On Juneteenth, Maine Democratic Party Chair Drew Gattine released the following statement. Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year; the Maine Democratic Party office will be closed on Monday, June 21 to observe the holiday.  

“Juneteenth is at once a celebration of emancipation and a recommitment to the progress that remains unrealized. One hundred fifty-six years ago today, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to notify enslaved people of their freedom. The news came a full two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Then as is too often true now, justice and equity were delayed for Black people in this country. 

“Systemic racism in our country denies Black Americans full justice under the law, full equity in healthcare, housing, and education, full opportunity for economic mobility, full safety in their own neighborhoods and home, and far too much more. We must do everything in our power to bring our systems and institutions in alignment with our ideals. 

“Here in Maine, I am proud that Juneteenth will become a paid state holiday in 2022, due to the hard work of House Assistant Majority Leader Rachel Talbot Ross, who championed the legislation that got signed into law. This is a significant step towards acknowledging our past and holding us accountable to work for a better future. This Juneteenth, and every day, we recommit ourselves to building a world of true justice and equity for all Americans, and especially for Black Americans.”

# # #