Chargé d’Affaires Kelly Degnan Remarks on Retake Rome

Retake Roma Initiative

March 18, 2017

(As prepared for delivery)

Good morning, I would like thank you all for coming out to do your part to make Rome more beautiful.

We are especially honored to have with us here this morning the Comune di Roma’s Councillor for Environmental Sustainability Pinuccia Montanari, and the President of Retake Roma, Simone Vellucci.

The municipality, private companies, and non-governmental organizations throughout Rome have a big challenge in Rome with trash that is not properly disposed of, illegal tags, and graffiti.

Litter and graffiti don’t just spoil the view; litter can also be a health risk to society, collecting many germs and bacteria and attracting rodents.

Retake Roma is an organization founded eight years ago with a mission to “take back” Rome by cleaning up the city, which has had a really positive impact.

Our three U.S. embassies in Rome have a Tri-Mission Green Team, which is dedicated to demonstrating the American values of conservation and bettering the communities we live in through volunteerism.

Today the Tri-Mission Green Team is proud to partner with Retake Roma to make this ancient historical area a more pleasant place for relaxation and enjoyment.

The Co-Founders of Retake Roma, Rebecca Spitzmiller, Paola Carra, and Lori Hickey have done a wonderful job of building this organization over the years and activating chapters throughout Italy.

Under the leadership of Simone Vellucci, the President of Retake Roma, the organization has expanded even more and now Retake Roma has over 40,000 likes on Facebook and several events per month.

It is wonderful to see people coming together to help restore part of this amazingly beautiful city and its natural environment for all of us to enjoy.

Once again, I want to thank you for coming out today in support of Retake Roma, the U.S. Tri-Mission Green Team, and a cleaner city of Rome.

Please help me welcome the President of Retake Roma, Simone Vellucci.