Federal government agencies and banks will observe the holidays on Monday. Some cities will also close their offices, but others will not.
NAMPA, Idaho- This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
The towns of Treasure Valley are mixed over their responses to Juneteenth, a holiday marking the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to free the slaves.
The holiday falls on Sunday, June 19 this year, but entities like the federal government and banks will recognize the holiday on Monday, June 20.
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Government buildings in Boise, Meridian and Nampa did not close last year, due to short notice. However, Governor Brad Little closed state offices on Friday, June 18.
This year, Meridian City Hall will be closed and employees will have June 20 off for the holidays, communications manager Stephany Galbreaith wrote in an email to the Idaho Press.
Boise and Garden City will also observe Juneteenth on June 20.
However, Nampa’s full-time employees will take paid leave on Dec. 23, according to Amy Bowman, communications manager for the city.
“This year we are using Juneteenth as a floating holiday; the same way Nampa City takes the Columbus Day holiday the day after Thanksgiving,” Bowman wrote in an email.
Kuna offices will be open, although employees can take the day off if they wish, Mayor Joe Stear said in an email. The town of Aigle will also remain open on Monday.
Last fall, Idaho County Commissioners debated whether to add Juneteenth to their list of holidays. Normally, government workers would have Monday off because the holiday falls on a non-working day this year, but Idaho County Treasurer Abbie Hudson told commissioners June 20 was the last day of property tax collection for the second half of the year, the Lewiston Tribune reported.
Idaho County Commission Chairman Skip Brandt went further.
“We have a lot of holidays…and I’m not inclined to add another one,” Brandt said, according to the Lewiston Tribune.
The holidays show what is valued by society, Kristin Haltinner, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Idaho, told The Idaho Press last fall. Holidays also create community and unity.
“I think the resistance to holidays that acknowledge some of these racist histories reflects the lack of reconciliation that Idaho has made with its own racist past,” Haltinner said at the time.
This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, learn more at IdahoPress.com.
Check out the latest news from Treasure Valley and Gem State in our YouTube playlist: