Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Boston’s Dem. Mayor Sued for Discrimination against White, Italian Businesses

'It’s upsetting for us to be discriminated against. It’s a flaw to Italians... '

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Several Boston-based restaurant owners are suing the city’s Democrat mayor, Michelle Wu, for alleged discrimination against Italians and white people.

According to the Daily Mail, owners filed the suit in late 2022 after a mayoral order that restaurants in the majority-Italian neighborhood pay $7,500 for outdoor dining licenses for the 2022 summer season. The fee did not apply to the rest of the city.

As a result of the heightened charge, the city collected nearly $800,000 from restaurant owners.

In other neighborhoods, restaurants pay monthly feeds ranging between $199 and $399. Restaurants with liquor licenses generally pay more.

A statement from the mayor’s office, which specified that only restaurants with “adequate” sidewalk width would allow outdoor dining and banned on-street dining, spurred the initial suit.

“It is commonly known that the traditional owner of a restaurant in the North End of Boston is a white male of Italian descent, and the North End is generally regarded as the last true ethnic Boston Italian neighborhood,” the lawsuit reads.

The owners suing the city include Jorge Mendoza, owner of Vinoteca di Monica; Carla Gomes, owner of Terramia Ristorante and Antico Forno; Christian Silvestri, owner of Rabia’s Dolce Fumo; and Patrick Mendoza, owner of Monica’s Trattoria.

“It’s upsetting for us to be discriminated against. It’s a flaw to Italians,” said another restaurant owner, Frank DePasquale, who is lending his support to the suit.

The group points to the city’s All Inclusive Boston Campaign as evidence for the mayor’s bias against Italians and whites.

On the campaign’s website, the advertisements for the North End do not feature any Italian Americans, and only includes white players for the Boston Red Sox. They also allege that there was no section for the North End on the site when it went live.

The city’s official statement on outdoor dining in the North End indicates that they attempted to work around the neighborhood’s narrow streets and dense street plan.

Wu made a bitterly-toned attempt at a joke about white business owners at the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in 2022, saying she’s “getting used to dealing with problems that are expensive, disruptive and white,” then went on to claim she was talking about “snowflakes, snowstorms.”

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