(La Porte County, IN) - The day marking the end of slavery will now be recognized as a federal holiday by the La Porte County government.
The La Porte County Commissioners Wednesday night unanimously voted to give county employees the day off for Juneteenth.
Last June, several members of the African American community in Michigan City requested the paid vacation day for county employees, but the commissioners said it was too late to act just days before June 19.
Some people were left with the impression that the commissioners would revisit the consideration of Juneteenth as a paid holiday after January 1, 2023.
Commission President Sheila Matias said bringing the proposal back for consideration was a matter of respect and courtesy for county employees so they can plan their vacation schedules next year in advance.
“In fact, I work at Purdue Northwest, and we already have gotten the approved holiday schedule from the Board of Trustees of Purdue,” Matias said.
Michigan City resident Rodney McCormick said he was insulted by what he described as an effort merely to draw votes from the African American community for the November 8 election.
McCormick, a high-ranking board member of the Michigan City Housing Authority, said it seems like politicians only pursue support from the black community when it’s good for them and give back little if anything.
“You’re pandering for our votes. It’s not fair. It’s not right,” McCormick stated.
La Porte County Attorney Shaw Friedman said holiday schedules had been approved this time of year for the upcoming year for at least the past six years.