The Kingmakers of Fresh Pond Road: Ethnic-Political Brokers in an Italian-American Community

Ottorino Cappelli, Rodrigo Praino

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In March 2008, the Italian political parties selected which candidates to the national Parliament would be voted on by Italian citizens abroad.1 Shortly thereafter a group of Italian-born political activists in Queens, New York City, purchased advertisement space in the Italian-language newspaper America Oggi to publish what they called a “protest vote manifesto.” They were denouncing the fact that the nominees of Silvio Berlusconi’s Popolo della Libertà (People of Liberty, PDL) party for the North and Central America District included no candidates from New York. As a consequence, they threatened to leave the PDL and endorse a newly formed right-wing party. They even asked all readers who owned commercial establishments to post the manifesto in highly visible places in their premises. A few days later, on March 21, the same individuals published a new ad, this time declaring that the “protest vote” was over. It is not known what had happened in the interim, but the group now formally endorsed the PDL and its candidate Augusto Sorriso, who was running for the Italian Senate.2 Sorriso was the former mayor of Licata (Agrigento province), Sicily, who had moved to New Jersey in 1994 after an unsuccessful bid for Italy’s Chamber of Deputies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNew Italian Migrations to the United States
    Subtitle of host publicationVol. 1: Politics and History since 1945
    EditorsLaura E. Ruberto, Joseph Sciorra
    Place of PublicationUrbana, USA
    PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)0252040953, 0252099494, 9780252099496
    ISBN (Print)9780252040955
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • American politics
    • ethnic-political brokers
    • ethnic politics
    • Italian politics
    • Italian American politics
    • local politics
    • state politics


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