MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump has thrown his two cents in on the controversy that’s brewing in St. Louis Park over the city council’s decision to suspend recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings.
“Outrage is growing in the Great State of Minnesota where our Patriots are now having to fight for the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance,” Trump tweeted, following a Fox News segment about the controversy on Tuesday morning.” “I will be fighting with you!”
Five council members voted to drop the pledge last month. Since then, people across the community and country have responded.
Protesters were waiting outside as the council met Monday evening for a study session. 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.
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.
There is no law that council meetings have to start off with the pledge, but if you take a look at two dozen of the largest cities across the state, the majority of them do.
Red Wing City Council approved the addition of a Statement of Intent to their agenda earlier this year to set a respective, inclusive tone for meetings. The addition of this Statement of Intent is not related to the Pledge of Allegiance. Everyone stands for the pledge, everyone sits for the statement, and no one is obligated to say either.
The Pledge of Allegiance is said before every Brooklyn Park City Council meeting.
“I look at the Pledge of Allegiance as a way to kind of share those beliefs that we all want a better life,” said Mayor Jeff Lunde.
He says in the 13-plus years he has served in city government, he has never seen one complaint about it. He calls his home the most diverse large city in the state, with 20% of residents who are foreign born.
“We are very diverse here. We have many faiths, we have many religions, cultures, languages, and this is one of the things that pulls us all together,” Lunde said.
City council members in St. Louis Park will talk with residents before they decide whether or not to reinstate the pledge. That will likely be discussed further at their study session in two weeks.
Minnesota City Councils That Do Not Say The Pledge Of Allegiance:
City Councils That Do Say The Pledge:
- St. Paul
- Brooklyn Park
- Maple Grove
- St. Cloud
- Golden Valley