BALTIMORE (WJZ)– After weeks of controversy, the Baltimore City Council votes to strike down a bill that would rename Columbus Day.
Critics of the holiday say it honors a shameful historical figure and promise to keep fighting it in the future.
Those who supported the bill say they are not giving up. Saying they may have lost the battle but the name-war is just getting started.
Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer with his own holiday and parade died hundreds of years ago, but the controversy over what he represents lives on.
The bill wanted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples and Italian-Americans Day.
The City Hall chambers errupted in protest after the motion fails.
Councilman Brandon Scott introduced the bill in October, saying Columbus was an oppressor, underserving of praise.
“Make no thing about it, we will get rid of columbus day in the next term,” said Scott.
In Little Italy, news that Columbus Day would be keeping it’s same name, is something many were hoping for.
Giovanna Blatter co-owns Italian eatery, Cafe Gia. She says when it comes to the fate of Columbus Day, Italian-Americans should have a seat at the table.
“There’s always room for compromise, but compromise is between two entities, not one,” said Blatter.
Columbus Day supporter Charlene Cowan says the now failed-bill creates division and not unity.
“I would rather it be changed to Italian-Americans Day. I just didn’t feel like the amendment was a good compromise. I don’t think you should take one day from one ethnic group and give it to another ethnic group,” said Cowan.
This is the last term for some councilmembers who voted to keep things as they are. Councilman Scott is hoping when they go, the Columbus Day goes too.
The final vote was very close at seven yeses and six no’s with two councilmembers who chose not to vote.