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Raleigh mayor, Wake County leaders push to officially recognize Juneteenth as local holiday

RALEIGH (WTVD) — The Wake County Board of Commissioners plan to vote on Monday to officially recognize Juneteenth as a local holiday.

“#Juneteenth will soon be a holiday in #WakeCounty. I can confirm the entire #WakeBOC intends to vote for this proclamation at our July 6 meeting,” Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford tweeted on the afternoon of the Fourth of July.

According to the Wake County proclamation, the vote would recognize June 19 as Juneteenth and make the day a paid holiday for Wake County Government Employees. If the vote were to pass, the holiday would immediately be adopted on July 6.

Ford calling the decision ‘both timely and overdue,’ immediately following the statement with a call to action for state and local governments to follow the example. The chairman went on to thank fellow Wake County Board of Commissioners member, Jessica Holmes.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin supporting Ford’s call to action saying, “We will be doing the same in Raleigh.”

The push to recognize the holiday comes as the nation faces calls to recognize systemic racism and create change. On Juneteenth, demonstrators in Raleigh toppled two statues from the 75-foot tall Confederate monument that formerly stood outside of the North Carolina Capitol building.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

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