Islip’s receiver of taxes and state senate candidate Alexis Weik is calling on the town to officially recognize Juneteenth as a holiday.
Weik, in a letter to Islip leaders, likened the day to Independence Day and called for it to be recognized as a town-wide holiday.
In one form or another, Juneteenth is commemorated in 47 states, recognizing June 19, 1865, as the day that the last remaining slaves — held in Galveston, Texas — received news that the Civil War had ended and that they were free.
Weik said the day is more than a day that represents freedom for a quarter-million people, but also an opportunity to celebrate how the nation can and will change for the better when needed.
“Just like July 4, Juneteenth is a day to celebrate independence in our country, and it must be justly recognized throughout our nation,” proclaimed Weik, a Republican state senate candidate challenging first-term incumbent Democrat Monica Martinez in this fall’s election.
“It is a day of historical significance that represents the point our nation began the process of correcting an egregious wrong, and thus its impact on our nation must always be remembered and honored,” she added.
Weik’s call builds on the effort of the U.S. Senate, which is considering making the day a national holiday.
“Thank you to Supervisor [Angie] Carpenter and the Town Board for their openness to this proposal,” Weik said. “I am committed to working with them to make sure that the residents of Islip have an annual opportunity to recognize this special day in American history.”