Vito Marcantonio Forum in NYC

This weekend I went to Greenwich village and The Vito Marcantonio Forum had   celebration of  the historic ALP figure. There where salutations and performance plays about his life, this

to place at Geatonos Restaurant. 143 Christopher Street. there was a reading of the Vito Marcanthony salutation. A memorial for a friend who passed away.

he Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF), which recently commemorated the death Vito Marcantonio, Congressman for seven state legislatures (from 1934 to 1938 and from 36 to 50), makes progress towards the recognition of this important political figure and at the same time undertakes to claim a central role in local and national arena to the neighborhood of East Harlem.
With this goal the Forum initiative to dedicate a street in that area to the Italian-born American politician who, with a long presence in Congress, was radical in the twentieth century the most successful American in electoral terms.

Was the Council representative Melissa MarkViverito to announce, on 9 August, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the death of Maracantonio to Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, plans to name a street in this important character. One of my mentors, Gloria Quinoñes, said Melissa MarkViverito (see video below) wanted me to know Vito Marcantonio and progressive legacy that he embodied and. .. As porto Rican cookery would be very grateful as he was a true ally and was our congressman in times when it was very difficult. “ Melissa MarkViverito he added that he embodied the true New Yorker who was a force in the American Labor Party. For this, he said, I’m really surprised we don’t have a street dedicated to Vito in El Barrio East Harlem. We must therefore engage in this direction and figure out which is the most appropriate place. This is the commitment that today I am here with you

he commemoration was attended by the Member of the Assembly of the State of New York Robert Rodríguez of East Harlem and the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz that established for August 9 the Vito Marcantonio Day. To express its support for the initiative were also Congressman Charles Rangel, Congressman Elliot Engel and President of Manhattan district Gail Brewer.

The commemoration ceremony was held at the tomb of Marcantonio, where the politician is buried next to his wife, Miriam Sanders and close to his mentor, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Professor Gerald Meyer (Hostos Community College), one of the founders of the VMF and author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, 19021954, gave a speech honoring Marcantonio Recalling not only the work in life but also the legacy and importance of his figure as an example for modern politicians.

Vito Anthony Marcantonio (December 10, 1902 – August 9, 1954) was an Italian-Americanlawyer and democratic socialist politician. Originally a member of the Republican Party and a supporter ofFiorello LaGuardia, he switched to the American Labor Party. He was on the far left of the American political spectrum, and was nationally known for his support from Communists in the 1940s.

Representing, New York City, which had many ethnic Italians and Puerto Ricans, Marcantonio was extremely popular. He spoke both Spanish and Italian. He was elected to numerous terms in the House of Representatives from the 1930s until his defeat in the 1950 election.

After his defeat in mayoral and congressional elections, Marcantonio continued to practice law. It was his law practice, maintained while in Congress, that had generated the money by which he substantially self-financed his political campaigns.

At first he practiced in  Washington, D.C. but he soon returned to New York City. At the time of his death in 1954, Marcantonio was running for Congress as the candidate of a newly formed third party, the Good Neighbor Party. He died on August 9, 1954, from a Myocardial infarction heart attack after coming up the subway stairs on Broadway by City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan.

Marcantonio’s collection of speeches, I Vote My Conscience (1956), edited by Annette Rubenstein, influenced the next generation of young radicals. His defense of workers rights, his mastery of parliamentary procedure, his ability to relate to the workers in his district while also engaging in worldwide issues, made him a hero to a certain section of the left. Rubenstein’s book was reprinted in a new edition in 2002.

There is now talk about having a Street named after him on 116th and Lexington Ave. We are looking forward to the day.

Dedicated to Morgan Powell (1973-2014)
Thanks to The Drama Workshop and VMF Robert Rangone, Dr Gerald Mayer, Art Bernal, Bernard Johnson, Eduardo Sanchez, Marilyn Ocasio,  Frank Marcantonio. (Great Performances folks!)

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