Local

Should LA forget Columbus Day?

A man walks past a statue of Christopher Columbus that was vandalized at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
A man walks past a statue of Christopher Columbus that was vandalized at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

City leaders are one step closer to getting rid of Columbus Day. During Monday's committee meeting, the L.A. City Council will consider a proposal to replace the federal holiday with a local one celebrating indigenous peoples.

Councilman Mitch O'Farrell supports the measure. He says Christopher Columbus not only didn't "discover" America, he's responsible for the subjugation of countless Native Americans.

"They were there before any of us, and the incredible sacrifices, the decimation of their cultures, the separations within the families that the missions were responsible for — it's a pretty ugly, depressing history," O'Farrell tells KPCC.

Several other cities — including Berkeley and Denver — have already swapped out Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day.

O'Farrell, who is part Native American, earlier told KPCC that he started thinking about Indigenous Peoples' Day last year:

"I asked myself last year, 'If not me, who?' in terms of who's going to make the move for Indigenous Peoples' Day, because I do think it's time. And 'If not now, when?'"

Some Italian American groups are opposed to the plan. City Councilman Joe Buscaino says Columbus Day is an important part of the Italian community's culture and history.