New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson released the following statement calling for Juneteenth to be made a federal holiday and announcing that the New York City Council is observing Juneteenth as a holiday.  

“Juneteenth is celebrated as the true end to slavery in this country, though it came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. June 19th signifies the ongoing fight for real equality for Black people in our country—which is always urgent, especially right now. 

“Observing Juneteenth reinforces our collective commitment to the fight for racial justice. It’s a day that reminds us of the importance and seriousness of the work that’s been done towards securing civil rights for all Americans, and all that we have yet to do. The Council will observe today as a holiday. Senator Kamala Harris announced last night that she will introduce a bill declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday, and I urge Congress to act quickly to make this happen.  

“Let’s stand together and do the work, as a city and as a country.”