The Chicago Park District says it had the authority to remove a Columbus statue from a Near West Side park, despite an Italian American organization’s argument that a decades-old agreement proves it should have been consulted first. Park District spokeswoman Michele Lemons’ statement that “the District maintains it was within its rights to temporar...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) said Mayor Lightfoot and the City of Chicago removed Christopher Columbus statues this past summer without jurisdiction. Attorneys for the JCCIA said they found paperwork from over fifty years ago, which included a signed agreement that stated, "The Park District will, in perpetuity, obtain the...

After a Freedom of Information Act request to the Chicago Park District (CPD) about the Christopher Columbus statues removed this past summer, attorneys for The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) found a plethora of paperwork signed over fifty years ago. Included was a signed agreement that in essence states, “The Park District will...

Crediting the JCCIA with setting him on his life’s path, Ron Onesti is looking to return the favor as the organization’s incoming president. At awards ceremonies, it’s not uncommon for recipients to well up as they recall those who helped them earn their place at the podium. Installations of officers tend to be more stoic affairs, but there Ron One...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans came roaring out of the gate at its first official meeting following the January installation of its 2021-22 officers.Recently elected President Ron Onesti and a burgeoning cadre of JCCIA leaders have the organization hitting on all cylinders as they upshift into their two-year terms. The meeting was h...

The City of Chicago, in a release distributed on February 17, 2021, launched the Chicago Monuments Project website at chicagomonuments.org kicking off the public engagement phase of the Chicago Monuments Project. The new website identifies monumental sculptures, artworks, and commemorative plaques on the public way and in Chicago parks selected by...

For Ron Onesti, the president of Chicago’s Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to remove the city’s three statues of Christopher Columbus after violent protests was a bitter pill to swallow.While most of the media attention focused on the city’s overnight removal of the explorer’s statue in Grant Park, Onesti...

I’m so proud to be writing to you as the new president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. It’s a sacred trust I take as seriously as anything I’ve ever done. I have big plans for our venerable organization, and there will be plenty of time to share those with you in the coming months. Right now, though, we need to bear down on a tim...

As current president of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and someone who has been blessed to call Tommy Lasorda a close friend for more than 30 years because of it, I was deeply saddened this week as we lost another American hero. The Hall of Fame began as an Italian American Boxing Hall of Fame in 1977, founded by George Randazzo...

The new year is expected to bring new life to the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles, which has been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it reopens, the building will not look the same. The historic theater and its sister operation, Club Arcada, are undergoing a major renovation project that includes new eateries, hotel su...