New Britain Christopher Columbus statue won’t be eliminated; metropolis council fails to overturn Mayor Stewart’s veto

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The city council members previously voted 10: 4 to remove the statue on December 9th.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn – A line of young protesters gathered outside New Britain City Hall on Wednesday night as city council members gathered to vote for the second time to remove the city’s controversial Christopher Columbus statue.

This time around, their voices went unheard as city council members did not have enough votes to overturn Mayor Erin Stewart’s veto.

The city council members previously voted 10: 4 to remove the statue on December 9th.

“The removal of the Christopher Columbus monument or the vote was never about the race, it was about representing the city of New Britain.”

Several Republicans joined Democrats to remove the statue when they voted in December while other Republicans stood on the other side.

“I’m someone who actually voted against the removal. I don’t think the story should be denied or erased in any way,” said majority leader and Italian-American Daniel Salerno.

Despite the council’s vote, Mayor Erin Stewart vetoed her resolution that would have resulted in the statue’s immediate removal from the city’s McCabe Park. Members had to vote to have their veto lifted on Wednesday evening, but were unsuccessful as they needed ten votes and got only eight.

“We need something that represents all of the 72,000 people in New Britain, a representation that is positive, a representation that we can all celebrate,” Osborn said. “We want to celebrate the Italian contribution, but we want a presentation that is positive and good.”

Those who advocate the distance say that Christopher Columbus portrayed racism and oppression, while others say he portrayed history and American Italian heritage.

After protests across the state, cities like New Haven, Hartford, Middletown and New London removed their statues last summer.