But that holiday won't be added to the list for Sioux City's city workers.
It's been an ongoing battle for more than 20 years now, but Monday night City Council ended the discussion.With a unanimous vote, five council members elected not to observe Martin Luther King Day as city holiday or paid holiday for city workers. "$165,000 dollars is a lot of money to come out of a budget and I think that we're-- we're better off in the grand scheme of things here to acknowledge him our way. You know, if we do-we'll have press there. We'll be talking about Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I mean to me that's what it's all about is acknowledgement," said Council Member Rhonda Capron. Union members and some people attending the meeting say the decision not to recognize the holiday for workers is disappointing and that budget shouldn't be the deciding factor. "They won't do it unless they receive something in return. So, if it's about doing the right thing then you know, then I don't understand the economic ramifications of it," said Preston DeBoer, AFSCME union representative who spoke on behalf of fellow union city workers. With collective bargaining set for 2015, city workers can only receive holiday pay on MLK day, if in 2 years leaders trade for another holiday or return the 1$65,000 dollars to the City.
For one Sioux Citian who's been fighting 27 years for city leaders to recognize holiday, he says it's an unfair vote that minimizes Dr. King's legacy "The federal government decided that or accepted the fact that he had done enough with the holiday, federal holiday. Our state decided that they would buy into that and created the holiday as well went along with. Our county, Woodbury County, did the same thing, accepted that and problem-the only problem we're having is with the city, the city of Sioux City," said former Sioux City Human Rights Commission director, Richard Hayes. Council members hope to compromise with community celebration to honor and remember Dr. King.
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