ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Mayor Gallego to seek creation of Juneteenth city holiday

Jun 18, 2021, 3:00 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2021, 2:15 pm

kate gallego juneteenth...

(City of Phoenix Photo)

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX – Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego signed a Juneteenth proclamation on Friday and said she will push for the city to follow the U.S. government in making it into an official holiday.

“I hope the people of Phoenix will do as the proclamation suggests and take a moment on Saturday to pause and reflect on the promise of freedom and all it entails,” Gallego said during a proclamation signing ceremony with members of Phoenix’s Black community, according to a press release.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill that created an annual federal holiday for Juneteenth, a name that combines June and nineteenth and commemorates the end of slavery in the country.

The holiday has long been celebrated in the Black community on June 19, the date in 1865 when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

This year’s Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration will take place Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Phoenix’s Eastlake Park at Jefferson and 16th streets.

“It is important to recognize the importance of this day,” Gallego said.

“Part of our job is to understand the history, appreciate the changes that have taken place since the original Juneteenth, while never losing sight of the fact that – even now – we have more work to do to fulfill the promises of freedom, equality and opportunity.”

The release said Gallego plans to place making Juneteenth a city holiday in front of the City Council in the fall.

The bill for the federal holiday passed the Senate unanimously and received 14 no votes from House Republicans, including two from Arizona, Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously had 1965 as the date of the holiday’s origin.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona election worker threatened by California man, officials say...

KTAR.com

California man arrested for sending threatening voicemails to Arizona elections official

A California man allegedly sent threatening voicemails to an Arizona election worker in November 2022, the Justice Department said.

2 hours ago

14th annual Dog Days of Glendale event 2024...

Serena O'Sullivan

Annual Dog Days of Glendale festival returns this weekend

The 14th annual Dog Days of Glendale event will take place at Glendale Landmark School on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

2 hours ago

How the Business Connect program will help Lauren Allen catering...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix catering company to benefit from NFL’s Business Connect program ahead of Final Four

Lauren Allen, a catering and event company, will benefit from the NFL's Business Connect program, which returned in January.

2 hours ago

Tables with balloons and displays are set up Arizona State Fairgrounds Exhibit Building before the ...

Kevin Stone

Attention shoppers: Junior League of Phoenix Rummage Sale returns to Arizona State Fairgrounds

The Junior League of Phoenix’s Annual Rummage Sale -- aka "Arizona's largest indoor garage sale" -- returns to the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix on Saturday.

2 hours ago

Roberto Jay Vasquez, 63, went missing on Wednesday, DPS said...

Serena O'Sullivan

Silver Alert issued for missing 63-year-old man last seen walking in Phoenix

The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert on Thursday evening for Roberto Jay Vasquez, 63, who was last seen Wednesday.

10 hours ago

A lot of money stuffed inside a briefcase....

KTAR.com

Fantasy 5 ticket worth $348,000 sold at grocery store in Phoenix

Luck struck at a Phoenix grocery store after one person hit the jackpot in an Arizona Lottery game on Wednesday, officials said.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Phoenix Mayor Gallego to seek creation of Juneteenth city holiday