(La Porte County, IN) - There’s a push to have Juneteenth recognized as a federal holiday in La Porte County.
Currently, La Porte County government employees do not get a day off recognizing the official end of slavery in the U.S.
La Porte County Republican Party Chairman Allen Stevens said Juneteenth should be recognized locally like other federal holidays. He said it’s essential to do so not just for African Americans but all county residents.
Stevens said Juneteenth falling on June 19 was a declaration of independence for African Americans, much like July 4 marks the country’s independence from England following the Revolutionary War.
“It’s a very important day not just for the 11-percent of La Porte County that’s African American but really all 110,000 of us as residents of La Porte County to recognize the importance of African American independence on Juneteenth,” Stevens said.
La Porte County Commissioner Joe Haney says he will propose that Juneteenth be recognized as a holiday by the county government at the beginning of next year.
Several African American residents from Michigan City asked the county commissioners last week for Juneteenth to be recognized as a holiday by the county government. They were told their request came too late, though, because of June 19 being just a few days away and were advised to make their request much sooner next year.