Senate vote moves Oregon
The Oregon Senate voted 28-0 Tuesday, June 1, in support of the bill to establish Juneteenth as an official state holiday in Oregon, following a 53-0 vote in the House in April. The bill now goes back to the House for action on amendments. State Sen. Lew Frederick, D-District 22, gave a moving floor speech prior to the vote in the Senate. “Juneteenth is not the date all slaves were freed," he said. "Juneteenth is not the date that Black Americans, or Black Oregonians, were guaranteed comfort, relief or safety. Juneteenth was a step forward and a marker of hope, one we must continue to build upon. This official holiday will recognize that the people of Oregon, despite our past, can take the veil of ignorance away, and each year choose to have hope – on Juneteenth and every day thereafter. With House Bill 2168, we can learn from another time. We can change the future now, in real time. We can work towards equality – even without a declaration or official holiday. We must. Celebrating Juneteenth will help each of us remember all that we can and must do to ensure a more just future."
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