Representatives Bill Pascrell and Pat Tiberi, co-chairs of the Italian American Congressional Delegation (IACD) of the 113th U.S. Congress, welcomed their colleagues to the reception at the United States Capitol Visitors Center hosted by NIAF with IACD on February 27, 2013.
Pascrell opened the reception explaining how this delegation works in a bipartisan way to honor our government and common heritage as well as draw attention to Italian heroes — Garibaldi, Brumidi and every Italian American who has contributed to the greatness of our country. With the current situation in Italy, he asked all to pray for our mother country and its challenges.
Joining Pascrell at the podium, Tiberi joked about the large representation of members from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and noted that Pascrell was the lone congressman from New Jersey. Tiberi recounted a story about his nine-year-old daughter, Angelina, who was working on a report for school when she realized how Italians have done so much for America. “We share a common culture that binds us—let’s celebrate what connects us tonight. We are so fortunate to have Ambassador Claudio Bisognero here with us tonight to help us strengthen our relationship with Italy,” Tiberi said. He encouraged everyone to get closer to Italy since the Italian people are facing difficult times. “When we help our mother country, we help our country,” he added.
NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso introduced Ambassador Bisognero and spoke about the extraordinary work and initiatives the Italian government is accomplishing during the “2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States.” Del Raso referred to it as not a year but the “Millennium of Italian Culture.” Ambassador Bisognero was warmly welcomed by the guests. He talked about the profound relationship our two countries share because of our common values, human rights, democracy, honesty, fairness and strong family values, to name just a few.
Del Raso was joined by NIAF’s leadership including, Gabriel A. Battista, Robert E. Carlucci, Mike Ferguson, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Joseph D. Lonardo, John P. Rosa, Mark Valente III and John M. Viola. Senators and Representatives who were present included Senator Michael Enzi , Representatives Lou Barletta (PA);Suzanne Bonamici (OR); Michael Capuano (MA); David Cicilline (RI); Chris Collins (NY); Rosa L. DeLauro (CT); Mike Doyle (PA);Michael Grimm (NY); Marcy Kaptur (OH); Tom Marino (PA); Jim Renacci (OH); Brad Wenstrup (OH); and Ted Yoho (FL). Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi recounted a recent reception at the White House when President Obama warmly greeted Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano, and many Italian Americans. “It’s all about personal relationships and respect we have for each other,” she added. She thanked NIAF for their work in bringing everyone together this evening.
To close the evening, Valente thanked everyone for attending and encouraged all to support the NIAF Frank J. Guarini Public Policy Forum throughout the coming year!