Indigenous Peoples Day city holiday on August 9th, which was established in 1994 by the United Nations as a day to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. Today this suggestion was voted down by the Los Angeles City Council. Instead, the Council voted (14-1) to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as the official city holiday and designated October 12th as a day to celebrate Italian American Heritage Day in LA.

In the face of such a defeat, I have been searching for my silvery lining….

Although the replacement of Columbus Day in LA is considered a loss to us in the Italian American community, can it also be considered a victory, since a democratic government established by our Founding Fathers is what we all inherently celebrate as Americans? Today may not have resulted in the vote many of us personally wanted, BUT today’s outcome was actually decided by "democracy", the people's vote, therefore symbolizing what we ultimately are as "America" and securing the legacy of Christopher Columbus. 

This October we will celebrate Italian American Heritage Month in LA with October 12th being the official day of recognition by City Council.  Even though the day may not be an “official” city holiday, we can still celebrate Columbus and his contributions to our culture within our community ~ there are already celebrations being planned the first (LA) and second (OC) weekend of October! I will send along more info as it is received.

Thank you again,

Respectfully,
Ann Potenza
President
Federated Italo-Americans

 

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

The art of Italian aperitivo

“Salute!” — the clink-clink of glasses resounds like church bells throughout Italy as the late afternoon begins to dissolve towards evening. It’s...

The Caracalla Baths, a plunge into the Roman Empire

For centuries ancient Romans have built roads and bridges connecting all of their conquered territories, triumphal arches celebrating their victories...

Su filindeu: a pasta so rare it’s at risk of disappearing

This is the story of a dish whose origin is rooted in people’s own heritage and centennial tradition. It is the story of a dish that was born to be...

Carnevale and its thousand faces

When I was a child, Carnevale was the occasion to don some improbable outfit, usually involving satin gowns and glitter or, depending on the mood of...

Land of many faces: the Crete Senesi

She lies just south of Siena, this stark yet soft and wizened land. Her sensuously rolling landscape is ever-changing — breathtakingly alluring when...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues