Avondale joins growing list of Valley cities designating paid Juneteenth holiday

Feb 24, 2022, 7:00 PM
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)...
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

PHOENIX – Another city in the Valley has declared Juneteenth an official holiday for its community.

The Avondale City Council voted unanimously to recognize June 19 as a holiday and to extend paid leave to municipal workers.

Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise announced the move Thursday, as Black History Month winds down.

“By recognizing Juneteenth as an official holiday in Avondale, we are taking a significant step in our city’s history to show that we take pride in our diversity, and we are committed to the meaning and significance of the history surrounding Juneteenth,” Weise said in a press release.

The holiday falls on a Sunday this year; city workers will get the next day off and municipal services will be limited.

The West Valley suburb follows Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Phoenix, in creating a city holiday honoring the day in 1865 when soldiers in Galveston, Texas, informed the Black residents that slavery had ended.

Arizona became the 45th state to recognize Juneteenth in 2016.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill to create an annual federal Juneteenth holiday.

It was the first federal holiday added since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated in 1983.

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Avondale joins growing list of Valley cities designating paid Juneteenth holiday