MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison County Commission postponed the inclusion of Juneteenth on its holiday calendar for the third consecutive time.
On Nov. 9, a proposal was made by District 6 Commissioner Violet Edwards at their meeting to add the historic holiday to the 2023 county schedule, granting county workers a paid day off.
“It is something that we have discussed for the past two years,” said Edwards. “For various reasons, we have been educating ourselves and getting comfortable with it.”
Juneteenth is a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas. The date marks the anniversary of the announcement made by Union Army General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865 — two years after the Proclamation was signed.
Despite the suggestion and backing by District 5 Commissioner Phil Vandiver, the motion was denied in a four-to-two vote.
Several cities in North Alabama, including Huntsville and Madison, have recognized the holiday. Since becoming a federal holiday in 2021, Governor Kay Ivey has authorized state offices, aside from essential personnel, to close in recognition of Juneteenth.
Some Commissioners believe more details need to be ironed out before approval.
“The issue with a full holiday is everybody gets off and the county shuts down,” said District 3 Commissioner Phil Riddick. “So everybody who needs county services can’t get them.”
A motion was made during the meeting to discuss the holiday at the beginning of 2023.