NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group of Italian-American organizations has released a list of elected officials who they say “do” and “don’t” support preserving statues of Christopher Columbus.
President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation Angelo Vivolo says the city and state’s leading lawmakers largely support the statues – with the exception of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“You know, everyone this is – God bless America. We all have our opinions,” President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation Angelo Vivolo said Wednesday. “Personally – on a personal level, not as the president of the Columbus Association – I think it’s hypocritical.”
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, a high-profile Italian American has also refused to take part in a mayoral event because of the issue.
Actor Chazz Palminteri has decided to add his name to the list of those boycotting de Blasio’s Italian heritage celebration. He was going to get a mayoral proclamation, but not now.
“He’s no longer the honoree,” the mayor’s spokesman said.
CBS2 is still waiting for a response from the mayor’s office about who is replacing Palminteri as the honoree at the event on Thursday night.
The mayor, an Italian-American, plans to march in Monday’s Columbus Day parade but has refused to say whether statues of the controversial figure should stay. Instead, he called for a commission to review the matter.
His office tweeted Wednesday, “There’s no plan to touch the Columbus statue.”
Vivolo and others, like John Alati, of UNICO National, have declined an invitation to a reception at Gracie Mansion.
“My response was, I would not be able to make it because I will be visiting the statue,” Alati told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.
Vivolo said the group sent out 140 letters, and 54 lawmakers responded in support, Papa reported. He also said the group will send mailers to voters, letting them known which candidates stand with Columbus.
Parade organizers said that when the mayor marches in the parade he can expect the kind of reception a baseball player gets when he makes an error in the outfield — it probably won’t be music to his ears.