Stone Mountain Juneteenth vendor proposal will be considered at June 15 meeting

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

Stone Mountain, GA — During a June 15 special called meeting, the Stone Mountain City Council will have its third discussion about allowing a vendor previously rejected for the city’s upcoming Juneteenth Celebration.

The special called meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be virtual. Here are the access instructions:

Mayor & Council Special Called & Work Session
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
6:30 PM
There is no in-person attendance to this meeting. The public can access the meeting via City of Stone Mountain – Government Facebook Live or Zoom.
Meeting ID: 885 7610 7852
Passcode: 146489
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Meeting ID: 885 7610 7852
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcCK1fW3k

The City Council held a special called meeting on June 11 to reconsider its policy on vendors for the event. But Mayor Patricia Wheeler and councilmembers Chakira Johnson, Jasmine Little and Diana Roe Hollis didn’t attend the meeting.

Because the City Council lacked a quorum, it couldn’t conduct any business and the meeting ended. Councilmember Clint Monroe called the meeting.

Johnson and Little are members of the city’s Juneteenth Event Committee. They, along with Hollis, on June 7 voted to adjourn the June 7 special called meeting over the objections of councilmember Monroe and councilmembers Shawnette Bryant and Gina Cox. Cox and Bryant joined Monroe at the June 11 meeting.

At the June 7 meeting, 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.

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.

A resolution reinstating the Stone Mountain Action Coalition as a vendor is on the June 15 meeting agenda.

Ostensibly the Juneteenth Committee rejected the Stone Mountain Action Coalition’s application because of a rule against “political” vendors.

Monroe has asked if the real reason Wheeler wanted to end discussions 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. The event committee rejected Gresham’s application on June 1. On June 2, the Juneteenth Event Committee returned the vendor application form to the Stone Mountain Action Coalition.

Monroe questioned whether the decision to reject SMAC is cover for the committee’s decision to reject Gresham’s application.

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 vendor controversy has attracted attention from other media outlets and has overshadowed an otherwise joyous occasion for Stone Mountain.

The June 15 special called meeting will be followed by a City Council work session. To see the agendas for both meetings, click here.

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