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Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Many years ago, Washington lawyer Joe Grano, after returning to Washington from a trip to Rome, Italy, realized that the two cities shared more than just their status as capital cities. Joe saw that the arts and architecture of the two cities were similar, of course, but he also noted that perhaps those similarities were not accidental but deliberate.

Joe Grano and Gianni Alemanno

As Joe explained to CiaoAmerica!, “The American Founding Fathers chose a republic as their preferred form of government after having studied extensively the ‘constitution’ of the Roman Republic. Once it was decided to create a new city for the Seat of Government, it was only natural that they chose Roman architecture for their main public buildings. This was a deliberate decision of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. It is certainly not accidental that the three buildings that represent the legislative, executive and judicial branches, i.e. The Capitol, the White House and the  Supreme Court building are ultimately derived from Roman models, albeit two from an indirect route. Indeed, Jefferson highly recommended a rotunda for the new U.S. Capitol building.”

Joe Grano  decided to act on his observations and over the years became the force behind efforts to join Rome and Washington in a “Sister Cities ” agreement.

But even before that campaign, Joe founded the Constantino Brumidi Society and began efforts to have, among others, Constantino Brumidi, the “Michelangelo of the Nation’s Capitol,” recognized by the U.S. Congress.  Eventually, through his tireless efforts, and his ceaseless prodding of national Italian American organizations, Congress  posthumously awarded Brumidi a Congressional Gold Medal.

Now that the medal has been minted, Joe is indefatigably prodding appropriate Washington institutions to hold a ceremony to commemorate the minting of the medal.

This past Tuesday, Joe sat among the invited guests witnessing the signing ceremony of the “Sister Cities” agreement. He must have felt a moment of satisfaction as he watched the Mayor of  Rome,  Gianni Alemmanno, and the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Vincent Gray sign the document in the historic John Wilson Building, seat of the D.C. government.   Outside the building, the U.S., D.C. and Italian flags waved in the breeze.

Joe recalls that he first brought the “Sister City” idea to the attention of the administration of former DC Mayor Anthony Williams and enlisted the help of other local groups, including SMATCH.  However, by the time the then-Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, expressed an interest in signing an agreement, the city elected a new mayor.  Under the following Mayor, Adrian Fenty, whose mother Janet  Perno  Fenty is incidentally Italian American, a series of meetings were held with heads of local groups and distinguished Washingtonians to draft a protocol and agreement. Early  in 2008, the draft protocol was approved by Mayor Fenty and then transmitted to Rome. Unfortunately, soon after it was sent, Veltroni resigned as mayor.  Read more . . .

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On April 4, 2011, the  Italian Minister of Justice Angelino Alfano, met with United States Attorney General Eric Holder, to discuss a range of issue of mutual interest.  Following their meeting, a joint statment, reprinted below was also issued.  Earlier in the day, Minister Alfano met with White House antiterrorism advsoor, John Brennan, for talks regarding a broad range of security issues, including the recent mass migration to Lampedusa, Sicily from North Africa.  Also on the dame day, Minister Alfano received a specail briefing on court technolody by Judge Francis Allegra of the United States Court of Federal Claims.

WASHINGTON -U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Italian Minister of Justice Angelino Alfano today met at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., to re-affirm the joint commitment of the United States and Italy to strengthen cooperation in the ongoing fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. The two countries enjoy a long bilateral relationship in justice matters, and also work together to promote broader international collaboration
through multilateral treaties like the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (known as the Palermo Convention) and the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

Minister Angelino Alfano and Amb Giulio Terzi

“For three decades, the United States and Italy have had notable successes in jointly fighting organized crime, terrorism and other common threats to the security and prosperity of our two nations,” said Attorney General Holder. “For example, Italian authorities recently arrested a fugitive in Sicily who is charged with racketeering conspiracy in the United States, and coordinated that arrest with the largest one-day sweep of La Cosa Nostra defendants in U.S. history. We are grateful for the close collaboration that is provided daily by the Italian Ministry of Justice under the leadership of Minister Alfano, as well as from
prosecutors and police throughout Italy.”

Law enforcement officials in the United States and Italy work together on a broad range of issues. Counterterrorism remains a top priority, and officials tackle
criminal activities from drug trafficking to money laundering, and from illegal arms exports to cybercrime.

“Bilateral relations between the United States and Italy in the law enforcement arena represent an important pillar of global legal and security cooperation,” said Italian Minister of Justice Alfano. “I greatly appreciate working with U.S. Attorney General Holder, whose clear vision and problem-solving approach have
added significant value to our security relations.”

In their discussions, Attorney General Holder and Minister Alfano underlined the importance of maintaining the excellent bilateral exchange of information and evidence between the United States and Italy in the fight against organized crime and terrorism, in particular under the recently updated treaties between
the two countries on extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. These treaties streamline communication in urgent fugitive matters and
incorporate technological developments like video-conferencing for taking witness testimony, while also providing a high level of protection for personal
information.

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President Barack Obama congratulated the Lido Civic Club of Washington, DC for honoring Jane Salzano  with a “Life Time Achievement Award.” Reading a letter from President Obama, Michael Strautmanis, Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, brought the greetings from Obama, who noted Jane’s  pioneering work in autism intervention.  Cristiano Maggipinto, First Counselor, Embassy of Italy, also brought greetings from the Italian Ambassador, Giulio Terzi. 

Jane Salzano

As the founder of Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC), a Maryland non‐profit organization, Jane Salzano is a nationally recognized leader on topics ranging from early childhood intervention protocols, educational supports and strategies and innovative, to non‐aversive, community based living and vocational programs. Jane’s work and that of her family has touched the lives of countless families and changed the standards for autism service delivery nationwide.

Jane founded CSAAC in 1979 with a vision to dramatically change the quality of life for adults and children with autism. Through Jane’s vision and determination, CSAAC has become the largest provider in the nation to serve individuals with autism exclusively. CSAAC’s mission is “to enable individuals with autism to reach their highest potential and contribute as confident individuals to their community.” She saw a future where adults with autism lived and worked in the community instead of being warehoused in institutional settings.

The Lido Civic Club also honored Jane’s son, Carl Salzano, as the Lido Club “Man of the Year.”  Carl, a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton, was instrumental in ensuring the financial viability of CSAAC.  He was also recognized for instituting a successful Wounded Warriors dinner program at the Booz Allen Hamilton.

The event held at the Capitol Hilton in Washington DC, attracted a number of prominent Italian Americans, including  Ambassador Connie Morella, Karen Motgomery, Maryland State Senator, Anita Bevacqua McBride, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Vice-Chair of the National Italian American Foundation,  entrepreneurs Robert Carlucci, Gabriel Battista and Angelo Puglisi, and Hal Koster, Executive Director of Aleethia Foundation, among numerous others.

The event was chaired by Lido Past President Paul Biciocchi.  The Master of Ceremonies was Joseph Bruno, the recipient of the 2009 Lido Civic Club of Washington D.C. “Man of the Year Award.
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The Lido Civic Club of Washington, DC was established in 1929 with the primary goal of assisting recent immigrants to become assimilated into the ways of American business. For over 80 years, the Club has brought together Washington area Italian-American businessmen to enjoy not only their shared business interests but also their Italian-American culture while volunteering in various philanthropic activities.

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Thank you, Mr. President, for your thoughtful choice of words in proclaiming October as Italian American Heritage and Culture Month.  Italian Americans are proud of our heritage but we are even more proud to be Americans.

Following is the text of the Presidential Proclamation, as released by the White House this evening:

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

In the five centuries since Christopher Columbus, a son of Genoa, Italy, first set sail across the Atlantic Ocean, countless individuals have followed the course he charted to seek a new life in America. Since that time, generations of Italian Americans have helped shape our society and steer the course of our history. During Italian American Heritage and Culture Month, we recognize the rich heritage of Americans of Italian descent and celebrate their immeasurable contributions to our Nation.

Bound by enduring values of faith and family, Italian Americans have flourished in all areas of our public and economic life while preserving their proud Italian traditions. Upon arrival in the United States, the Italian American community faced racial, social, and religious discrimination. Yet, Italian Americans have persevered with hope and hard work to reach for the American dream and helped build our great country. As proud service members, they have also defended the liberty and integrity of the United States since the Revolutionary War.

Today, the legacy of these intrepid immigrants is found in the millions of American men, women, and children of Italian descent who strengthen and enrich our country. Italian Americans operate thriving businesses, teach our children, serve at all levels of government, and succeed in myriad occupations. Drawing on the courage and principles of their forebears, they lead in every facet of American life, dedicating their knowledge and skills to the growth of our country.

The Great Seal of the United States declares “out of many, one.” As we forge new futures as a unified people, we must celebrate the unique and vibrant cultures that have written the American story. Many determined individuals have sought our shores as a beacon of hope and opportunity, and their spirit of limitless possibility and example of resolve continues to inspire and guide our Nation. As we honor the long history and vast contributions of Italian Americans, let us recommit to extending the promise of America that they embraced to future generations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2010 as Italian American Heritage and Culture Month. I call upon all Americans to learn more about the history of Italian Americans, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

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 A Congressional reception welcoming Italian Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata to the United States was held at the U.S. Capitol on March 16, 2010. The event was hosted by the National Italian American Foundation under the auspices of the Frank J. Guarini Public Policy Forum and the Italian American Congressional Delegation. Present was a large contingent of the Italian American Congressional Delegation, including Representatives Pat Tiberi and Bill Pascrell, co-chairmen of the Delegation for the 111th Congress, and Representatives Robert Aderholt, John Boccieri, Marcy Kaptur, John Mica, Steve Scalise, and former Rep. Mike Ferguson.  Read more at CiaoAmerica.net

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A couple of days ago we received an inquiry from a UK journalist asking us what we thought about the Giro d’Italia coming to Washington.  At first we thought he was kidding.  But, the more we thought about it, the more sense it made and we became excited about the possibility.  Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty is an avid sports enthusiast – a triathlete – and an amateur cyclist.  His mother, Jan Fenty is Italian American.  Much of the architecture in our nation’s capital reflects the splendor of  Italy.  The avenues criss-crossing the city were designed by a Frenchman.  Washington would be just  an ideal location for the start of the  Giro d’Italia!

 But the rumors have been confirmed that D.C. is indeed in the running.  Jack Pfeiffer,  Mayor Fenty’s  spokesman  said  yesterday that there  have been discussions about hosting the start of the race, although “nothing is final.”  Pfeiffer said that “the city welcomes discussions with race officials and share their enthusiasm for the District to serve as a host city.”  The director of Giro d’italia, Angelo Zomegnan, was quoted quoted as saying, “There exists a concrete interest from the city of Washington.”  

The 2010 Giro will start in Amsterdam.  In 2011, let’s make it happen in Washington, DC.

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A couple of days ago we received an inquiry from a UK journalist asking us what we thought about the Giro d’Italia coming to Washington.  At first we thought he was kidding.  But, the more we thought about it, the more sense it made and we became excited about the possibility.  Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty is an avid sports enthusiast – a triathlete – and an amateur cyclist.  His mother, Jan Fenty is Italian American.  Much of the architecture in our nation’s capital reflects the splendor of  Italy.  The avenues criss-crossing the city were designed by a Frenchman.  Washington would be just  an ideal location for the start of the  Giro d’Italia!

 But the rumors have been confirmed that D.C. is indeed in the running.  Jack Pfeiffer,  Mayor Fenty’s  spokesman  said  yesterday that there  have been discussions about hosting the start of the race, although “nothing is final.”  Pfeiffer said that “the city welcomes discussions with race officials and share their enthusiasm for the District to serve as a host city.”  The director of Giro d’italia, Angelo Zomegnan, was quoted quoted as saying, “There exists a concrete interest from the city of Washington.”  

The 2010 Giro will start in Amsterdam.  In 2011, let’s make it happen in Washington, DC.

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