San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to rename Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day to honor the Native Americans here before Columbus "discovered” America and who became victims of the country’s subsequent colonization.
Malia Cohen, a member on the board, led the legislation which was voted on 10-to-1 in favor of the change.
Aaron Peskin—representing the historically Italian North Beach neighborhood—was the sole vote against the change. Some Italian-Americans bristled at the vote and said they’re losing the holiday meant to celebrate their unique heritage.
“This is an insult to the Italians who have done so much for the city of San Francisco,” Christina Olivolo, a member of an Italian Women’s club in San Francisco, told The San Francisco Examiner after the vote.
She told the paper she was fine with removing Columbus’ name from the holiday, sympathizing with the indigenous people who were victims of colonization, but preferred to call it “Italian Heritage Day” as a way to continue honoring people of Italian descent.
Norman Yee, another board member, said he hopes the board can find another way to honor Italian-Americans.
San Francisco joined at least 55 other cities, including Los Angeles and Minneapolis, in renaming the holiday to celebrate the people predating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.