Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell, Amodei Call for Proclamation of October as Italian-American Heritage Month

Oct 5, 2018
Press Release
Co-chairs of Congressional Italian-American Delegation call on President, Congress to designate month in celebration of Italian culture

PATERSON, NJ – Today, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Mark E. Amodei (R-NV-02), co-chairs of the Congressional Italian-American Delegation, sent a letter to Donald Trump requesting a Presidential Proclamation of October as Italian-American Heritage Month. Pascrell and Amodei coupled their request with the introduction of a resolution in the House of Representatives to establish October as Italian and Italian-American Heritage Month.

“Americans of Italian descent play an integral role in America today, not only in the public policy arena, but in all aspects of our culture.  This proclamation has the support of the Italian-American community as well as the National Italian-American Foundation,” Reps. Pascrell and Amodei write Trump. “Therefore, it is our hope that you will also recognize Italian-Americans in this country by issuing a Presidential Message to proclaim October as Italian-American Heritage Month.”

The Members continue: “Over 5.4 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1992. Today there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent in the United States, making them the fifth largest ethnic group. Our nation was even named after an Italian, the explorer and geographer Amerigo Vespucci.”

Rep. Amodei issued the following statement on the letter: “As an Italian-American, I have always been extremely proud of my heritage, and equally proud of the significant contributions Italian-Americans have made to our country. My Italian roots run deep. My father’s grandmother is a descendent from Ognio, which is 40 miles East of Genoa, his grandfather is from Santa Maria Majorio, which is near the Swiss border, and my mother’s father is a Longero from Southern Italy – so we’ve pretty much got the country bracketed with relatives. Growing up, I remember many celebrations around this time of year where my family got together to pay tribute to our heritage. With this month being especially significant for Italian-Americans, I’m proud to join Chairman Pascrell in requesting a Presidential Proclamation of October as Italian-American Heritage Month. As co-chair of the Italian-American Caucus, I will continue supporting measures which highlight all that binds our countries together culturally, commercially, and strategically.”

“The National Italian American Foundation stands in full support of  Congressmen Pascrell and Amodei’s efforts to formally establish October as Italian and Italian-American Heritage Month,” said Lawrence Purpuro, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Italian American Foundation. “As an organization devoted to the preservation of the Italian American contribution to our country, we believe that an Italian American Heritage Month in October would be a wonderful opportunity for the nation to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions Italians and Italian Americans have made to build our great nation.”

Rep. Pascrell has long been a strong voice in the promotion of Italian-American history and culture in Congress. In addition to his position as co-chair of the Italian-American Delegation, he also serves as a legislative branch liaison to the Republic of Italy.