Columbus Day will no longer be a thing in Los Angeles. The L.A. City Council voted on Wednesday (Aug. 30) to nix the national holiday from its city calendar. The date will be renamed Indigenous Peoples Day, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The progressive initiative received some opposition from Italian American groups, who stated that the change will erase part of their history. Others argued that they support the new plan, but hoped it wouldn’t fall on the same day as the Columbus holiday.
“On behalf of the Italian community, we want to celebrate with you,” Ann Potenza, president of Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California told a crowd of Native American activists, the Times reports. “We just don’t want it to be at the expense of Columbus Day.”
Indigenous Peoples Day will replace Columbus Day in L.A. Passionate speeches from both Native Americans and Italian Americans. pic.twitter.com/wMCv0xsBca
— mollenbeck (@amollenbeckKFI) August 30, 2017
Still, much of the brown and Native American communities stand firm on the belief that the holiday needs to end, and lawmakers should “dismantle a state-sponsored celebration of genocide of indigenous peoples,” said Chrissie Castro, vice chairwoman of the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission. “To make us celebrate on any other day would be a further injustice."
The holiday will remain a paid one for city employees regardless of its name. Seattle, Denver, and Albuquerque have also transitioned from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.
“This gesture of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is a very small step in apologizing and in making amends,” said L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin.
Here’s how Twitter users reacted to the change:
Cali has largest number of Native Americans & L.A. was founded by ppl w/ Native, black & Spanish blood. It was high time to axe Columbus Day
— Nadra Nittle (@NadraKareem) August 30, 2017
Yass Columbus Day is going to be replaced with Indigenous People's Day in LA!!!
— cindy (@cmoniqueee) August 30, 2017
That's great news. Kudos to LA City Council for doing the right thing. https://t.co/OlBP1DM5Al
— Josh Lockman (@joshlockman) August 30, 2017
— Mountain Dweller (@HJCtoday) August 30, 2017