MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The St. Louis Park City Council is revisiting its decision to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from its meetings.
Five council members voted to drop the pledge last month. Since then, people across the community and country have responded.
Even before council members met inside Monday evening for a study session, protesters were waiting outside.
“A lot of our culture is based on traditions. The Pledge of Allegiance, being patriots, is a part of that,” said Jack Dunn, a veteran.
“It’s a free country. If you want to say it, you can say it. If you don’t want to say it, you don’t have to say it, but you shouldn’t have the right to take that choice away from me,” protester Michele Even said.
Public input was not supposed to be part of Monday evening’s session, but as the mayor and council attempted to revisit the issue they were often interrupted by a packed and heated room. Many recited the Pledge of Allegiance as council members tried to speak.
“We clearly fumbled by not anticipating the desire of our St. Louis Park residents to be in conversation about this,” said Anne Mavity, council member.
While some council members and the mayor suggested reinstating the pledge, others wanted more community input before moving forward.
“People are upset because evidently here in Minnesota we are playing around with their hallowed traditions,” said council member Tim Brausen, who was interrupted by shouts.
Mayor Jake Spano said the council’s next step is to talk with residents about what they would like to see before they decide whether to reinstate the pledge.
The outline for what that community input could look like will likely be discussed at the council’s study session July 22.