City Council Members Want A Judge To Compel Special Meeting Over Removal Of Columbus Statue

City Council members are seeking a meeting with the city’s legal leadership to seek a court order compelling Mayor Joe Ganim to call a special meeting of the City Council on behalf of a legislative resolution directing the return of the Christopher Columbus statue to Seaside that the mayor removed citing public safety concerns.

Protests have surged across the country urging the removal of statues and monuments that represent slavery and colonization and not the heroism associated with their names for centuries.

Behind the scenes former State Rep. Christopher Caruso and ex two-term Mayor Lenny Paoletta engaged in multiple conversations with community leaders supportive of scrubbing the statue to reach some common ground.

City Council members Michael DeFilippo and Jeanette Herron, whose North End district includes a strong Italian American community, have submitted a resolution calling for the statue’s return while a community dialogue continues to find historical context that appeals to both sides of the issue.

The City Charter provides the mayor the authority to call a special meeting of the City Council. What if he refuses to do so? Council members assert a court action can make him do it. But who brings that action?

The next regular meeting of the legislative body is August 3. Why not deal with it then? Meanwhile, Ganim wants the Parks Commission to weigh in on the issue.

DeFilippo and Herron issued this letter to City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer and city legal official Mark Anastasi.

We, the undersigned, elected members of the City of Bridgeport City Council write this letter to formally request a meeting with you as city attorney and our legal counsel pursuant to the City’s charter provisions so that we may formally instruct you to immediately file a Motion for a Writ of Mandamus ordering mayor Joseph Ganim to hold a special meeting of the City Council for the purpose of adopting the attached Resolution and further ordering him to take such action as set forth therein.

As you are aware, we represent a super majority of the City Council and a majority of the residents of the city of Bridgeport. We are disappointed that the Mayor has unilaterally and arbitrarily refused to authorize a special meeting thereby necessitating this action on behalf of our numerous constituents have and are expressing disapproval of the Mayor’s summary abdication of the public trust by removing the Christopher Columbus statue from Seaside Park.

Therefore, we request a meeting and positive response from you within seven days or we will proceed accordingly on behalf of our constituents.

We do not take this action lightly and expect you to be fully prepared to follow through on our behalf as City Attorney to correct this egregious violation of the public trust.

In good faith,

Michael DeFilippo, Dist 133
Jeanette Herron, Dist 133

CC Matthew McCarthy 130th, Denese Taylor-Moye, 131st, Marcus Brown 132nd, Michelle Lyons and Amy Marie Vizzo-Paniccia 134th, Alfredo Castillo and Avelino Silvo 136th, Maria Innes Valle 137th, Maria Pereira and Samia Suliman 138th, Eneida Martinez 139th, Aidee Nieves 137th



  1. As this debate continues to fester just don’t characterize Columbus’s conquest as “White Supremacy”. Unless you’re characterize the Latino race white. It was their ancestors who conquer the ingenuous people of PR and most of Central and South American. As will as Notrh America before America conquered it from Spain.

    Side note: Its been said Columbus was a Jew, grew up in the Liberian Peninsula, educated in Portugal, and sailed for Spain, claiming the New World for the Spanish Crown. He was born in the independent state of the Republic of Genoa, and Italy and the Italian people as a nation weren’t a formal nation until 350 years after Columbus’ voyage when he “FOUND” the New World, not DISCOVERed it. Not much of an achievement by saying Colubmbe found new land or he was a Jew, for the Italian people. Also the land was CONQUERED more than it was STOLEN. Just like the Lakota tribe conquered the Cheyanne tribe of their land where Mountrush now stands, who are claiming the US Stole from them. My Point is, well, The Italian explorer Colubmus fell of a back of a truck like a Lufthansa heist. 🙂

    P.S did I mentioned Columbus as a Jew. 🙂 Thanks councilman Cruz for bring history to life. BAM I am out here. 🙂

  2. I will ignore the ramblings of Robert Teixeira.
    And I will ignore the issue of Christopher Columbus.
    But is the Common Council NOW telling us that they finally realize that the mayor does as her pleases and ignores their wishes???
    Is the Common Council NOW telling us that the Mayor abuses appointments to boards and commissions and maintains ultimate control over them????
    Is the Common Council NOW telling us that they have made themselves powerless within the city by being beholden to the City Attorney and with the real City Attorney not the figurehead Chris Meyer????
    Come on fix your own mess and not by meeting with the City Attorney and asking what can you do.

    1. Bob, C’MON MAN, this is Mayor Ganim’s backup plan because former State Rep. Christopher Caruso and ex two-term Mayor Lenny Paoletta out smarted Joe so Joe needs the City Council to backup his original plan.

  3. The reason for this debate alludes the hell out of me. Historical research and scholars has shown that Christopher Columbus sold over 1500 indigenous into the European slave trade and raped indigenous girls as young as 13 years old!

    Cities across the country are removing this statue and are changing the name of schools that bare his name, yet the Bridgeport City Council are demanding that it be returned. This is a slap in the face of every Bridgeport resident that thinks feels and believes that slavery was wrong, immoral and unjust, irrespective of who the slaves were or the name of the Slave Trader!

    I see the names of those City Council people that voted for this ignorant piece included seven Black and Puerto Rican’s members who should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. But the doing it, removing the statues, is in name of “white supremacy” Which is racist in itself. When in fact it was the ancestors of the people who you said blacks will never vote for in the Port, PR. (Latinos) Would you call that a slap in the face or racist? Councilmember represents city residents.

      P.S waiting for BOE member comrade Joe to chime in with his new carpenter pencil. 🙂

  4. The Bridgeport City Council has the authority to schedule a City Council meeting without the Mayor’s approval. Check the City Charter. It has been done in the past. Doing so will bring the mayor to the meeting or the City Council President will chair.
    As I always say, a resolution is just a communication. In this case, whoever authored the resolution has presented a clear communication to Mayor Ganim and the rest is up to him.

  5. Don, the only issue was the fact that Mayor Ganim didn’t keep his word with former State Rep. Christopher Caruso and ex two-term Mayor Lenny Paoletta where they were in discussion about statue being relocated. The historical research of Christopher Columbus was not an issue. The seven Black and Puerto Rican’s members who should be ashamed of themselves, they were just playing follow the leader. Tom White does make a important point about the council in not knowing what their rights and power because all the council dies is to wait for Hamilton Burger to tell them what to do.

  6. Ron, and Day, when you say Blacks and Puerto Ricans should be ashamed but no whites should be is ashamed Wouldn’t you say that’s racist? It’s like saying white are inherently infavor for acts you stated, while leaving out the fact it was ancestors of the (Latinos) who came with Columbus Which goes to my point, you don’t really care about the history of Colubmus or the events after his voyage to the indigenous people. It really about white and your racism, Considering you did say black would never vote of the ancestor who Columbus sailed for. (Latinos) JS Think about that and let it sink in.

  7. Reprinted from the Chicago Tribune.

    Mayor’s Office Releases Statement After Columbus Statues Removed in Chicago.
    Mayor Lori Lightfoot has Christopher Columbus statues removed from Chicago parks overnight.

    Columbus statues are falling across the country.Ohio’s capital city removed its statue of the Italian explorer last week.

    Bridgeport, what the HELL ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT? Mayor Ganim, what the HELL ARE YOU DOING?

    1. Yeah what the hell is he waiting for?!
      Is he inviting violence, vandalism and the destruction of Bridgeport by not making a decision???
      He should call Lori and confirm that making that decision stopped all the mayhem in Chicago!! Yeah right!!
      Burn baby burn and shoot em up!!!
      They all deserve each other!!!!!!

  8. Day, you are a piece of work, We already know you don’t care much of the Latino race, considering you said blacks will never vote for one (PR). But to envoke Chicago in the removing of the Columbus statue as a means in ending suffering in the black community shows you don’t care much for black lives over your racism views. Black communities in Chicago are war zone with thousands of black live are lost, as young as infants, and you think a statue is a cause it, or its removal is the cure? The chaos in Chicago over a staute is by white Godless Marxists who don’t care about blacks in Chicago or anywhere else in America. JS

    Quick question now the the statue in Chicago is removed is the violent going to end now in the black community? I’ll wait for yours responds.

  9. And RT you are exactly correct by making that statement about the Marxist, (some are actually black RT), not caring about blacks anywhere. Notable socialists / Marxist / and communists described the masses that they used to riot and cause massive upheaval and anarchy had a term for them and called them “useful idiots”. Many of those useful idiots were later imprisoned or killed after those in charge of them successfully took over their countries.

  10. Well, for the most part, the white Marxists don’t care much about blacks and are using what is a legitimate protest on the targeted attack on blacks by cops and unfair sentences in between white and blacks by it legal system. You, Jo, know it. There are a need and merits to hold cops more accountable. In a sense from what I gathering about qualified immunity, legal mumbo jumbo legal language. It is about being able to sue cops for financial gain, not just the city or state. How is that holding a cop accountable? It’s not. Lawyers generally don’t sue individuals unless they are rich. They go where the money’s at. To Jo point, some cases are not just frivolous but a scheme to extract money for the city with a quick settlement. I would bet my Jo’s pension that Bucci made money on “scheme settlement” from the city over the years. Probably working on one now. 🙂

    Instead of going after the ability to sue a cop as a means of “so-called accountability” Why not attach a punishable accountable account to any cop in a sue where a cop is being sued with qualified immunity to the city suit that it loses or settles?

    IMO because being about to sue a cop weakens the force, especially in the urban community were cop done do there job and crime will increase and deteriorate the community even more. Why would they do that? To advance the Marxist philosophy. So when you hear Black lives matter protester especially whites defund the police it means to weaken it and create more chaos, when the say cancel rent, the mean end private owners.

    Look at Portland it’s in chaos. People are chanting black lives matter, in a city that has very few blacks. But they aren’t burning down neighborhoods like what happens in urban minority neighborhoods. They are targeting the Federal Government. Who’s the same white mindset that went into those urban communities and started or fettered most of the riots and fires in those communities under the banner of Black lives Matter?

    Rich to your point. They (blacks) are useful, idiot might be a strong word when many are protesting for rights granted to them under the constitution that is being deprived of them and just done know. Some believed in that utopia being sold to them. The history or intentions is never expressed openly unless of the lip of the tongue. Just saying People BamI am out.

  11. While the Council argues amongst itself over a statue,what’s left of the downtown businesses are months, weeks, days? of closing up. The pandemic has effectively put the last stake in the hearts of those business owners, by the winter, downtown will abandoned( literally). Where is the help from city, state,that they need to survive?? This is a real issue unfolding and our elected “ leaders”( I use the term loosely) are concentrating on what to do about a statue???
    I know Mario is having health issues now, so Joe, you’re going to have to step in and lead this city till he feels better. Do something other than give free parking down there, that’s not going to help..

  12. As a compromise to re-erecting the Columbus statue, in deference to the behavior of Bridgeport mayors and other political players of note in the modern era (especially since circa 1990), I would recommend creating a more appropriate Bridgeport historical monument, such that the extant Christopher Columbus statue (albeit removed/relocated under a “statue-protection” program under the auspices of BPD), be “repurposed” and melted-down for use in the creation of a “Tribute to the Mayors of Bridgeport” statue, the latter being in the form of a classical statue of Pinocchio and mounted at the base of the stairs leading into City Hall I at 45 Lyin’ Terrace…

  13. Jo, chime in. On the police accountability aspect What do you think? From my very limited understanding cops still have QA. It remains the same and the Government is more exposed to civil suits.

    Quick questions, does equitable reliefs constitute suspension or firing of officers? Do you anticipate more city payout lawsuits? What accountability do you see in this bill? Unpack this legal mumbo jumbo fro OBI. 🙂

  14. And what happens when no writ is filed???
    The Common Council will write the City Attorney Chris Meyer and the REAL City Attorney Mark Anastasi asking them to file a writ ordering themselves to file a writ.
    You cannot make this stuff up.

  15. In the meantime the Joe Ganim is saying the Joe Ganim controlled Parks board whose membership is probably all operating in expired terms, which the Common Council has allowed to go on like that for decades, should make that decision.
    And if they don’t?? The Common Council is threatening to write the City Attorney and ask who could they write to asking that they file the same writ ordering them to, for god’s sake, file a writ.


Leave a Reply