Longmont Council is considering designating June 19 as an official city government holiday

Longmont would add Juneteenth to its annual set of official holidays observed by the city, under a proposal submitted for discussion by the city council on Tuesday evening.

If passed by the council at a future meeting, the city’s designation of Juneteenth as a holiday would mark Longmont’s recognition of the holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to tell slaves they were free.

Longmont’s adoption of Juneteenth as an officially recognized holiday would provide for the annual closure of most city government facilities on June 19 – or, as may be celebrated next year since June 19, 2022 is a Sunday – the June 20 in 2022, and add it to the annual paid vacation schedules of employees of the Town of Longmont.

Last June 14, then-Mayor Brian Bagley read a proclamation regarding the observance of June 19 and requested that the proclamation be placed on the upcoming agenda as a resolution for consideration by the municipal council, which he did and adopted on July 13th.

The resolution stated that members of council “recognize the historical significance of Juneteenth” and “support the continuation of the celebration of Juneteenth to provide the residents of the Town of Longmont with an opportunity to learn more about the past, better understand the experiences that shaped the nation.”

The council said in its July resolution that it encourages the residents of Longmont “to observe June 16 with appropriate ceremonies, activities and programs” and that “as a government agency, we oppose and reject any form of oppression, we are committed to supporting our residents and local entities working for equality and the protection of human rights.

Joanne Zias, the city’s director of social services, wrote to council in a memo for Tuesday night’s discussion that Longmont currently recognizes 10 holidays: New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King Jr Day; President’s Day; Remembrance Day ; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving ; the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Zeas wrote to council that city staff were considering whether to incorporate Juneteenth as a recognized holiday into the city employee benefits plan. His memo says the holiday is prioritized for possible incorporation due to July’s council resolution regarding the annual observance of the June 19 date.

If council agrees to move forward with the idea, staff would come back, at a future meeting, with a proposed ordinance that council should formally approve to add the day to its current list of holidays. .

Longmont staff is not proposing, as part of the revision to the city’s holiday list, the addition of Columbus Day – or as some governmental jurisdictions have replaced or concurrently renamed or included it – Columbus Day. of indigenous peoples.

Zeas noted in his memo to the board that on October 8, President Joe Biden declared October 11, 2021 to be recognized as Indigenous Peoples Day, for the same day officially recognized as the federal holiday of Columbus Day. Neither Columbus Day nor Indigenous Peoples Day are currently included in the Town of Longmont’s holiday calendar.

If you are going to:

What: Longmont Town Council Regular Meeting

When: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday

Or: Civic Center Council Chamber, 350 Kimbark Street, Longmont

Agenda: tinyurl.com/4vzhxkax

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