Dear Columbus Day Coalition and JCCIA members,
There is no denying this is one of the most trying times of our modern day celebration
of our heritage. The Chicago Board of Education is trying to usurp Columbus Day, and
our Columbus monuments across the country are a focal point of angst. While Italian
Americans across the country are launching fiery responses, responses from our sister
communities must be tailored for each respective community.
Our passion and fiery emotions in the Chicagoland community are warranted.
However, we must remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint. Our community is
unique. What works in New York or California does not necessarily work in Chicago.
The JCCIA Columbus Day Coalition and our members have cultivated broad support
of Christopher Columbus from numerous state representatives, a diverse representation of Chicago’s City Council, support from the Mayor’s office, and other local mayors and community leaders. We need to continue to build on the strength of this coalition as we navigate through these treacherous political waters.
Now, more than ever, we must remember one thing: We are stronger together than
Diplomacy and support with our state and local government leaders is our strength.
As Italian Americans, we are ever mindful of those of us who have endured horrific
discrimination and continue to be the subject of stereotypical degradation in popular
culture. Christopher Columbus is a symbol of our resilience as a people; a cultural that
has shaped landscape of this great nation.
Our position is clear: Tearing down public property that are public works of art will not
solve our country’s problems. Our most challenging problems requires all of us to work
together. We are committed to this and have articulated our position to elected officials,
law enforcement, and park officials and they are positively responding to this message.
The JCCIA public affairs and crisis communication team are in constant contact with
elected officials and staff. We are monitoring social media outlets. JCCIA is following
an aggressive path to securing not only our statues, our day, but also upholding our
We will share pertinent details as they progress.
As always, please share your thoughts.
Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans