Leonardo Metalli and Augusto Sorrino are both running on the MAIE (Movimento Associativo per Italian All’Estero – the Associative Movement for Italians Living Abroad) ticket in the upcoming general elections in Italy on March 4.
Leonardo Metalli is running for Camera Dei Deputati. This important position represents Italian citizens abroad, who have dual citizenship in the USA, as well in Canada, Mexico and Central America. As a representative, Leonardo will address the needs and concerns of Italian Americans and Italians living abroad. As an Italian journalist, chief editor and anchor on the most popular Italian television network in Italy, his position has allowed him to travel the world. He has seen the problems first-hand and worked with many Italians living abroad. These experiences have motivated Leonardo to run as a candidate. He selected MAIE because it is a non-affiliated movement, rather than a political party. Its candidates are not affiliated with any of the existing political parties in Italy today.
The movement was founded on the principle that the future of Italy will be strengthen by uniting Italians living abroad. Although this agenda may seem modest, the focus on the needs of Italians living abroad needs to be championed by those who understand the struggles.
Leonardo has experienced such issues personally. He is married to Marisa May, an Italian American, born and raised in New York City and along with her father, Tony May, a legendary restauranteur, owned and operated several famous restaurants in New York. Leonardo has seen the problems and understands the need to better integrate the voice of Italians living abroad into the present rules and regulations of the Italian systems. This includes a greater facilitation of business interests between Italians abroad and Italy itself. There is a pressing need reduce bureaucratic red tape, which mires interests in an inefficient ‘wait and see’ environment. Leonardo is the founder of a platform named MAD FOR ITALY (www.madforitaly.net) – a digital movement seeking to promote all things Italian between the U.S. and Italy. For Italians living abroad, some of the issues he will fight for include the advancement and promotion Italy’s best exports – Italian culture, artisans, artists and musicians, designers, professionals, writers, impacting those in the theater, food, wine and hospitality businesses. He is a strong advocate for the use and expansion of social media as a means of promotion.
Leonardo believes that international relations can be simplified by strengthening the Italian consular network and that Italy should offer effective tools to help Italian businesses that are operating around the world. He also intends to take a stand against property taxes on the ‘first homes’ owned by Italians abroad in Italy and will work for the access to free healthcare for all Italian citizens, as well as the automatic reinstatement of Italian dual citizenship and Italian passports.
If you have dual citizenship or hold a green card in the U.S. and are registered with AIRE (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero/the Registry of Italians Residing Abroad) you can vote in the upcoming elections on March 4th. Paper ballots will be mailed from your local Italian Consulate and/or Embassy in the upcoming week. To vote for Leonardo Metalli, cross out the symbol for MAIE on the electoral ballot and by write LEONARDO METALLI, as a prefered candidate to the Camera dei Deputati.
Also running on the MAIE platform is Augusto Sorriso, who is running for the Senate.
Augusto Sorriso is seeking the Senate seat that will be open, based on Senator Renato Turano decision not to seek reelection. Born in Licata, Sicily, Mr. Sorriso studied political science at the prestigious Institute Cesare Alfieri in Florence and then entered the family’s business – the Sorriso Construction Company, which specialized in public works projects. Soon after, he entered politics on a local level as a councilman, later serving as Mayor of Licata, as well as provincial and regional positions.
Augusto moved to the United States in 1994. It was where both his wife and two children were born. The family settled in New Jersey, where Augusto began a restaurant business that has since flourished. He became part of the Italian American community of New Jersey and was one of the founders of the Sicilian Confederation of North America. He was appointed as Representative of the Sicilian Community in the U.S. by the President of Sicily and as an executive member of the General Council of Italians Abroad. Mr. Sorriso has sought election to the Senate in the past, just missing election in 2006, (the first year in which elections for representatives of Italians living abroad was held) and to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2013.