Goodyear City Council voted Monday to add Juneteenth to its list of paid city holidays, expected to cost the city $123,500 annually.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., and originated in Galveston, Texas, when 2,000 Union troops marched into Confederate-held Galveston Bay and announced that the 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free.
The announcement came on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
President Joe Biden recognized June 19 as a national holiday on June 17, 2021.
Juneteenth was the first holiday to be federally recognized since 1983, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recognized by President Reagan.
Goodyear isn’t the first local government in the Southwest Valley to recognize Juneteenth.
In July, Litchfield Park City Council added Juneteenth, along with New Year’s Eve, to its list of paid holidays.
Staff at the city of Goodyear now have 12 days of paid holidays including one “floating holiday.”
The city of Goodyear’s meeting calendar and agendas can be found on its website. Regular city council meetings are held in person at the Municipal Court and Council Chambers, 14455 W. Van Buren St., Suite B101, and are streamed live on the city's website and on YouTube.
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