October 30, 2016

Dear Federated Italo-Americans,
BELOW IS THE MOST CURRENT UPDATE ON COLUMBUS DAY & INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY AND CITY. *THE COUNTY AND CITY ARE SEPARATE VOTES.
PLEASE SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE MOST CURRENT UPDATE.  ALL MEETINGS ARE OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT.
Sincerely,
Ann Potenza
President
FEDERATED ITALO-AMERICANS

2016 COLUMBUS DAY ALERT!!!!!

On November 12, 2015, LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino alerted the Italo-American community that LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell recently submitted a motion “Council File 15-1343” to replace Columbus Day, celebrated on the second Monday of October, with Indigenous Peoples Day.  In 2013, CA Assemblyman Roger Hernandez attempted this same action and the Italo-American community responded its’ opposition by sending numerous letters, emails and petitions, which eventually lead to the withdrawal of AB55. If you click on our “Columbus Day – News Archive” tab, you can view the history of AB55’s call to action. At this time, we are leading the same call to action to oppose Councilmember O’Farrell’s current motion “Council File 15-1343”.

Please check back on this page to see the latest news and information ~ we will be updating it regularly and posting sample letters to download, sign and mail.  Here is what you can do today!

1) CLICK ON BELOW LINK AND SIGN AAVAZ.org PETITION to “Save Columbus Day in Los Angeles”.

Save Columbus Day in Los Angeles_2016 (petition link)

                                       Petition to be delivered to:  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Why this is important, as stated in the petition:

As members and supporters of the Italian American Community in Los Angeles, we hold Christopher Columbus in high regard for his historic achievements. We teach our children the story of the ‘discovery’ of this great land, we call America, that story is a part of our nation’ s fabric and beginnings of our new world. That story is also an important part of our Italian Heritage. We honor Columbus on the 2nd Monday of October this year and on that day, we celebrate and share our Italian Culture and heritage . A culture and heritage, rich in traditions and steeped in patriotism that bursts from the chests of 16 to 26 million American Italians who call this great nation of the United States home! Please support this petition by signing yes to DEFEAT Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s motion to REPLACE Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles“.

2) SEND EMAILS and MAIL LETTERS to YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES.

2016 Columbus Day Letter of Motion Opposition (download pdf)

Emails are immediately seen and very effective. Letters have more of an impact and are harder to overlook than emails. We also recommend sending a copy of your letter to the City Clerk assigned to the Arts Parks and River Committee, and reference Council File 15-1343. This will ensure a copy of the letter gets placed in the record and will be seen by all members of the committee as part of their agenda packet.

Mayor Eric Garcetti
200 N. Spring Street, Room 303
Los Angeles, CA 90012
mayor.garcetti@lacity.org (email link)

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell
200 N. Spring Street, Room 480
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213)473-7013 tel
(213)473-7734 fax
councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org (email link)

Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr.
200 N. Spring Street, Room 430
Los Angeles, CA 90012
councilmember.wesson@lacity.org (email link)

City Clerk
Attn: Eric Villanueva – Re. CF 15-1343
200 N. Spring St., Room 395
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Councilmember Joe Buscaino
200 N. Spring Street, Room 410
Los Angeles, CA 90012
councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org (email link)

LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL: (VOTE TO BE TAKEN ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2016)

President of the Council: Herb Wesson
President Pro Tempore: Mitchell Englander
Assistant President Pro Tempore: Nury Martinez

District Name:
1 Gil Cedillo
2 Paul Krekorian
3 Bob Blumenfield
4 David Ryu
5 Paul Koretz
6 Nury Martinez
7 Felipe Fuentes
8 Marqueece Harris-Dawson
9 Curren Price
10 Herb Wesson
11 Mike Bonin
12 Mitchell Englander
13 Mitch O’Farrell
14 José Huizar
15 Joe Buscaino

Here are the names of the LA County Supervisors who will be voting on this motion next (NO DATE FOR VOTE IS SET YET)contact-county-of-los-angeles-board-of-supervisors
First District: Hilda Solis
Second District: Mark Ridley-Thomas
Third District: Sheila Kuehl
Fourth District: Don Knabe
Fifth District: Michael D. Antonovich

3) SEND EMAILS and LETTERS to the AUTHORS of RECENT NEWS ARTICLES.

Don’t forget the Power of the Press and Social Media!
a) post the on-line petition on your Facebook, Twitter, etc.
b) send a letter to your local newspaper editor and national news outlets.

“Goodbye, Columbus? L.A. councilman wants to establish Indigenous Peoples Day”_LATimes.com_Dec 2015

“Councilman wants Indigenous Peoples Day in LA / Spares Columbus”_MyNewsLA.com_Nov 2015

italoamericanodigital842016_selected-pages1

4) EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!

Christopher Columbus History (download pdf)

a) learn the history of Christopher Columbus and discuss with others who may not be aware.
b) find out what is being taught about Christopher Columbus in the school system and educate your children if they do not know.
c) learn about the contributions of Native Americans and celebrate “Native American Day” with them on the 4th Friday in September.

5) ATTEND “OPEN TO THE PUBLIC” MEETINGS TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT !

Check back here for upcoming meetings to attend.

BELOW ARE MEETINGS WE’VE ALREADY ATTENDED TO SAVE COLUMBUS DAY:

MONDAY MARCH 21, 2016 11:00AM (open to the public)
City Hall Council Chambers (3rd Floor of City Hall)
Present: Ann Potenza, Lou Mages, Phil Bartenetti, Hal Dash, Nick D’Amico, Marianna Gatto.

Result: Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples Day was the 3rd item on the Agenda.  All members of the public wishing to speak were given 2 minutes to present their comments to the committee.  The above Italo-American community members spoke on behalf of preserving Columbus Day.  There were also Native American representatives speaking on behalf of Indigenous Peoples Day. The City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission / HCILA was given 60 days to meet with both communities and draft a proposal for the City Council before further action is taken.  Channel 7 ABC News aired a segment of the meeting on their broadcast and online.

TUESDAY APRIL 5, 2016 12:00PM (invitation)
City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission
Commissions & Community Outreach – Housing and Community Investment Los Angeles (HCILA)
Present: Ann Potenza, Lou Mages, Carmelo Sabatello.

Result: HCILA met individually with the crucial stakeholders of Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples Day and must submit a “recommendations report based on feedback and research” to the City Council within 60 days. In the next few weeks, they will begin to draft an initial proposal and circle back with members of the community so that feedback is properly reflected in their findings. They will reach out to us once they have the initial framework and have conducted more interviews. We submitted the following supporting documents for their report: 

  1. List of Federated Italo-American Organizations
  2. Letter from Hon. Antonio Verde, Consul General of Italy LA
  3. Columbus Day Letter of Motion Opposition
  4. History of Columbus Day ~ Fact vs. Fiction (from OSIA Commission for Social Justice)
  5. Letter of Pro-Columbus Day ~ Points of Reason (from various sources)

TUESDAY JULY 26, 2016 1:00PM (invitation)
City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission
Commissions & Community Outreach – Housing and Community Investment Los Angeles (HCILA)

The following Italo-American community members attended the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Committee Meeting on Tuesday, July 26, 2016:

1. Hon. Antonio Verde ~ Consul General of Italy (as observer)
2. Elisabetta Mauri ~ Executive Assistant to Consul General
3. Ilaria Saligari ~ Intern to Consulate General of Italy LA
4. Lorenzo Dicandia ~ Intern to Consulate General of Italy LA
5. Eleonara Granata ~ COMITES President
6. Claudio Fogu ~ COMITES Secretary & Vice President
7. James W. Michalski, Esq. ~ IALA President, Federated Legal Counsel
8. Thomas P. Cacciatore, Esq. ~ IALA Past President
9. Rocco Liberio, Esq. ~ IALA Past President
10. Claire Ambrosio, Esq. ~ IALA, Federated VP Columbus Day
11. Joe LaBanca ~ OSIA Past State President, Federated Past President
12. Comm. Frank DeSantis ~ OSIA Past State President
13. Jay Minchilli ~ OSIA Past Public Relations Director
14. Marcella Tyler ~ NIAF Western Regional Director
15. Richard Tyler ~ NIAF
16. Carmelo Sabatella ~ ICF Branch 67 President, ICF LA Archdiocese District Past President
17. Pat Mages ~ ICF Los Angeles Archdiocese District President
18. Lou Mages ~ ICF Los Angeles Archdiocese District Deputy
19. Nicholas S. D’Amico, PhD ~ IA Club of San Pedro Vice President
20. Michael Sinclair, PhD ~ Federated Italo-Americans Secretary
21. Margi Higashi ~ Federated Italo-Americans Treasurer
22. Valerio Viale ~ L’Italo Americano Journalist
23. Ann Potenza ~ Federated Italo-Americans President

Result: The Motion presented to us at this meeting (attached below) had NO mention of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, so for all logical reasons, we should not have any reason to be part of this discussion since the Italo-American community has NO reason to oppose this motion as it stands. HOWEVER, we strongly oppose the possibility that if this motion passes and the City Clerk reports that it’s too expensive to designate IPD as a NEW legal city holiday, the second option would be to REPLACE a standing holiday (Columbus Day, recognized the 2nd Monday of October) with Indigenous People’s Day. This is when the Italo-American community would have a stake in this motion.

italoamericanodigital842016_selected-pages1

THURSDAY AUGUST 4, 2016 (email correspondence)

The below answers to my post-meeting questions were answered by:
Carolina Perez, Management Assistant
Housing & Community Investment Los Angeles (HCIDLA)

Q: If both the Human Relations Commission and the City Clerk must submit their individual reports before the City Council may vote on the motion, when will the Human Relations Commission submit their report and when does the City Clerk submit their report?
A. The report from the Human Relations Commission is anticipated to go before City Council in late September and the City Clerk’s report will be due around the same time.

Q: Will the City Clerk’s report include Indigenous Peoples Day as both as a “new” holiday expense as well as a “replaced holiday” expense? Note: the Italo-American community would only be concerned if the proposed “replaced holiday” is the 2nd Monday of October, celebrated as Columbus Day.
A: The City Clerk’s report traditionally has all the options within the report (if Indigenous Peoples Day becomes city holiday paid, not paid, etc.).

Q: Will there be another joint meeting with the Italo-American community and the Native American community? If so, can we receive more notice regarding the meeting date and a specific agenda beforehand?
A: The Human Relations Committee is considering another forum if the communities would support and like another forum. Yes, we will do our best to give more notice and provide a meeting agenda.

Q: Will the minutes from the July 26th meeting be available to distribute to the community members?
A: The minutes from the July 26th meeting will be ready to send out to the communities next week.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10, 2016 12:00PM (open to the public)

Los Angeles CITY Human Relations Commission presentation of Indigenous Peoples Day report progress to LA City Commissioners.

Result: No action taken.

Present: Ann Potenza, John Leopoldi, Paul Pacheco.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 12:30PM (open to the public)

Los Angeles COUNTY Human Relations Commission to hear presentation of Indigenous Peoples Day motion.

Human Relations Commission
Community and Senior Services
County of Los Angeles
3175 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Collaboration Room, 1st Floor

Result: Vote will be taken by LA County Commissioners at next meeting on October 5th.

Present: Ann Potenza.

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 12:00PM (open to the public)

Los Angeles CITY Human Relations Commission presentation of Indigenous Peoples Day report progress to LA City Commissioners.

Result: No action taken.

Present: Ann Potenza.

 WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5, 2016 12:00PM (open to the public)

THIS NOTICE IS FROM THE “HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES,” WHICH IS DIFFERENT FROM THE “LA CITY COUNCIL” MOTION BEING PUT FORTH BY COUNCILMAN MITCH O’FARRELL:

The next Los Angeles County Commission meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, October 5th at 12:30pm. At this meeting, there will be time for public comment and we expect a motion and vote be made on whether to accept the proposal to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and on what day (Columbus Day or otherwise) at 12:50pm.

Here is address and meeting location:
Human Relations Commission
Community and Senior Services
County of Los Angeles
3175 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Collaboration Room, 1st Floor

PRESENT: Ann Potenza, Lou Mages.

RESULT: The Los Angeles COUNTY Human Relations Commissioners VOTED IN FAVOR OF REPLACING Columbus Day WITH Indigenous People’s Day. VOTE: 6 favor, 2 opposed, 3 abstained.

NEXT STEP: The LA Human Relations Commissioners will pass on this recommendation to the Los Angeles COUNTY Board of Supervisors (who will be the deciding vote).

Here are the names of the LA County Supervisors who will be voting on this motion next (NO DATE FOR VOTE IS SET YET): contact-county-of-los-angeles-board-of-supervisors
First District: Hilda Solis
Second District: Mark Ridley-Thomas
Third District: Sheila Kuehl
Fourth District: Don Knabe
Fifth District: Michael D. Antonovich

MONDAY OCTOBER 31, 2016 11:00AM (open to the public)

Councilman O’Farrell’s office calling a special meeting of the Arts, Parks, River Committee in the Council Chamber 200 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Room 340) to consider the Indigenous Peoples’s day item.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2016 10:00AM (open to the public)

The full LA City Council will vote at the Council meeting in the Council Chamber 200 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Room 340). This will be the same day Councilman O’Farrell will lead a presentation for Native American Heritage Month.

ARTS, PARKS AND RIVER COMMITTEE: LOS ANGELES HOUSING AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENT DEPARTMENT (HCIDLA) REPORT RELATIVE TO REQUEST TO THE HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE LOS ANGELES CITY/COUNTY NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN COMMISSION, TO REPORT ON THE HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE AND CULTURAL IMPACT OF ESTABLISHING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY AS A LEGAL CITY HOLIDAY

SUMMARY:
This report is the first from the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) and the Human Relations Commission in response to City Council Motion (CF 15-1343; O’Farrell, Wesson) on the historical importance and cultural impact of establishing Indigenous Peoples Day as a legal City Holiday.

A FULL REPORT FOLLOWS: HRC report: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2015/15-1343_rpt_HCI_10-28-2016.pdf 

BACKGROUND:
On March 21, 2016 The City Council introduced motion (CF 15-1343) instructing the human relations with the assistance of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Commission to report on both the cultural and fiscal impact of establishing Indigenous Peoples Day as a legal City Holiday.

CONCLUSION:
After review of academic research, extensive engagement of stakeholder communities from across Los Angeles, and conducting numerous workshops and discussion sessions, the City HRC recommends two options, with subsequent implementing instructions, for consideration and selection by Council.

Option #1
ADOPT Indigenous Peoples Day as a legal City holiday, to be recognized and celebrated on the second Monday of October, as the replacement to Columbus Day in the City of Los Angeles.

A] REQUEST the City Attorney report with a draft ordinance and recommendations to effectuate the intent of this action on all City rules, procedures, and regulations, as to form and legality; and

B] REQUEST the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, with assistance from the Department of Cultural Affairs, to report on how the City recognizes and celebrates the heritage of various cultures from around the world that represent the great diversity across Los Angeles.

Option #2
RECEIVE and FILE the report.