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City Mulls Declaring Juneteenth a City Holiday

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the US. Activities on such a holiday could be planned to engage the entire community in learning and celebrating the strength and resilience of the African American people and to promote the well-being of the African-American community in College Park.

Recently, the City also recognized Juneteenth as the National Freedom Day.

Currrently, the City provides basically the same holidays as do other municipalities except for the two holidays given every four years for the presidential election and presidential inauguration. Human Resources also discussed with union leadership if they would be interested in trading the two presidential holidays which occur every 4 years for the Juneteenth holiday which would occur every year. Union leadership was interested, but union membership was not. The fact that this is a presidential election year (when they would actually get the 2 holidays) probably had something to do with their response.

At this week’s meeting the Council will discuss the proposal. Staff is recommending approving the Juneteenth holiday for an annual holiday on June 19 and negotiate formally with the bargaining unit before June 19, 2021 to “trade” the two presidential holidays (election and inauguration).

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