A Minneapolis city council has voted to omit the Pledge of Allegiance from their meetings to appear more inclusive to the community.
The St. Louis Park City Council members voted to no longer recite the pledge so that members of their community would not feel intimidated by the traditional practice.
“I hope it’s not too controversial,” said Council Member Tim Brausen. “Our community tends to be a very welcoming and increasingly diverse community, and we believe our citizens will understand.”
Brausen cited “racial equity initiatives” as the reason for the move, stating that “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.”
However, the community has since made their voices heard regarding the decision to scrap the pledge from council meetings.
Jacque Smith, the city’s communications and marketing manager, said in an email to the Washington Post that the council plans to revisit the vote “after hearing many comments from the community.”
There was little discussion when the council voted 5-0 on June 17 to cut the pledge from their meetings. Council Member Anne Mavity who sponsored the vote said, “We all love our country dearly, and we demonstrate that by our service as elected officials all the time.”
“I want to make sure that we are welcoming to everyone in our community, and so I just felt that was an unnecessary component to include every single week in our work,” she concluded.
St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano, who was not present at initial meeting and did not vote, tweeted Thursday that he was not in favor of the decision.
“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,” he wrote.
Brausen said the council may use the pledge for some circumstances.
“If we have an appropriate opportunity, if we have Boy Scout color guards or others in attendance, or if it’s a special occasion, we will consider using the Pledge of Allegiance before the meetings.”
The council plans to revisit the topic during a study session that will take place July 8.