SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh had the final say as to what would become of the Columbus Circle Statue, but in the weeks leading up to Friday’s decision a designated group put in long hours to try and find solutions.
The Columbus Circle Action Group met for two and a half hours once a week for eight weeks. Here are the members:
- Haji Adan — Syracuse Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE)
- Pastor H. Bernard Alex — Victory Temple Fellowship Church
- Yaya Delgado — Henninger High School graduate trained in Action Group methodology
- Hon. Joe Driscoll — Syracuse Common Councilor
- Imam Mohammed ElFiki — Islamic Society of Central New York
- Ocesa Keaton — Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E.
- Greg Loh — Office of the Mayor
- Betty Lyons — Onondaga Nation member
- Rex Lyons — Onondaga Nation member
- Fr. David McCallum, S.J. — Le Moyne College
- Hon. Rita Paniagua — Syracuse Common Councilor
- Richard Pietrafesa — Italian American
- Nick Pirro — Columbus Monument Association
- Lisa Sacco — Italian American and Mohawk Tribal member
- Isaura Severino — Office of the Mayor
- Joe Romano — Italian American
- Fr. John Rose — Roman Catholic Priest (ret.)
- Clifford Ryan — OG’s Against Violence
- Asa Shenandoah — Onondaga Nation member
- Cindy Squillace — NOON
- Ralph Torillo, Sr. — Italian American
- Gregg Tripoli — Onondaga Historical Association
- Michael Vavonese — Italian American
- Rabbi Daniel Fellman — Temple Concord
The group made recommendations to Walsh regarding the creation of an all-season, education and learning site at the downtown park space that has been home to a statue of Christopher Columbus since 1934.
Below is an interview with Ocesa Keaton and Rabbi Daniel Fellman, who worked with the group.