May 2, 2022 - News

Marietta designates Juneteenth a paid city holiday

Illustration of Juneteenth flag planted in a June calendar-covered ground
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly two weeks after it was vetoed by the mayor, Marietta council members Friday approved a plan to make Juneteenth and Veterans Day paid holidays for city employees.

Why it matters: Marietta is 32% Black, according to U.S. Census figures, and including Juneteenth on their list of recognized holidays would show they value the significance of this day for Black residents.

Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865, marks the day when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned they had been freed, despite the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the Confederacy more than two years earlier.

Catch up quick: A divided Marietta City Council in April voted 4-3 to approve designating Juneteenth a paid holiday, but Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin vetoed the approval because he thought Veterans Day should have been included in the proposal.

What they’re saying: Tumlin said Friday that he was proud to be a part of a council that approved both holidays, which will be “good for the community.”

  • Council member Cheryl Richardson, a Black council member and veteran, said she and her colleagues had a “rough couple of weeks,” but proved that "we can come together to get the things done for our citizens, for our staff whenever we need to.”

Of note: Juneteenth will fall on a Sunday this year, so any government observances will be on Monday.

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