“No other Italian American organization has ever weighed in with the U.S. Supreme Court on a cultural issue or devoted so much time and resources to protecting the Italian heritage as has COPOMIAO under the visionary stewardship of Hon. Basil Russo; and the unwavering support of his distinguished peers, the 1492 Society and Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla.”
–George Bochetto, COPOMIAO National Counsel
For two years the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (COPOMIAO) has led a federal lawsuit against Philadelphia’s outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney, who, in January 2021, changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day by executive order.
The latest petition, filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, seeks, in part, to declare Italian Americans as a protected class under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Such protections would aid in the preservation of Columbus’ statues and holidays throughout the country.
CLICK HERE to view the filing with the Supreme Court, and read the relevant facts on numbered pages 3 – 17.
In late 2022, Bochetto won a contentious legal battle to save Philadelphia’s 147-year-old Columbus statue. It was a bitter defeat for Mayor Kenney, who was openly criticized by Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick in 2021 over his attempt at removing the statue.
Follow COPOMIAO for the latest updates on this historic legal initiative, and let’s never stop fighting for our heritage!
FIND THE REAL HISTORY OF COLUMBUS HERE.