The recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and memorializing victims of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the subjects of two resolutions at Huntington’s next town board meeting.
Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said he will offer a resolution at the Tuesday meeting to establish an Asian American Task Force, and a second to create a memorial to those who died of COVID-19.
"These are both very important issues," Lupinacci said.
The Asian American Task Force's mission will be to alert town board members about topics impacting Huntington's Asian American residents, including education, health and economic development, while improving communication between the community and town government, he said.
Other goals include encouraging greater civic participation from the Asian American community, Lupinacci said, and improving cultural understanding between Asian Americans, the town, and other residents.
"The task force will help promote these [ideals] for the purposes of educational programs, conferences and projects," Lupinacci said. "We want to make sure that we continue to strengthen and build partnerships with our local Asian American community to ensure the delivery of governmental services and programs are responsive to the community’s needs."
The 10-member task force will be composed of community residents selected by the board. Each of the town’s five board members will be allowed to pick two representatives.
In September, town officials reestablished an African American Task Force that was first formed in 1991. The town also has a Hispanic Task Force. Both are comprised of community members who serve as liaisons between town officials and the community, and play pivotal roles in the planning and execution of Huntington's African American and Hispanic heritage programs.
Lupinacci also said that because several hundred Huntington residents have died of COVID-19 and the worldwide magnitude of the ongoing pandemic, he felt the need to create a memorial.
"We envision the memorial being a tribute to the victims, their families, and also a place where we can thank our frontline workers," Lupinacci said.
If that resolution passes, the directors of parks and recreation and general services will recommend an appropriate memorial and location, which will be due within 90 days, Lupinacci said.
The town board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.