Town Board Recognizes International Heritage in Recognizing Columbus Day as Italian American Heritage Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month

During the Monday, September 26, 2021 Regular Meeting of the Wappinger Town Board, the Town of Wappinger formally recognized the following multi-cultural holidays to be celebrated in our Town.

Proclamation of Columbus Day as Italian American Heritage Day in the Town of Wappinger

WHEREAS, America has been continually renewed and enriched by the many different people who choose to come here and become our fellow citizens; and

WHEREAS, each person brings a part of his or her own heritage, which over time becomes part of our common heritage; and

WHEREAS, many generations of Italian Americans have helped make America the cultural melting pot it is today; and

WHEREAS, there are over 17,757,310 or 6% Italian Americans in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Italian Americans have succeeded as successful and notable artists, Nobel Laureate scientists, researchers, business leaders, human rights activists and community leaders; and

WHEREAS, Italian Americans are very proud of their roots and of their vital role in the continued growth of our nation; and

WHEREAS, Italian American Heritage Day or Columbus Day observance provides an opportunity for all Americans to learn more about the contributions of men and women from Italy have made to our nation and to the world at large.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger does hereby recognize and proclaim Columbus Day as “Italian American Heritage Day” and encourages all citizens to recognize our Italian Americans and the many contributions they have had made to our country.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Town of Wappinger

The following Resolution expressing support for the designation of the second Monday in October as ‘‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’’ to celebrate and honor indigenous peoples and their shared history and culture, was introduced by Dr. Richard Thurston and seconded by Councilman William H. Beale

Whereas, ‘‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’’ was first proposed in 1977, by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations International Conference on Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas;

Whereas,  Currently over 50 municipalities and 10 States celebrate ‘‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’’ on the second Monday of October;

Whereas, Columbus Day is a Federal holiday, established by order of President Roosevelt in 1937, and is officially recognized by many cities and States around the country, including the town of Wappinger, on the second Monday of October;

Whereas, Indigenous peoples have lived and flourished in the Americas, most especially New York region including Wappinger, for thousands of years;

Whereas, the Town Board recognizes and values the vast contributions made to the United States and especially to the greater Wappinger community,  by indigenous peoples’ knowledge, science, philosophy, arts, and culture;

Whereas, the Town Board strongly embraces the responsibility to foster inclusivity, racial equity, and justice for all people within and related to our community;

Whereas the Town Board recognizes its responsibility to honor our Town’s indigenous roots, history, traditions, and cultural contributions; and

Whereas, the second Monday in October would be an appropriate date to designate, concurrently with Columbus Day, as ‘‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger honors and recognizes the unique contributions that indigenous peoples have made to the Town of Wappinger and encourages the people of Wappinger to celebrate and promote awareness of indigenous peoples and their shared history and culture in our community and further designates the second Monday of October as ‘‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’’, concurrently with Columbus Day.

Proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Month

in the Town of Wappinger

The following Resolution expressing support for a one month period from September 15, 2021, through October 15, 2021, as ‘‘Hispanic Heritage Month’’, to celebrate and honor the Latinx heritage and culture in the Town of Wappinger and the immense contributions of Latinx peoples to Wappinger and throughout the United States of America.

Whereas, the Bureau of the Census, in the 2020 Census Report, estimates the Hispanic/Latinx population living in the Dutchess County at more than 42,000, people, or 35% of the total population of the County;

Whereas, under the 2020 Census, there were close to 4,500 or more Hispanic/Latinx residents in the Town of Wappinger, equating to approximately 16% of our population, which represents a significant growth over the 2010 census;

Whereas, Hispanic/Latinx peoples play a very important role in and throughout our community, in its economy, and in its culture.

Whereas, Hispanic/Latinx-owned businesses represent the fastest growing segment of small businesses in the United States, with Hispanic/Latinx-owned businesses growing at more than 15 times the national rate;

Whereas, as of August 2018, more than 28,000,000 Latinx workers represented 17 percent of the total civilian labor force of the United States, and, as a result of Latinx experiencing the fastest population growth of all race and ethnicity groups in the United States, the rate of Latinx participation in the labor force is expected to grow to 20 percent by 2024, accounting for 1⁄5 of the total labor force;

Whereas Hispanic/Latinx Americans serve in all branches of the Armed Forces and have fought bravely in every war in the history of the United States;

Whereas, as of 2019, there are more than 200,000 Hispanic/Latinx members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty and approximately 1,200,000 Hispanic/Latinx veterans of the Armed Forces;

Whereas, as of August 2019, at least 688 fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan were members of the Armed Forces who were Hispanic/Latinx;

Whereas, Hispanic/Latinx Americans harbor a deep commitment to family and community, an enduring work ethic, and a perseverance to succeed and contribute to society:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the Town Board recognizes the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15, 2019, through October 15, 2019 further recognizes the integral role of Hispanic/Latinx peoples and the manifold heritages of Hispanic/Latinx peoples in the economy, culture, and identity of the Wappinger community; and urges the people of the Town of Wappinger to observe Hispanic Heritage Month with appropriate programs and activities that celebrate the contributions of Hispanic/Latinx to the Town of Wappinger.

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