A Minnesota city council that voted last month to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings reversed that decision Monday night after protests began to take a toll on city staff, according to the
Last month, St. Louis Park, Minnesota’s city council voted to stop reciting the pledge at meetings in the name of diversity and inclusiveness.
After numerous protests at subsequent council meetings, the council unanimously voted to reinstate the pledge in order to move on to other issues and relieve pressure on city workers from protesters both in the city and nationally.
“There are many from outside of St. Louis Park who are abusing and harassing our city staff, making it very difficult for them to serve the residents and businesses in our city, which is the very reason our local government exists,” councilman Thom Miller said Monday.
The council apparently believed initially that removing the Pledge of Allegiance from council meetings would allow “more diverse communities” to feel comfortable participating in local government. It’s unclear why the pledge, which is a saying of unity, would make St. Louis Park residents uncomfortable.
“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,” Council Member Tim Brausen said last month. “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 all locals understood the initial decision to end recitation of the pledge.
“Why take that right away from other Americans who are really proud to be united and indivisible in one nation?” Marni Hockenberg of Roseville told the Star Tribune. “I think the Pledge of Allegiance celebrates our diversity, that we’re all united.”