L.A. City Council Committee backs proposal to replace 'Columbus Day'


A plan to add a new holiday to L.A.'s city calendar has taken a huge step forward after a City Council panel endorsed the plan to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

In a unanimous vote, the council's Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhoods Committee endorsed the proposal from Councilman Mitch O'Farrell that would establish a new city holiday. Scheduled for the second Monday in October (a paid day off for city workers), the holiday would replace Columbus Day with a new on that would recognize the contributions and experiences of "indigenous, aboriginal and native people." 

If it passes muster with the rest of the council, the new holiday would go into effect no later than 2019. Columbus Day would remain a national holiday, but LA city would not recognize it as such. 

Council Joe Buscaino isn't so happy with the idea. He's promised to fight the proposal when it reaches the council floor. In a YouTube video posted to Buscaino's account, he says Columbus Day means more than just honoring Christopher Columbus. 

"This day recognizes the beginning of worldwide immigration to America. It truly is a celebration of immigrants coming here to seek a better life for their themselves and their families. Columbus, or Columbia, is no longer about a man, it is now a universal theme, that has become ubiquitous with the celebration of not only Italian American Heritage, but the celebration of all cultures, and the acknowledgement of the sacrifices and contributions made by their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents to this great nation. That is what Columbus Day represents and why we should not turn our backs on it now."

If LA moves forward with the proposal, it'll join several other US cities including Seattle, Portland, Albuquerque and Denver who have already replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. 


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