Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop signed an executive order declaring Juneteenth, the day to recognize when Texan slaves were freed in 1865, as a formal holiday for municipal workers.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Over the last few years, I’ve only used the Jersey City’s ‘All Employee’ email function on select occasions, particularly when a significant message or meaningful change in policy needed to be shared. This is one of those instances,” Fulop wrote this morning.
Noting that while the conversation nationwide has turned to police reforms, indicating that it is likely a third party vendor will be brought in to do de-escalation training for the Jersey City Police Department, he explains why he felt it was necessary to formally acknowledge Juneteenth as a municipal holiday.
” … I wanted to use this opportunity to share that today I signed an executive order for Juneteenth (June 19th) to be added as a formal holiday for Jersey City municipal employees and to be added to the list of holidays where government will be closed. This will be in perpetuity,” Fulop explained.
” … To me, we as a city are embarking on a long term conversation about actionable reform with regards to how we define ourselves as a city. Recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday is a small step in acknowledging the fact that we have had a less than adequate conversation around our country’s history with slavery and the impact it still has on our communities.”
In recent years, Jersey City has celebrated Juneteenth with a flag raising ceremony at City Hall.
Additionally, a peaceful march to commemorate the occasion is currently scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m.
Demonstrators are planning to meet at the Mary L. McLeod Bethune Center, located at 140 Martin Luther King Dr., before making their way to the public safety complex near the intersection of MLK Drive and Kearney Avenue.