A group of Smithtown residents plan Saturday to call on city officials to fire a leader of the right-wing political activist group Long Island Loud Majority.
Protest organizers said in flyers promoting the rally that they opposed hiring Kevin W. Smith for a part-time job in the city’s audio-visual unit.
“Let Wehrheim know that we say no! the condition of the flyers, referring to supervisor Edward Wehrheim. Rally organizers could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The rally was scheduled for 2 p.m. outside Smithtown City Hall on West Main Street.
The Jan. 3 city council voted 5-0 to hire Smith as an audio-visual production specialist, according to meeting minutes posted on the city’s website.
Smith began working for the city on Jan. 9 at $19.91 an hour, according to a city council resolution.
Smith is a co-leader of Loud Majority, which has made frequent appearances at library and school board meetings to speak out against the teaching of what they call “critical race theory.” Members cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, in which Republican incumbent Donald Trump was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden.
Critical Race Theory was originally an approach to understanding the impact of race and racism on the American legal system. In recent decades, it has been embraced by social scientists and historians as a tool to explain racial differences in income, education, law enforcement, and life expectancy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks suspected hate groups, included Loud Majority on a list of “extreme anti-government groups.”
Smith and his co-leader Shawn Farash said Loud Majority is an advocacy group that is pro-Trump but not anti-government.
City spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo told Newsday in an email that “It was city policy not to comment on personnel matters. Additionally, city policy states that we do not do no discrimination in our hiring process, including political beliefs”.
Smithtown officials previously told Newsday that Smith’s audio-visual work does not require passing a civil service exam because it is a part-time position.
The job does not include health insurance or vacation accrual, but Smith is eligible to join the New York state retirement system, officials said.