Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) along with seven fellow Italian American legislators today unveiled the “Italian American Legislator Project of 2011: A Legacy of Service to the California Legislature”.
The Legislator project has identified 51 current or former State Senators and Assemblymembers of Italian American heritage including former Senate Pro Tem David Roberti and the oldest living former legislator, Larry Chimbole, age 92. Mr. Roberti and Mr. Chimbole took part in today’s ceremonies along with former Assemblymen Sal Canella and Roger Niello. The legacy legislators were joined in the Senate and Assembly chambers by current legislators: Assemblymembers Ammiano, Galgiani, Gatto and Hill; Senators Cannella, La Malfa and Wyland.
“This is the first time that a comprehensive list of Italian American legislators has been compiled and we are hoping that the Legacy Project will continue for years to come,” said Assemblymember Portantino. “It’s important that we understand the political and cultural contributions of Italian Americans who have been an important part of California since the Gold Rush days.”
ACR 68, authored by all current Italian American legislators, was taken up in both the Assembly and Senate. The Resolution formally designates October as Italian American Heritage Month.
The 2000 California census listed 1,450,885 Italian Americans living in California – that’s 4.3% of the state’s population and the third largest Italian American population in the U.S.
The Legacy Project will be on exhibit in the State Capitol during the month of October – Italian American Heritage Month – and will feature the legislators’ important contributions to the political life of California.