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Press Release - Renaming of Columbus Drive Proposal


Chicago’s Italian American Community Strongly Opposes

4th Ward Alderman Lamont Robinson’s

Renaming of Columbus Drive Proposal


CHICAGO: “Insensitive and unvetted,” said Ron Onesti, President of The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, about 4th Ward Alderman Lamont Robinson’s proposal to rename Columbus Drive after the 44th President, Barack Obama. 

 

The organization that represents over fifty Italian American organizations in the Chicago area is furious at the suggestion, citing it as another flippant act against an ethnic group that has contributed much to this great city. 

 

“As we commend Alderman Robinson’s intent of honoring a most worthy historic, home-town figure, why must it be at the expense of one ethnic group, and why take such a noble effort and attach it to an action offensive to the over 500,000 Americans of Italian descent in and around Chicago,” Onesti asked. “It would be more relevant to rename a portion of South Greenwood Avenue where the Obama residence is, or Stony Island Avenue where the Barack Obama Presidential Library sits.”

 

Columbus Drive was named for the explorer as part of the Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1933 on “Italian Day”, celebrating contributions made by Italians to the development of the city.

 

The JCCIA implores Alderman Robinson to retract his proposal and invite Chicago’s Italian American community to join the effort to find a relevant, all-inclusive, and positive way to honor a leader who is a symbol of pride for all Chicagoans, and a role model for its youth.

 

The JCCIA has attempted to reach Alderman Robinson to inform him of the insensitivity of his proposal. 



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Renaming of Columbus Drive Press Release 3-20-24
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