New Jersey State Assembly Officially Designates October ‘Italian American Heritage Month’

Members of the Italian American One Voice Coalition, led by its president Doctor Manny Alfano, joined other prominent Italian Americans on the floor of the New Jersey State Assembly Thursday. They gathered in the well of the chamber to receive proclamations honoring their service and designating October ‘Italian American Heritage Month’. The special ceremony came at the request of Alfano and was helped along mightily by long time One Voice Supporter Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (28th NJ Legislative District).

“Words cannot express how thankful we are to Assemblyman Caputo and the entire New Jersey State Assembly,”, said Alfano. “Caputo, along with his Assembly members, graciously gave of their time and then voted unanimously to designate October in honor New Jersey’s millions of Italian Americans.”

Assemblyman Caputo also oversaw the ceremony and singer & actor Nick Addeo sang both the Italian and U-S national anthems.

Also honored were Father Thomas Nicastro, Doctor Alfano, William Schievella President of the IAPSNJ and comedian Joe Piscopo. Piscopo received his proclamation last and got laughs from Assembly members and others by doing his now famous imitation of Frank Sinatra.

Later dozens of Italian Americans and ONE VOICE Coalition officers gathered for a post ceremony get-together inside the State House in which all the honorees had a chance to speak again.

One of the high points of the program was the outstanding comments made by Coalition members: Dominick Nicastro, President of UNICO National, Cav. Gilda Rorro Baldassari, Board member of the NJ Italian Heritage Commission, Ralph Capaccio, President of OSIA The Grand Lodge of NJ, UNICO National Past National President Paul Alongi, Pat Meola President of the Federation of Italian American Societies o NJ  all of whom spoke of the many contributions made by Christopher Columbus and the many Italians and Italian Americans to the world.

‘”In two years we have now had both the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly recognize and honor the state’s many Italian Americans by designating October, the month in which we also celebrate Columbus Day, Italian Heritage Month”, said Alfano. “It’s yet another step toward celebrating the rich heritage of our Italian culture and to dispel some of the negative Italian American stereotyping that continues to pervade the media.    

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L-R … Fr. Tom Nicastro, William Schievella Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, Dr. Manny Alfano, Dominick Nastro, Joe Piscopo, Pat Meola, Cav. Gilda Rorro Baldassari, Ralph Contini, and Ralph Capaccio

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Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, Honoree William Schvella, and Assemblyman John Citierelli

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Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, Honoree Fr. Thomas Nicastro and Assemblywoman Valerie Venieri Huttle

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Assemblyman John Burzuchelli, ONE VOICE President Manny Alfano and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo

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L-R Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, Honoree Joe Piscopo and Assemblywoman Valerie Venieri Huttle