Through the efforts of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) and Anthony DeLuca, a representative for the Illinois House in District 80, October will soon be officially marked as Italian American Heritage Month in the Prairie State.
The bill, known as House Bill 1199, will require Italian American Heritage Month to be observed throughout the state of Illinois, celebrating the contributions of Americans of Italian descent to US history, culture, and innovation. Now that the legislation has passed both houses, it simply awaits a signature from Governor J. B. Pritzker to become law.
“From exploration to scientific discoveries, to entertainment and culture, Italian-Americans are significant and prevalent contributors to this country’s history,” said DeLuca. “It’s fitting that we take a moment as a state to recognize the strong, positive impact our Italian American communities have had locally and to appreciate the beauty and influence this culture continues to have.”
The Illinois politician continued by saying that “We can’t forget the struggles, stereotypes, political attacks and discrimination that too many Italian Americans have faced. But we can also celebrate the perseverance and success stories that have made us a foundational part of this country. I am proud to call myself an Italian American, and I look forward to the governor signing this appropriate recognition.”
JCCIA President Ron Onesti added his thoughts on the momentous victory as well, stating that the “Italian American community is thrilled as it has been striving to attain this designation for a long time, and thanks to the undaunted leadership of Rep. Anthony DeLuca, the contributions made by Italians to this great country will be properly recognized in the State of Illinois.”
October was first designated as Italian American Heritage Month in 1989 to coincide with the observance of Columbus Day. Now, Illinoisans will have a whole month to celebrate their heritage rather than just one day of the year.
- DeLuca Leads Effort to Designate October as Italian-American Heritage Month (Office of Anthony DeLuca)