ItalyUSA Talks: Robert A. Bianchi Esq., OSDIA National President

Former Morris County (NJ) prosecutor, attorney Robert A. Bianchi was the county’s top law enforcement officer from 2007 to 2013 and now leads a team of New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Bianchi Law Group. Bianchi is also an anchor at the Law & Crime Network legal channel and is often interviewed as a legal analyst by national TV channels such as CNN, ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS and MSNBC. He has also appeared on legal talk shows and documentaries including The Geraldo Rivera Show, Due Process, and New Jersey Capitol Report. Actually serving as national President, Bianchi has held, over the years, prominent roles in the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA), often interfacing with White House officials, members of Congress and other high-ranking federal officials on issues concerning Italian Americans.

Can you tell us a bit about your Italian origins and how they have influenced your personal and professional life?

Certainly, my Italian origins have always been a significant part of my life. My grandparents were Italian immigrants, and many of my family traditions and values come from that tradition. Growing up, being Italian American was always a point of pride instilled in me by my family. My mother’s and father’s immigration experiences differed greatly, even though both families were from Italy. My mother came from the more common Italian American immigration experience of a family that was relatively poor but well-educated and had a family trade. The members of my father’s family were highly educated, wealthy when they lived in Italy, and became very respected, influential leaders after arriving in America. Unlike my mother’s family, my father’s did not move to the United States out of necessity.

The OSDIA has a long history of supporting the Italian American community. Can you tell us about some recent initiatives and new directions it has taken in recent years?

The OSDIA has existed for over 118 years, and we are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our members and community. Recently we have focused on expanding our membership base to include more youth and women in leadership positions. We have also opened some chapters in Italy and are working to strengthen our ties with the motherland. Additionally, we are utilizing new media channels to promote our organization and the Italian American community. Today we have become an organization of men and women who have donated tens of millions in charity, scholarships, disaster relief, while promoting our Italian heritage and fighting negative stereotypes, presenting the positive image of the great achievements of Italian Americans for the benefit of all Americans.

In what ways has the OSDIA contributed to the relationship between Italy and the United States?

The OSDIA has a long history of supporting Italy and the Italian American community. We have contributed to various causes in Italy, such as earthquake relief and rebuilding after recent flooding. We have also worked to promote Italian culture and traditions in the United States, which has helped strengthen the relationship between our two countries.

What do you see as the future directions of the OSDIA, and how do you see the organization evolving in the coming years?

The OSDIA will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our members and community. We will keep promoting Italian culture and heritage in the United States and working to strengthen the relationship between Italy and the US. We will also continue expanding our membership base and promoting leadership opportunities for women and youth. Overall, the OSDIA will remain that strong, vital organization that supports and celebrates the Italian American community in the tradition of its founder, Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro.

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