Petition calls for the removal of Christopher Columbus statue in Mount Kisco
A petition has been started to take down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Westchester.
The statue of Christopher Columbus has stood in Mount Kisco for about 40 years. It was moved to its current location by the library about 20 years ago, but now some are calling for it to be removed.
The plaque on the statue says the monument has been erected to symbolize that as Americans, we are an immigrant society.
But not everyone sees it that way. "As a Latina, it's so disrespectful to my people, to my roots," says Kaitlynn Hurtado, a petition organizer
To some, like Hurtado, Columbus represents violence and slavery, which is why she has started a petition on the website change.org to remove the monument. "I want something that will represent actual immigrants because Columbus doesn't really represent immigrants."
But to others especially those in the Italian American community, Columbus is a much beloved and celebrated figure.
The Italian-American Club of Northern Westchester donated the statue. While members say they will discuss the petition at their next meeting, many say it should not come down. "It doesn't solve anything. It doesn't fix anything and it leaves a void where we should be learning from history. We should be understanding history," says Bob Scopelliti, of Mount Kisco.
Mayor Gina Picinich says this will be a community decision, and she wants to make sure that outside agitators don't get involved. "The people that we serve are those who live here in our community, and so the conversation needs to be had with the people in our village."
Hurtado agrees. "I want to get together with the Italian-American club and I want to come together with other people in the town so we can find a better replacement, a better stature, a better image for our town."
Hurtado says the next step is to present the petition to the Mount Kisco board of trustees.
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