Who We Are
The Little Italy Association
The Little Italy Association (LIA) is a public benefit corporation, 501(c)(3) established in 1996 to oversee and expedite the revitalization and beautification of the Little Italy neighborhood of Downtown San Diego. The Association works for the residents, property owners and businesses of Little Italy.
The Little Italy Association (LIA) is the only district management corporation of its kind in any Little Italy neighborhood in the United States. LIA deals with a variety of livability issues that range from sidewalk cleanliness to new building design review; from community schools to no-leash dog run parks. The Association pledges to advocate on behalf of its members’ best interests in the areas of public safety, beautification, promotion, and economic development while preserving the unique cultural resources that exist in the community.
The LIA currently has 26 Board Members that is comprised of property owners, residents, business owners and community-at-large representatives. The Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of every month at Our Lady of the Rosary Church Hall. For more detailed information on dates and location, visit the Master Calendar page. As a reminder, all Board and Committee meetings are open to the general public.
The current Officers of the Board are:
President | Steve Galasso (Caffe Italia)
Vice President | Danny Moceri (Native of Little Italy and Manager of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto)
Secretary | Luke Vinci (Resident of Little Italy)
Treasurer | Lou Palestini (Native of Little Italy and Former VP of SD National Bank)
The Association is managed by Marco Li Mandri, President of New City America, Inc.; a private company with expertise in development of Business Improvement Districts, Community Benefit Districts and neighborhood revitalization. Staff members of New City America, Inc., who also work on various projects for the Association include Shirley Zawadzki, Laura Li Mandri, Christopher Gomez, Rosie De Luca, Monica Montes, and Jeffrey Bracamonte.
The Administrators of the LIA are:
Chief Executive Administrator | Marco Li Mandri
Assistant Chief Executive Administrator | Shirley Zawadzki
District Manager | Christopher Gomez
Finance Manager | Rosie DeLuca
The Association’s annual revenue exceeded $2.18 million in FY13. Funds generated come from four different sources; the Little Italy Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), the Little Italy Business Improvement District (BID), the Little Italy Parking District, and various other programs. The MAD and BID include all parcels and businesses within a 48-square-block area of the North-West part Downtown San Diego.
The MAD, also know as the Little Italy Community Benefit District, generated approximately $665,000 in FY13. These funds provide for the services of maintenance workers and management staff who oversee regular sidewalk sweeping, installation and maintenance of trees and landscaping in the public right-of-way, evening maintenance workers, maintenance of public areas and piazzas, hanging of banners and decorations, and all beautification efforts. The MAD boundaries are defined by South-side of W. Laurel Street on the North, Interstate-5 freeway/West-side of Front Street on the East, the North-side of W. Ash Street on the South and the East-side of Pacific Highway on the West.
The BID generated approximately $116,000 in FY13. The BID funds provide for administration the revenues needed to promote and publicize the business district, coordinate community events and advocate on behalf of businesses. The BID boundaries are defined by South-side of W. Laurel Street on the North, Interstate-5 freeway/West-side of Front Street on the East, the North-side of W. A Street on the South and the East-side of Pacific Highway on the West.
The Little Italy Parking District generated approximately $366,000 in FY13. The Parking District funds are used to create parking solutions for the Little Italy District via a community-wide valet program, 2-hours free parking on Saturdays, collaborating with the City of San Diego to maximize surface street parking by restriping streets from parallel to diagonal or perpendicular, and other parking management programs.
An additional $694,000 in revenues were generated in FY13 from grants, income from special events, the Little Italy Mercato (Farmers’ Market), and contributions from the community supporters.
The Little Italy Association Board of Directors welcomes and encourages public input and participation in issues that affect our community. For more information on how you can get involved please contact the Little Italy Association at: