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Sons of Italy® Launches Letter Writing Campaign to Save Columbus Day in Denver

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 4, 2005 As reported earlier this week, the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA) has issued a strong protest of the Jan. 20 jury verdict that acquitted eight political activists, who disrupted the 2004 Columbus Day parade in Denver.

The Native American activists in Colorado now are lobbying the state and city governments to change Columbus Day to "All Nations Day."

To counter this, OSIA is urging all its members as well as concerned individuals and organizations nationally to join its letter writing campaign to inform elected officials in Colorado that Italian Americans nationwide do not support such legislation.

Please join OSIA in requesting that the name of this federal holiday remain "Columbus Day" in Denver, Colorado.

The mayor is actively pursuing adding Denver to the list of popular vacation and business destinations. Include in your letter that you and/or your organization will not visit, conduct business or hold its convention in a city that does not recognize Columbus Day.

OSIA encourages you to get this message to family members, friends, colleagues and members of Italian American groups, particularly those who do not have access to email. Include some facts about Christopher Columbus (See link to OSIA's report below) and send your letter to:

Mayor John W. Hickenlooper

Denver City and County Building

1437 Bannock Street, Suite 350

Denver, CO 80202

Fax: (720) 865-8787

E-mail: MileHighMayor@ci.denver.co.us

For the OSIA report, see www.osia.org at "Studies in Culture" Columbus: Fact vs. Fiction report.

Your letter WILL make a difference and need only be a few short paragraphs. Please be sure not to offend any other ethnic groups or organizations to make your point.

Established in 1905, OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of 700 chapters coast to coast.

OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit OSIA on the Web at www.osia.org.

The Commission for Social Justice® (CSJ) is the anti-defamation arm of OSIA. The CSJ fights the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the U.S. entertainment, advertising, and media industries. It also promotes the achievements and contributions of Italian Americans to the U.S. through research and public education programs.