The president and CEO of a local nonprofit is ready to make some changes in Huntington if elected in November.
“I care so much about our neighbors, so many of our neighbors, both families and businesses, are struggling with the economic assaults of COVID-19. And I think this is a very unique time in history. We need an executive in the supervisor’s office with a record of innovation.”
— Rebecca Sanin
Earlier this month, the Huntington Town Democratic Committee announced Rebecca Sanin’s run for Town of Huntington supervisor. The 42-year-old, who lives in Huntington Station with her family, has served as the president and CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island since 2017. Prior to that, she worked with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s (D) administration for more than five years as an assistant deputy county executive.
“I worked on creating an environment of continuous improvement, and I would bring those skill sets to Town Hall to make sure that we’re doing an analysis of what we should be doing, what we can be doing, how we can do things differently, how we can improve public service,” she said. “And, how we can create better access so that every member of our community feels that they can connect with their leaders and departments in the town.”
Sanin added that due to her work in the county and the nonprofit sector she has experience working with different levels of government.
“I think it’s very important that an executive in the Town of Huntington is able to work with the state as it’s recovering from COVID-19 and is able to work with the county, is able to work effectively with the villages,” she said. “These relationships are very important when it comes to making sure that every Huntington resident is effectively served, and I bring that skill set to this candidacy.”
The candidate said with the council she has helped to bring the nonprofit business community together and has helped to lead the sector through the pandemic.
She said for her being in the political arena is all about public service, and at a young age she used to volunteer to serve food in soup kitchens.
When the Huntington school district school board began talks in 2010 to close the Jack Abrams Intermediate School due to crime in the area, Sanin worked with others to try to get the school reopened. She said it was important to the children and families in the community, and she felt there was a way to keep children in the school while residents worked to eliminate neighborhood gang and gun violence.
“It was the Jack Abrams school closing that really birthed in me the importance of advocacy, and the importance of community togetherness and working together with the community too, to make sure that we have the best outcomes we can for families,” she added.
Sanin’s love for the town runs deep.
“I care so much about our neighbors, so many of our neighbors, both families and businesses, are struggling with the economic assaults of COVID-19,” she said. “And I think this is a very unique time in history. We need an executive in the supervisor’s office with a record of innovation.”
She added that the town could be a model to show what it means to put people first and show support for the business community.
“We really need to be creative about how we build our future together,” Sanin said. “One of my greatest strengths is consensus building — bringing people together, helping people to work together toward solutions. You know, I want to take my skill set and my record of leadership and bring it to the town that I love more than any.”
“One of my greatest strengths is consensus building — bringing people together, helping people to work together toward solutions.”
— Rebecca Sanin
When it comes to the pandemic, she said she believes the aftereffects will be felt for years to come.
“It’s a multiyear recession, for sure, and it’s a time in which people who were struggling before COVID are now in crisis, and a whole lot of people who have never struggled in their lives are losing their businesses or losing their livelihoods or losing their jobs,” she said. “We have to be creative and think about the role of the town, and how the town can play a leadership role in catalyzing our recovery.”
Sanin recognizes how unique and diverse Huntington is with its different hamlets, where residents in one area may have different concerns than another part of the town.
“It’s very important that we listen to the community when we decide our priorities,” she said. “An executive shouldn’t come into office and say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ We should be listening to the community, we should be responding to the needs of the community — both families and the business community. And I think we have to be doing that with an eye toward innovation, because these are very unique times. And if we don’t innovate — if we aren’t willing to reflect and do the analysis that’s necessary to build a bright future — then we’re going to have significant challenges.”
The candidate said people’s faith in government needs to be restored, and it starts by putting qualified people in as department heads.
Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) has not announced if he will be running again for office in November. There are rumors that Councilman Eugene Cook (R) will run instead, but no official announcement has been made.
Sanin said no matter who runs, she will still be a fresh face in town government. On the same ticket there will be two candidates for council members: Jennifer Hebert of Huntington and Joe Schramm of Northport, who are both running for office for the first time.
“They’re extremely dedicated to making sure that Huntington residents get what they need and deserve,” Sanin said.