Stone Mountain City Council will reconsider vendor policy for Juneteenth event

City of Stone Mountain Municipal Building. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA — Following a heated special called meeting on June 7, the Stone Mountain City Council has another called meeting on June 11.

The agenda has only one item:

“To Review and to Consider Rescinding Action or Actions taken by the Juneteenth Event Committee”

A controversy over vendors is undermining Stone Mountain’s Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 to mark the day in 1865 when a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom. The announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln issued more than two-and-a-half years earlier.

The controversy came to a head at a June 7 special called Stone Mountain City Council meeting. During an update about the June 19 celebration, Councilmember Clint Monroe pressed members of the city’s Juneteenth Event Committee about denying a vendor permit to the Stone Mountain Action Coalition, a group that is advocating for removing Confederate symbols at Stone Mountain Park.

Mayor Patricia Wheeler quickly shut down that conversation at the June 7 meeting, calling on a vote to adjourn. The vote split 3-3, with Wheeler casting the tie-breaking vote to adjourn the meeting over the objections of Monroe and Councilmembers Gina Cox and Shawnette Bryant, who voted against adjourning the meeting.

Monroe asked if the real reason Wheeler wanted to end discussion about the Juneteenth Festival is because her opponent in the upcoming city elections, Darryl B. Gresham, asked to vend at the event and got turned down. Wheeler did not respond to questions about Monroe’s claims.

Monroe also wondered if a desire to keep Gresham out of the event also resulted in the Juneteenth Event Committee’s decision to block the Stone Mountain Action Coalition from vending at the event. The Juneteenth Event Committee rejected SMAC’s application, citing a rule against “political” vendors.

Here are the instructions to attend the June 11 special called meeting:

The public can access the meeting via City of Stone Mountain – Government Facebook Live or Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84250408511?pwd=eS9qdzh6NmViK0tBdWx0N3hNeUlVUT09

Meeting ID: 842 5040 8511

Passcode: 753935

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Meeting ID: 842 5040 8511

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kc4BSmMQf

For more information about this controversy, click here.

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