A new era of political engagement dawned on Aug. 8 when the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hosted its inaugural Government Relations Luncheon.
More than 100 public officials at every level of local government converged on the Des Plaines Theatre for the event, which honored State Rep. Anthony DeLuca and former county official turned political consultant Enza Raineri.
DeLuca received the Legislator of the Year Award for sponsoring the law that permanently designates October as Italian American Heritage Month in Illinois (page 25). Raineri received the Government Relations Award for the pivotal role she played in convincing the Cook County Board to vote down a proposal to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day (page 27).
The keynote speakers were State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas. “Both treasurers spoke about their love for Italy and their respect for the Italian-American community,” JCCIA President Ron Onesti notes.
The event attracted public officials from the city, suburban, county and state government, heightening awareness of the community and its needs at every level.
“We made tremendous strides at the event. Everyone came away with a greater understanding of why Columbus and Italian American Heritage Month are so important to us,” Onesti says. “We’ve been silent politically as a community for many years. This was a big step in changing that.”
For more on DeLuca’s heroic efforts, click here.
for more on Raineri’s heroic efforts, click here.