Cultural & Civic Leaders Back Her Support of Columbus

A Vote for Malliotakis is a Vote for Columbus!

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, was honored and endorsed on Tuesday afternoon by a group of Italian-American cultural and civic leaders at a news conference at Villa Erasmo Restaurant in Middle Village, Queens. The news conference took place after the monthly meeting of the Italian Cultural Association of New York (L’Associazione Culturale Italiana Di New York), the most influential Italian American civic and charitable organization in Queens County.

Also in attendance were prominent Italian-American civic and cultural leaders from the Queens community including former New York State Senator Serphin Maltese who represented portions of Queens for two decades in the state legislature.

At the news conference, Assemblywoman Malliotakis was presented with a portrait of the “Young Columbus” by Constance Del Vecchio Maltese which was commissioned as part of her “Age of Discovery” portrait series for the Christopher Columbus Quincentennial Commission.

Nicole Malliotakis Italian American Leaders Endorsement
Assemblywoman Malliotakis was presented with a portrait of the “Young Columbus” by Constance Del Vecchio Maltese as part of her “Age of Discovery” portrait series (Photo by John Kenny

Three of the participants at the news conference; Tony DiPiazza, Serphin Maltese and Constance Maltese have all been knighted by the Republic of Italy which has bestowed them with the title of Cavaliere in recognition of their advocacy of Italian-American cooperation and causes.

Former State Senator Serphin Maltese said, “We are here today for two purposes, to honor Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis for her strong opposition to Mayor de Blasio’s ill conceived Statue Commission and to endorse her in the race for mayor. The men and women standing with me today are all leaders in the Italian-American community here in Queens and strong supporters of Italian cultural endeavors and charitable causes. They are making their endorsement as individuals, though many hold positions in noteworthy Italian-American organizations.

“Christopher Columbus is a true hero to Italian-Americans. His voyage of discovery 525 years ago was a milestone in history that proved that earth wasn’t flat and massive continents did exist somewhere over the horizon. We are here today in support of that giant of history and the statues and monuments that honor his courage and achievements. Mayor de Blasio’s attempt to rip pages out of our history books and purge the statues of historical figures is political correctness run-amok. That is why we are joining together today to thank Assemblywoman Malliotakis for her efforts in support of Columbus and to endorse her in the race for mayor.”

Tony DiPiazza said, “The actions of Mayor de Blasio have created a divisive situation in our city over statues that commemorate individuals who had a great impact on the history of our nation and the world. Christopher Columbus is one of them and as an individual who has spent a good part of his adult life working to promote Italian culture and the Italian-American experience, I am shocked and dismayed by Mayor de Blasio’s actions. That is why we are assembled here and why we join together in endorsing Nicole Malliotakis for mayor.”

Nicole Malliotakis Italian American Leaders Endorsement
Nicole Malliotakis endorsed by Italian American Leaders on October 24th, 2017 (Photo by John Kenny)

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “I wanted to thank those present for their endorsement today and for the presentation of the portrait of ‘Young Columbus’. Italian-Americans helped build this city and this nation and they banded together over a century ago to erect the monument to Columbus that stands watch over Columbus Circle. Mayor de Blasio’s actions to remove this and other statues and monuments is merely a cynical attempt to win votes in an election year and to distract the voters from the real problems that affect our city; a subway system that is failing, an out of control homeless crisis and schools that are unsafe and where teachers’ discretion has been taken away. Thank you for your endorsement and rest assured that as mayor, I will keep all the statues and monuments honoring Christopher Columbus exactly where they are.”

In attendance at the news conference were:
(Please note, titles are listed for identification purposes only)

  • Cavaliere Tony Di Piazza – Chairman of the Italian Cultural Association of New York
  • Tony Mule’ – President of the Italian Cultural Association of New York / President of Partanna Society
  • Frank Alesci – First Vice President of the Italian Cultural Association of New York
  • Robert D’Angelo – Vice President of the Italian Cultural Association of New York
  • Jack Caliendo – Secretary of the Italian Cultural Association of New York
  • Luciano Saladino – Board Member – Italian Cultural Association of New York
  • John Di Gangi – Board Member – Italian Cultural Association of New York
  • Joseph Di Benedetto, Esq.
  • Former New York State Senator Serphin Maltese
  • Constance Del Vecchio Maltese – Artist and Author
  • C.Gail Giordano, Esq. – Former Queens Assistant District Attorney, Attorney
  • Patricia Landi Linekin – R.N., MSN,CNS,CDE, FAADE.
  • Josephine Lume, CPA, Chair of Middle Village Prep Charter School.
  • Dr. Clara Sarrocco, D.A.-Teacher, Author, C.S. Lewis Scholar.
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