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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Twitter photo / @ArizonaDOT)...

Crash on I-17 in Phoenix hospitalizes 5, closes freeway for several hours

A vehicle collision on southbound Interstate 17 near Loop 101 and Bell Road sent five people to the hospital and closed a freeway in north Phoenix on Thursday evening for hours.
7 hours ago
(Twitter Photo / @SecretaryPete)...
Balin Overstolz McNair

Downtown and South Phoenix to connect with major investment

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced millions in funding for Arizona from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and grant money at a Phoenix event Thursday.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo / Maricopa County Animal Care and Control)...
Alex Weiner

Maricopa County shelters at max capacity, in need of pet adoptions

The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters are at maximum capacity and are looking for residents to adopt or foster animals.
7 hours ago
(Getty Images Photos)...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Aug. 12-14

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of Aug. 12-14.
7 hours ago
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)...

Maricopa County Sheriff Penzone says election security plan will go up ‘notch’ in fall

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said after a successful security undertaking in the primary, his office will use much the same plan for the November general election.
7 hours ago
(ADOT Photo)...

State Route 143 closure near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to disrupt drivers this weekend

A State Route 143 closure near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is one of several closures that will disrupt drivers this weekend.
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Phoenix Mayor Gallego to seek creation of Juneteenth city holiday