The Columbus Heritage Coalition supports Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as its first choice for Mayor in the ranked-choice Democrat city-wide primary election on June 22.
President Angelo Vivolo said the endorsement recognizes Adam’s longstanding support of the Italian American community, his record of fighting discrimination and prejudice, and his career in public service rising to the rank of police captain, New York State Senator, and Borough President.
“Eric Adams has proven he can unite and lead us to an even better and greater New York,” said Vivolo.
Adams was the first to publicly support efforts to protect the historic memorial of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle. The statue, a gift to the United States in 1892 from the Republic of Italy, was installed in the circle that same year with the nickels and dimes of immigrants who had fled extreme poverty and persecution. Italian Americans identify Columbus as a widely recognized symbol of their heritage and culture.
The Coalition also endorses Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a financial journalist and political outsider running for comptroller. “Michelle presents a much-needed fresh perspective to the political scene,” said Vivolo. “She’s independent and strongly identifies with her Latino and Italian roots.”
Candidates Kathryn Garcia and Scott Stringer, the incumbent New York City Comptroller, have publicly expressed their support for the memorial which is designated a National Parks Service historic site. The new ranked-choice system allows voters to select Garcia and Stringer as second and third choices in their rankings after Adams.
Adams is also endorsed by Representative Thomas Suozzi of Queens and Nassau, the Italian American Political Action Committee, and other Italian American leaders and organizations.
The Columbus Heritage Coalition is affiliated with more than 50 Italian American groups in the New York metropolitan area. The Coalition works to protect, preserve, and promote Italian heritage and culture.
The Coalition condemns all attacks on statures of worthy individuals such as civil rights leader Frederick Douglass, pre-eminent Spanish author Cervantes, and many others. We condemn acts of anti-Semitic hate, desecration of our churches, and hateful attacks on our statues of Holy Saints and Martyrs.
The Coalition fought for and obtained special designation for the Columbus Memorial from the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places and the New York Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Register of Historic Places.
A 76-foot column installed at the center of Columbus Circle, the memorial consists of a 14-foot marble statue of Columbus atop a 27.5-foot granite rostral column on a four-stepped granite pedestal. Gaetano Russo, a native of Messina, Sicily, is the sculptor.
In Brooklyn, the Coalition effectively ended efforts by a radical group that sought to remove the Stebbins-Columbus memorial, the city’s oldest and designed in 1867 by Emma Stebbins, a pioneering queer artist. Her Columbus statue was New York City’s first public commission and is recognized appreciated today for its artistry and historical significance. Stebbins went on to create the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. In 2020, protestors defiled Stebbins’s work in Cadman Plaza with hateful graffiti and sought to take it down, in their own words, “by whatever it takes.”
The Coalition continues to work with community leaders to ensure that the true meaning of the Stebbins Columbus statue is fully and accurately presented. We believe in truth and justice for all, and our mission is to support those who have the same goals.