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LA City Council adding Juneteenth official holiday


For non-union city employees

The Los Angeles City Council has approved adding Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the U.S., as an official holiday for non-represented city employees and those represented by certain labor organizations.

The council is looking at approving recommendations from the city administrative officer to greenlight contract amendments with city employees and take the steps to codify Juneteenth (June 19) as an official holiday this month and the years that follow.

City code lists 12 legal holidays, but the “mayor by proclamation and the council by concurring resolution may declare a day or portion of a legal holiday,” according to a letter from City Administrative Officer Matthew Szabo to the council.

Former Mayor Eric Garcetti and the council recognized Juneteenth as a legal city holiday last year, and officially observed it June 20.

The city subsequently “memorialized” the holiday in December 2022 through contract negotiations with city employees, but only those represented by the Coalition of City Unions.

“Juneteenth” combines the words June and nineteenth, commemorating the day enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, were informed of their freedom–two months after the end of the Civil War and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

President Joe Biden signed legislation in June 2021 that made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia recognized Juneteenth as a public holiday as of last year.