Mayor Adams Appoints Highly Qualified Italian Americans To Serve in Leadership Positions

In October of 2020, when few elected leaders were willing to speak out, mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams responded without hesitation to this question from the moderator of the city’s first candidates night forum hosted by the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.

“Are you in favor of removing the statue of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle?”

Candidate Adams looked up and replied, “No. I am not.”

From the beginning of the election season, the Columbus Heritage Coalition worked to identify and engage candidates willing to hear our concerns and respond to them. Eric Adams rose to the top of our list as the most exceptional candidate for Mayor because of his commitment to the needs of all New Yorkers and our community. 

We proudly endorsed Eric Adams and worked hard to support his campaign. His message of inclusiveness and opportunity for all resounded across the five boroughs. As I told a large gathering we had assembled to meet our new Mayor, “Eric Adams is the right man at the right time for New York.”

As Mayor Adams continues to build his outstanding team of commissioners and advisors, we are especially proud of the highly qualified Italian Americans he has appointed to serve in leadership positions in his administration.

We are so pleased that Frank Carone will play a key role as chief of staff for Mayor Adams. City and State Magazine’s Law Power List for 2021 described Frank described as “one of Brooklyn’s most effective business litigators, known for insightful legal prowess, business acumen, and leadership skills.” 

In addition, Frank served as president of the Brooklyn Bar Association and is a longtime member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation. “We are at a pivotal moment in our city’s history, and we need strong leadership to bring New York back better than ever,” Frank told “Mayor Adams has already proved himself in the early days of his administration to be exactly that kind of leader. I am honored to join his team and serve the city that I love.”

Lorraine Grillo, a highly regarded veteran of city government, will serve as the most experienced First Deputy Mayor in recent history. Lorraine worked her way up the ladder at the Schools Construction Authority to become president and chief operating officer. She was commissioner of the city’s Department of Design and Construction before taking on her new role, where she will lead five deputy mayors.

“Lorraine’s honest and meticulous approach and the determination, drive, and passion she brings to her work is what New York City needs to recover from this economic crisis,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

James Oddo, who completed two terms as Borough President of Staten Island in 2021 and served on the City Council, brings a great perspective as the Deputy Mayor of Operations. We know he will have an open mind about how NYC will benefit all communities.

Protecting, preserving, and promoting Columbus Day and Columbus Statues by speaking out for the truth is the overarching aim of the Columbus Heritage Coalition. We understand that outreach to elected leaders and policymakers is essential. 

Melanie La Rocca, who has served as the city’s Buildings Commissioner, brings to the Adams administration someone who knows how to get things done in the newly created role of “Efficiency Czar.” I am sure that the concerns of spending by the city government will benefit the spirit of innovation tremendously and the can-do attitude that Melanie brings to her new position. 

We know that to support our community and achieve our goals, we need to promote positive relationships with elected officials who are willing to work with us. Mayor Adams is off to a great start, and we now look forward to working with him and his administration to support the goals of our community and all New Yorkers.

Best Wishes,
Angelo Vivolo
Columbus Heritage Coalition