Jo Ann has been immersed in the activities of the community since birth, thanks to the unwavering involvement of her father, Joseph R. Salerno. “My father was a member of every Italian society, club and lodge in the Chicago area,” she fondly recalls. “It’s only natural that I followed his example of promoting Italian values and traditions.” One of...

A Chicago politician is thinking twice about renaming Columbus Drive for Barack Obama after outraged Italian-Americans questioned why the former president should be honored “at the expense of one ethnic group.” The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans had blasted the proposed rebranding as “offensive” last week, with president Ron Onesti desc...

The Italian Air Force is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the Aeronautica Militare has assembled a sweeping exhibit that will be available for a private viewing on Nov. 21 in the Chandelier Room at Casa Italia in Stone Park. The exhibit comprises 36 4-foot by 8-foot panels, organized into a timeli...

Chicago’s Italian American community, represented by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA), came together this week to address opportunities and challenges that are elevating and impacting our shared heritage. JCCIA President Ron Onesti convened the meeting and invited COPOMIAO President Basil Russo to speak on the transformative s...

A new era of political engagement dawned on Aug. 8 when the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hosted its inaugural Government Relations Luncheon. More than 100 public officials at every level of local government converged on the Des Plaines Theatre for the event, which honored State Rep. Anthony DeLuca and former county official turned pol...

What’s an ethnic group to do when its icons are under assault? There’s the traditional approach, which relies heavily on anger-fueled protest marches. Then there’s the Enza Raineri way. If you were to codify the crisis management playbook of this longtime government official turned political consultant, it would read something like this: Get your f...

On the day the U.S. commemorates Christopher Columbus’ landing in the Americas, Italian Americans in the Chicago area are demanding the city return three statues of the explorer that were removed due to protests. In 2020, then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the removal of the statues from Grant Park, Arrigo Park and South Chicago. At the time, Lightf...

Columbus Day is Monday, October 9, and for many Italian Americans the annual national holiday now comes with the sting of having to fight for their place in American society all over again. “In this age of cancel culture, we’ve gone from perpetuating the contributions Italians have made to America to defending them,” Ron Onesti, President of the Jo...

Upholding his longtime commitment to recognizing the contributions of Italian Americans, State Rep. Anthony DeLuca worked in collaboration with the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans to pass a bipartisan plan to mark every October in Illinois as Italian American Heritage Month. “From exploration to scientific discoveries to entertainment an...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans honored Vito Gargano at their general meeting on June 27. Gargano, 95, is the former president of the Italian American Federal Club, an organization comprising hundreds of federal employees of the United States Postal Service. Gargano’s career spans more than 40 years in the USPS. He started as a clerk...