Demand an apology for ethnic stereotyping of Italian Americans

On the evening of October 23, 2018, New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore attended an event where court officers organized a demonstration with many people in the crowd wearing shirts that displayed, together with the image of a scale of justice, the following text: OCA, Office of Court Administration, Organized Crime Association.

We support the right of workers to organize and express legitimate workplace grievances but the use of ethnic stereotypes is completely inappropriate and unacceptable. It is especially troubling for the Italian American community when the term "organized crime association" is directed at the first Chief Judge of Italian American descent in the history of New York State. Their use of a message that helps to perpetuate despicable ethnic stereotypes needs to stop. Their attack on one member of the community is an attack on every member of the community.

On behalf of the approximately 25 million Italian Americans who have been tarnished by their discriminatory behavior, we call on the union officials to issue a public apology for their degrading and disrespectful conduct toward Chief Judge DiFiore and the entire Italian American community. Behavior against any group in our society should not be tolerated, especially by employees of the court system who have dedicated their lives to upholding our very system of government.

Sincerely,

John Calvelli, Chair, Italian American Forum/Vice Chair, National Italian American Foundation
Steve Acunto, Chair, Italian American Foundation
John Alati, Chair Emeritus, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations
Dr. Manny Alfano, President, The Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition
Gene Antonio, President, Belleville Chapter of UNICO National
Michael Arena, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Joe Armentano, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Lawrence Auriana, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Maria S. Bartiromo, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Janice Galli Becker, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Gina Biancardi, President, Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation
Kevin Caira, National President, OSIA Commission for Social Justice
Linda Carlozzi, Chair, Italian Welfare League
Michael Caruso, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Domenick Ciaccia, Vice Chair, Italian American Forum
Marco Circelli , Executive Director, Filitalia International
Matthew Classi, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Elisa Coccia, President, Coccia Foundation
James D'Arcangelo, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Gabriele Delmonaco, President, A Chance in Life (Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy)
Michael DeSapio, President, Italian American Heritage Club of Hunterdon County
Jason Desena Trennert. Board Member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Robert DiBiase, Chair , New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission
Geri DiCostanzo, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Chris DiMattio, President, La Festa Italiana in Lacakawanna County, PA
John DiNapoli, President, UNICO Foundation
Joseph DiTrapani, National Foundation President, Order Sons of Italy
Anthony Enea, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Vera Ferrara Girolami, National President, Order Sons of Italy in America
Robert Ferrito, New York State President, Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Rachel Filasto, Chair, FIERI Scholarship Fund
Phil Foglia, Counsel, Counsel for Italian American Legal Defense and Higher Education Fund
Bob Fonti, President, Lt Joseph Petrosino Association in America
John Fratta, Chair, NYS Commission for Social Justice
Frank G. Fusaro, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Alfred Fusco, District Governor CT-1, UNICO National
Anthony F. Giordano, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Joseph Guagliardo, President, National Council of Columbia Associations
Joseph Gurrera, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Christopher Loiacono, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
John Mancini, Executive Director, Italic Institute of America
Victor Musso, President, American Italian Federation of the Southeast
Hon. Frank Nicolai, Chair Emeritus, Westchester Italian Cultural Center
Lee Norelli, President, UNICO National
Silvano D. Orsi, President, Little Italy Association of Rochester, NY
Berardo Paradiso, President, IACE
Marian Pardo, President, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Michael Pedone , Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Phyllis Perillo, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
David A. Pope, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Joan Prezioso, President, Italian Welfare League
Larry Purpuro, Chief Executive Officer, National Italian American Foundation
Michael Rodi, Counsel, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations
Joseph Ruhl, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Basil M. Russo, National President, Italian Sons & Daughters of America
Sal Salibello, Board Member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Pat Santangelo, President, Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of the Bronx and Westchester
Joseph Scelsa, President, Italian American Museum
Joseph Sciame, President/Chair, Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, NY
Carlo Sclafani, Co-President, Westchester Coalition of Italian American Organizations
Aileen Riotto Sirey, Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations

Mike Sisco,  President, Bloomfield Chapter of UNICO

Joseph Solimine, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Daniele Stabile, President, National COPILAS
Anthony Tamburri, Dean, The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Maria Tamburri, Chair, National Organization of Italian American Women
James Veneruso, Board Member, Italian American Forum
Aldo Verrelli, Board member, Columbus Citizens Foundation
Angelo Vivolo, Chair, Columbus Heritage Coalition

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