St. Louis Park City Council reinstates Pledge of Allegiance

The St. Louis Park City Council voted to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance following a controversial move earlier this month.

After recently voting to reduce the recital of the Pledge, the council received significant pushback from community members.

On Monday night, council member Thom Miller started the meeting by moving to reinstate the pledge. Then, each council member took turns speaking on the issue and voted unanimously to reinstate it.

“I’ve concluded that I made a mistake and I’m sorry and I’m asking for forgiveness,” said city council member Steve Hallfin.

Many spoke to threatening phone calls and emails they received over the last three weeks, saying it was affecting their ability to do their jobs, and negatively impacting staff.

“It’s impacting our staff’s productivity and mental health. Our wonderful staff. It’s costing us money,” said council member Margaret Rog. 

Rog also spoke to the fact that many of the protesters who showed up at city hall Monday were not St. Louis Park residents.

“You visitors from Coon Rapids, Orono, Lakeville, Rochester—wherever you’re from: take your energy for civic engagement back to your own communities.”

Council member Anne Mavity, who proposed the original vote to limit the reciting of the pledge, voted Monday to reinstate it--but not before addressing her critics.

“I’m not sure that if you say the pledge three times a month instead of this two, you’re more patriotic. Or if you say it one time a month you’re less patriotic. That makes no sense,” she said.  

That sentiment was echoed by council member Tim Brausen. 

“You want people to hate us because we start our meetings in a way you deem politically incorrect,” said Brausen. “As we strive to have liberty and justice for all, please let us have our liberty here and respect our local control.”

The council voted 7-0 to reinstate the pledge immediately.