A protege of congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supports the removal of the statue of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle, which could be a big deal for the district she wants to represent.
Brittany Ramos DeBarros is seeking to represent New York’s 11th congressional district, which encompasses all of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn — and is home to one of the largest Italian-American communities in the country.
“It’s not in my district, so it wouldn’t be a top priority for me in Congress. But I support removing [the Columbus monument in Columbus Circle] and I think it would be ideal to replace it with some sort of tribute to the indigenous people of Turtle Island or the Lenape people in particular,” DeBarros wrote in a Jim Owles Liberal LGBT Democratic endorsement questionnaire. Club.
The club asked itself the question, among other things, of the political candidates seeking its endorsement.
As with AOC, DeBarros, a military veteran, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
DeBarros’ main Democratic challenger is former Rep. Max Rose, who is seeking to reclaim his former seat after losing to Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis in the 2020 general election.
“I don’t support the removal of the Columbus statue,” Rose told The Post on Sunday. “It’s crazy that we even talk about that.
“Let’s talk about lowering inflation and increasing union membership instead of talking about statutes,” he added.
The statue is something Rose and even Malliotakis can apparently agree on.
Holder also said DeBarros was out of step with voters.
“Brittany Ramos DeBarros wanting to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle is another example of woke politics going wild,” Malliotakis said.
Ocasio-Cortez also told the Democratic club it was time to cancel Columbus, the famed Italian explorer of the Americas who was also despised for brutalizing Indigenous peoples.
“This is a decision that should be made by the community and I believe there is strong support for removing the statue from Columbus Circle,” AOC, which represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, wrote in the questionnaire.
But the leader of a major local coalition of Italian-American groups criticized DeBarros for ignoring his Italian-American constituents, who revere Columbus as a symbol of Italian pride and culture.
“She offends Italian-Americans in her neighborhood. Listen to your voters! Angelo Vivolo, president of the Columbus Heritage Coalition and former president of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which organizes the annual Columbus Day Parade, told The Post.
Last week, Vivolo hit out at State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), a fellow Italian-American congressional candidate, for wanting to overrule Columbus. Biaggi said there are other Italian heroes who are better representatives to celebrate than Columbus.
Other politicians who have told the Jim Owles Club they support or are open to removing the Columbus monument include: Representatives Grace Meng and Hakeem Jeffries; city public attorney and gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams, his running mate for Lt. Governor Ana Maria Archila; Sense state. Jessica Ramos, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, Brad Hoylman and Jose Serrano, and Assembly Members Harvey Epstein, Maritza Davia, Zohran Mamdani, Kenny Burgos and Emily Gallagher.
But Queens Congresswoman Alicia Hyndman said she opposed erasing Columbus from the public square.
“I know my opinion is probably in the minority, but these statues of oppressors need to stay and have next to them specific titles of the atrocities they committed against Indigenous people. I don’t think we should erase the history – we should learn the correct history and put other statues next to those of the oppressors,” Hyndman said.
Governor Kathy Hochul danced around the question in her response to the club, led by Allen Roskoff.
“While Governor Hochul believes New York’s wealthy Italian community should be recognized, it’s also important to celebrate Indigenous peoples and their place in history while acknowledging the scars left by their unjust treatment,” said his wife. campaign in the questionnaire.
“In 2021, for the first time in state history, Governor Hochul signed a proclamation recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day, and she will continue to take steps to build foundations of trust between communities.
Rep. Tom Suozzi, who is challenging Hochul in the Democratic primary, and his running mate for lieutenant governor, former Brooklyn councilman Diana Reyna, said they oppose the removal of the Columbus statue.
In any case, the debate could be pointless.
The Columbus Monument has been designated a State and Federal Historic Landmark.
But controversies still rage around other statues and appellations.
As The Post recently reported, the growing cancel culture club even supports the removal of former three-term mayor Ed Koch’s name from the 59th Street/Queensboro bridge connecting Manhattan and Queens, alleging it did not do enough to combat the AIDS crisis in the city when in power.