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St. Louis Park eliminates Pledge of Allegiance before council meetings

It'll still allow for the Pledge to be taken on special occasions.
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Those attending St. Louis Park City Council meetings will no longer stand for the Pledge of Allegiance before proceedings get underway.

That's because the council voted 5-0 to remove it as a mandatory part of procedure at the start of meetings, a move taken partially to save time along with the decision to move council meetings forward so they start at 6:30 p.m.

But the proposal was also put forward in recognition of the diversity of the city itself, with Ward 2 council member Anne Mavity, who sponsored the change, telling KARE 11: "Not everyone who does business with the city or has a conversation is a citizen."

"They certainly don't need to come into city council chambers and pledge their allegiance to our country in order to tell us what their input is about a sidewalk in front of their home," she added.

"We concluded that in order to create a more welcoming environment to a diverse community we are going to forego saying the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting," council member Tim Brausen said at the June 17 meeting.

Mavity has also pointed out that about half of Minnesota cities don't require the Pledge to be recited before council meetings, with Minneapolis, St. Paul and Edina among the metro cities that don't include it.

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That said, the Star Tribune's cursory check of metro-area council procedures show that many in the Twin Cities do recite the Pledge, among them Blaine, Burnsville Eden Prairie, and Wayzata.

That's not to say that the Pledge will disappear entirely from St. Louis Park. The council isn't implementing an outright ban, and will allow for the Pledge to be recited in certain circumstances.

The measure will take effect on July 15.

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