De Blasio To March In Columbus Day Parade


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK—New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Monday he would march in the city’s Columbus Day Parade in October, despite a controversy over a statue of Christopher Columbus located on the outside perimeter of Central Park.

“I will definitely be marching in the Columbus Day Parade. The parade is a moment to express our pride in our Italian heritage for all of us who are Italian and for others to recognize the contributions Italian Americans have made in New York City and to the whole country,” Mayor de Blasio told reporters at a press conference.  “So, I’m absolutely comfortable continuing to march. I have marched for years in that parade.

Mayor de Blasio, who announced last week he would be appointing a commission to decide which monuments should be reviewed for removal from city property, explained how the panel could decide to deal with a variety of statues and sites all over the city.

The mayor mentioned the commission will look at a range of options regarding the monuments and sites.

De Blasio stated, “Their issues are being thought about all over the country. We’ll put together a group of people they will listen to ideas and concerns from their fellow New Yorkers. They will determine a set of criteria by which we’ll consider these different monuments on city owned land and make proposals to me about how to handle specific situations.”

“A commission looking at its criteria could say, ‘Here’s a situation where we don’t think anything specifically needs to happen,’” he continued.

The commission came about because of the removal of Confederate monuments in other cities after violence erupted in in Charlottesville, Va. over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statute earlier in the month.

The mayor also noted that a plaque is also an option to provide context on “some of the history and provide some of the balance in understanding what happened.”

“In some cases, and this has certainly been true with some of the Confederate memorials, they may say we think something is appropriate for a fundamental change or removal. There’s lots of different options for addressing things… We want a thoughtful careful process that that commission can do,” de Blasio said.

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