Seattle, WA – For the first time in its history, this year, the City of Seattle is celebrating Juneteenth as an official city holiday.
This is a result of legislation sponsored by Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2 – South Seattle & C-ID) in December of last year. While the holiday has been celebrated with events across Seattle for decades, this ordinance established Juneteenth as a legal holiday. As such, many City, State, and private employees will have tomorrow off. Councilmember Morales is encouraging Seattleites to use this time to reflect on the enduring impact of slavery on our society and institutions.
“As the sponsor of this legislation, it’s my hope that our city workforce and our community will take this time to acknowledge the disturbing role that slavery has played in shaping our institutions throughout the country,” said Councilmember Morales. “This unpaid, forced labor has generated billions of dollars of generational wealth for non-black communities, and it still shapes the country today.”
“Last month, I had the honor of joining the National African American Reparations Commission to discuss how we build a culture of repair in our city. While I’m proud of sponsoring the legislation that allows the City of Seattle to begin down that path by establishing the holiday to commemorate Juneteenth, I know that we have a lot of work to do to move toward true reparations for our Black neighbors.”
Councilmember Morales has included information on Juneteenth events happening across the city on her social media channels, @CMTammyMorales.