MATT DRUDGE // DRUDGE REPORT 2000ï¿½
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THURS OCT 10, 2002 13:00:00 ET XXXXX
'SOPRANOS' TOLD TO TAKE A HIKE: NOT WELCOME AT NYC COLUMBUS DAY PARADE
OCTOBER 9, 2002
NEW YORK, NY
Please contact the Mayor's Office: Vincent LaPadula (212) 788-2930 or Peter Madonia (212) 788-9600 FAX (212) 788-2460
Or contact your City Council Member:
THE COUNCIL THE CITY OF NEW YORK
CITY HALL, ROOM 5
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10007
SOPRANOS UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME IN COLUMBUS DAY PARADE
In response to published reports that Mayor Michael Bloomberg took it upon himself to invite members of the cast of The Sopranos to march in the Columbus Day Parade, the Board of Governors of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, the organizers and producers of the Parade for the past 58 years, wish to once again reiterate its policy that participation by anyone associated with this highly-offensive program has no place in a celebration of Italian-American pride and heritage.
As a Foundation dedicated to perpetuating the culture, traditions and positive contributions of Italian-Americans to our country, we are deeply offended by this program's extremely negative and ugly stereotyping of our people.
MAYOR'S ACTIONS INEXPLICABLE
Our Foundation prides itself on producing the most inclusive Parade in New York City with participation by over 35 distinct ethnic groups who join us in celebrating the immigrant spirit that made this country great. In fact, we have a long history of respecting the sensitivities of others as evidenced by our complete re-routing of the 2000 Parade to avoid disturbing Yom Kippur services at Temple Emmanuel on Fifth Avenue.
There is simply no place in a celebration of ethnic pride and heritage for the public display and promotion of a program that glorifies violence, debases women, and portrays Italian-Americans in the worst possible light.
Participation by any group or individuals who represent the worst in human nature and dignity is totally contrary to the goals of the Parade. For these reasons, we find the Mayor's actions inexplicable.
THE COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION'S MISSION
The Foundation's mission is to preserve and enhance of Italian-American culture, traditions and values. We are a charitable organization that has in the last twelve months alone donated $1 million to the victims of the September 11th tragedy and another $1.5 million in scholarship aid to deserving students.
Over the years, we have extended our philanthropic efforts outside of our community by donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund for the children of Gulf War combatants, assistance for victims of the Turkish Earthquake and a host of other charitable endeavors.
LEGAL REMEDIES BEING CONSIDERED
We are presently attempting to reach out to the Mayor, a man whom we respect as an individual and as a proponent of anti-defamation causes for all ethnicities. We are calling upon him to reconsider any invitation, which may have been extended without our knowledge and against our wishes. We are deeply concerned that our right to stage the Parade within the dictates of our Mission Statement is being compromised by the Mayor's actions.
We call on members of all ethnicities to support our right to ban these negative stereotypes from the celebration of our Italian heritage. While we are attempting to engage the Mayor on this issue, we are fully prepared to take any course of action necessary to preserve our right to determine the content and tone of the Columbus Day Parade.
Lawrence E. Auriana
President, Columbus Citizens Foundation
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