Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 9, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

Governor Cuomo Honors Controversial Columbus Statue

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has listed New York City’s Central Park monument to Christopher Columbus on the State Register of Historic Places.

The State also recommended the statue for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The 76-foot rostral column was erected in 1892 in Central Park by New York’s growing Italian-American community, which embraced Columbus as a unifying figure to help Italians overcome discrimination and gain inclusion in mainstream society.

The statue was listed on the State Register on September 20, 2018 after a unanimous vote of the State Board for Historic Preservation. Other statues and buildings on the State Register of Historic Places include the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State Building, Central Park.

Over the last several months, the controversial monument has been denounced for its historical meaning against Indigenous people, with many elected officials calling for its removal. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers was considering the removal of the statue late last year amid a national drive to remove dozens of controversial statues following a “Unite The Right” rally in Virginia that resulted in one women’s death in 2017.

“The Columbus Monument is a powerful symbol of the Italian-American community and a testament to New York’s role in assimilating immigrants from all over the world in our state. This designation sends a strong message of the statue’s importance to our state’s history and how worthy it is of preservation so that future generations cans see it, appreciate it and learn from it,” said Cuomo.

Maimonides To Showcase New Art Exhibit

Maimonides Medical Center’s Division of Therapeutic Activities announced the opening of a new art exhibition, “Moments in Time,” this week.

The event will feature welcoming remarks from Maimonides President & CEO Kenneth D. Gibbs and artwork created by patients participating in art therapy groups from the Wellness Recovery Program and Adult Outpatient Services, at Maimonides.The exhibit will run for a year and is open to the public for viewing.

The exhibition is slated to launch at 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Marvin H. Lipkowitz Gallery (Room 1236), Community Mental Health Center, at 920 48th Street in Boro Park.

For more information, please call Jodi Cross at 718-283-8200.

CM Williams Celebrates ‘Indigenous People Day’ In Place of Columbus Day

Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams

City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) celebrated ‘Indigenous People Day’ yesterday in observance of Columbus Day.

Williams denounced the day and the controversial Central Park Monument, calling them societal failures and flawed history. The national holiday celebrates the Italian explorer’s launch into the Caribbean. However, in recent years, many indigenous advocates and ethnic groups have denied the historical significance of Columbus as a “hero” and more as an “oppressor”.

“I know that for many, particularly in the Italian-American community, Christopher Columbus is seen as a hero and adventurer.  I understand the importance of recognizing historical figures in one’s culture, especially at a time when the Italians faced extreme bigotry. However, this celebrated image of Columbus is more fable than fact. The reality for indigenous and historically oppressed people is that these adventures were really conquests, a devastating and deadly invasion,” said Williams.

“Today, I celebrate Indigenous People’s’ Day in an effort to lift up those who have been, and continue to be, systemically pushed down. I am also happy to celebrate the rich Italian culture. I hope that with each year that passes, more people will choose to view history in its full context and stand with the oppressed, not the oppressor,” added Williams.