The 2019 Columbus Day Parade featured plenty of marching politicians, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Cuomo and de Blasio proudly display their Italian heritage and are regulars at the parade celebrating that heritage, but they continued their parade practice of studiously avoiding one another.
Gov. Cuomo held a pre-parade press conference featuring his announcement that he plans to use state money to fund a statue of Mother Cabrini. The de Blasio administration’s failure to include Cabrini in a group of seven women selected for a series of new statues in the City has enraged some Italian-Americans and produced bitter comments towards Chirlane McCray, a key decision maker in the process and the Mayor’s wife.
Mayor de Blasio drew negative comments as he marched from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to the end of the parade at 72nd Street (I accompanied the Mayor only during that portion of the parade). There were more negative comments and thumbs-down than I’ve noted in past parades, but it was nonetheless scattered for most of the route. When de Blasio was announced as he reached the reviewing stand, however, he was widely booed, often mixed with Mother Cabrini related comments.