ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene City Council is set to consider making June 19th, “Juneteenth,” an official city holiday.
In a city budget meeting held Tuesday, Mayor Anthony Williams, in consideration of a proposal made by City Manager Robert Hanna, made a motion to have a hearing regarding making Juneteenth a holiday recognized by the city.
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 every year as the anniversary of the end of slavery; June 19th, 1865 marks the day slaves in Texas learned they were free, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Mayor Anthony Williams likened the proposal to many years ago when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially recognized as a holiday, also.
The motion was pushed through unanimously, meaning all council members approved pushing through the proposal to be further discussed. City staff was asked to look into what peer cities are doing ahead of the next meeting.
According to Deputy City Manager Mindy Patterson, the city budget would not be affected.
“It would be very much cost neutral,” said Mindy Patterson. Patterson explained that employees would be allowed the day of and buildings would be shut down, just like other city holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The Abilene City Council will continue to consider the proposition as part of the final budget hearing, set for August 13.
Click to watch the portion of the meeting where the proposal is discussed.