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Superior Exploring Paid Holiday For MLK Day

City Wants To Encourage Participation In Events Recognizing Civil Rights Leader

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shakes his fist during a speech in Selma, Ala., Feb. 12, 1965. King was engaged in a battle with Sheriff Jim Clark over voting rights and voter registration in Selma. AP Photo/Horace Cort

The city of Superior is exploring whether to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for its employees.

The city’s Commission on Communities of Color brought the recommendation to Superior Mayor Jim Paine.

Right now, the city offers 10 paid holidays, but Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn’t one of them. Paine said that should change.

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“The day that we all come together to commemorate one of the most important Americans that has ever lived is also a day where we set our agenda for promoting racial and social justice within this community right here,” said Paine. “The fact is if you want to take that effort seriously, you can’t be at work that day.”

Kym Young, commission member, said having a paid day off would make it easier for city employees to take part in events recognizing the civil rights leader.

“In this time, we need to recognize that Dr. Martin Luther King was continuing the fight not just for civil rights for black and brown people, but to end poverty, to end homelessness, to end joblessness, to create that love of community,” she said.

Cities like Madison and Milwaukee offer the day as a paid holiday.

The paid holiday would apply to all nonunion employees. The city’s Human Resources Committee will take up the recommendation on Monday.

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