KEEPING OUR HERITAGE ALIVE


SANTA BARBARA COLUMBUS DAY HEARING

October 2018

The City of Santa Barbara has decided to go ahead and adopt a Proposal to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on  Italian-American Heritage Day/ Columbus Day despite Italian-American objections. Columbus Day and Italian-American Heritage Day are observed on the Second Monday of October at the Federal, State and City levels. Santa Barbara wants to make the same day,  the second Monday in October, Indigenous Peoples Day. But that’s the same day of celebration as our Italian-American day of celebration.

While Santa Barbara does not recognize Columbus Day, they want to put Indigenous Peoples Day on the same weekend and day that Italian-Americans celebrate Italian-American Heritage Day and Columbus Day across the nation. We need to let the City Council know its our holiday.  It’s the day we celebrate our heritage and our identity.
 
The Proposal is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday evening, October 30. We need to raise our voice with the City Council before then to request they select a different date for Indigenous Peoples Day.
 
Lets protect our Heritage and our Holiday by letting the Santa Barbara City Council know we oppose replacing our Italian American day of celebration with Indigenous Peoples day.
  
 
The California Italian American Task Force has submitted its statement of opposition to declaring Indigenous Peoples Day on Columbus Day. Our position is that recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day on the same day as Italian-Americans celebrate Columbus Day and Italian-American Heritage Day is not respecting the Italian-American heritage. We consider the proposal for Indigenous Peoples Day in Santa Barbara to be an anti Italian-American proposal.
 
The Columbus Day Holiday has become synonymous with Italian-American Heritage Day, a time when Italian-Americans remember the sacrifices made by their parents and grandparents, and the contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States.
         
 The time honored Columbus Day celebrations in America began in the 1800s as Italian immigrants strived to create a sense of self esteem and dignity during a period when they were subjected to enormous bigotry and prejudice throughout the country. The Italians in California have been celebrating Columbus Day since their arrival in the 1850s. 

 
The Santa Barbara Resolution states that “the city of Santa Barbara honors residents reflecting all ethnic, racial and national identities.”  But to Italian-Americans, this Indigenous Peoples Day proposal does not honor or respect us. And that is the problem with the proposal.
 
Columbus Day is a holiday observed by the majority of Americans as well as Italian-Americans. There is no reason to take away a holiday from the majority community of people unless it is to attack the traditions of those people.

 
While Santa Barbara does not recognize either Italian-American Heritage Day or Columbus Day, perhaps they should consider them for recognition.  Click here for a list of the Mayor and City Council members. Please let our voice be heard and contact them and let them know why the Columbus Day / Italian-American holiday matters to us and why they should not declare Indigenous Peoples Day on our Holiday.
 
Below is a form letter objecting to Indigenous Peoples Day being recognized on the same date as Columbus Day and Italian-American Heritage Day. You may use this form letter to send to the Santa Barbara Mayor/City Council before the hearing on October 30th.  Please copy me with your written or email communications on our behalf. My email is: italy1@surewest.net or PO Box 189427, Sacramento, CA 95864. Tel:916-482-5900
    
Bill Cerruti,
Chair, California Italian American Task Force


CALL TO ACTION: 

LET OUR VOICE BE HEARD!

USE WE HAVE CREATED A SAMPLE LETTER FOR YOU TO COPY AND SEND TO THE SANTA BARBARA MAYOR AND
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS:

To use the letter, click the button below and a window will open with the letter. Select all, copy, then paste it into your email, make your edits and send!)

 GET SAMPLE OBJECTION LETTER 

 LIST OF SB CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS / MAYOR