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 Board of Directors meet monthly, usually on the first Tuesday at Our Lady of the Rosary Hall; for detailed dates, visit the Event Calendar page. All Board meetings and Committee meetings are open to the general public. The Association currently has 22 Board members who comprise of property owners, residents, businesses and community-at-large.
The officers of the corporation 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)
Little Italy Administration:
Chief Executive Administrator: Marco Li Mandri
Assistant Chief Executive Administrator: Shirley Zawadzki
District Manager: Christopher Gomez
Finance Manager: Rosie DeLuca
The Association is managed by Marco Li Mandri, President of New City America, Inc.; a private company with expertise in development of business improvement district, community benefit district 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, John Li Mandri and Joey Li Mandri.
The Association’s annual revenue exceeded $1.2 million last fiscal year (FY10). Funds are generated from two types of assessments collected from the Little Italy’s property owners and businesses. The Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) and Business Improvement District (BID) include all parcels and businesses within a 48-square-block area of Downtown San Diego. The MAD boundaries are defined by South-side of Laurel Street on the north, Interstate-5 freeway and the West-side of Front Street on the east, the North-side of Ash Street on the south and the East-side of Pacific Highway on the west.
The MAD, also know as the Little Italy Community Benefit District, will generate approximately $725,000 in revenue this fiscal year (FY11). 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 BID will generate approximately $100,000 this fiscal year (FY11). 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. An additional $200,000 in LIA revenues are generated from grants, income from special events, the Little Italy Mercato (Farmers’ Market), and contributions from the community supporters. The BID boundaries are defined by South-side of Laurel Street on the north, Interstate-5 freeway and the West-side of Front Street on the east, the North-side of ‘A’ Street on the south and the East-side of Pacific Highway on the west.
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: