MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn., (WKRN) — Montgomery County leaders will decide if Juneteenth should be an official holiday.
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 as the day the last of the enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Montgomery County Commissioner Rashidah Leverett proposed making it a holiday with pay for county workers. She said she was inspired by Shelby County passing a similar measure.
“Simultaneously there was an increase in awareness of Juneteenth. Now, this is 155-year-old holiday that most people in the African American community know about and some other communities around the country but there was a new audience and a new collective awareness around Juneteenth given the situations that happened here in our country,” said Leverett. “Clarksville-Montgomery County was named the number one city in America by money magazine so I thought what a way to attract more diversity and more voices to the Clarksville Montgomery county community by showing how we celebrate various holidays.”
Leverett said it would cost about $227,000 dollars to pay county employees to have that holiday.
“But, we’re already paying that. It’s already in the budget. Whether our employees are at work or not we’re going to pay that money so there’s no new money to the tax payers,” said Leverett. “I’m always conscious about whether or not we’re costing the tax payers more money. There is no new money for tax payers because it’s already written in the budget. What we will have is a day off but the cost is already there.”
Commissioners will vote on the resolution at their meeting Monday.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.