A city council in Minnesota voted to abolish the Pledge of Allegiance formally recited at its bimonthly city council meetings earlier in June, but the decision has faced backlash from around the country.
The St. Louis Park City Council voted June 17 to get rid of the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings to make sure all residents felt comfortable attending, and people throughout the nation are accusing the city of not being patriotic, The Washington Post reported.
Tim Brausen, a city council member, said there was concern among his colleagues about potentially intimidating newer immigrants.
“We’ve had some racial equity initiatives going on in the city of St. Louis Park for awhile where we’re trying to get more diverse communities and historically less engaged communities to come and participate in our public process,” he told the Star Tribune. “Given the current Washington politics that are going on now, there’s a lot of people that are afraid of our government, and we worry about that.”
“Not everyone who does business with the city or has a conversation is a citizen,” said Anne Mavity, a council member who introduced the proposal, according to KARE 11. “They certainly don’t need to come into city council chambers and pledge their allegiance to our country in order to tell us what their input is about a sidewalk in front of their home.”
Minnesota State Republicans said in a tweet the decision was “SHOCKING,” and Joe Pagliarulo, a talk show host, said the city should not be allowed to say it is American. (RELATED: Democratic Mayor: ‘We Are Sick And Tired’ Of Government Inaction On Illegal Immigration)
Jake Spano, Mayor of South Louis Park, tweeted Thursday evening that the council would be re-visiting its vote, which passed unanimously in a matter of minutes. Spano tweeted that he was not present at the vote and was not a fan of it.
2/3 Historically when a decision is made by the council, it’s over and we move on but after hearing from more people than I can count in the last day (many admittedly not from SLP), I asked my colleagues to revisit this decision and a majority of them agreed.
— Jake Spano (@spanojake) June 28, 2019
“I hope it’s not too controversial,” Brausen said. “Our community tends to be a very welcoming and increasingly diverse community, and we believe our citizens will understand … Unfortunately, some of us feel like patriotism has been so politicized that it’s almost used as a weapon against people.”
The city council will re-vote on the issue July 8, according to Spano.
Spano, Brausen and the St. Louis Park City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The City Council will re-vote on the issue July 8, not June 8.