A day after the St. Louis Park City Council restored the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings, the Edina City Council decided to follow suit and also now will recite the pledge, something it hasn't done for a long time.
The resolution, listed only as an "Amendment to City Council Meeting Agenda" on the consent agenda for Tuesday's meeting, was approved unanimously.
"It really came to the fore when St. Louis Park had made their decision and then reconsidered … I think that's what really brought it up for Edina," Council Member Mary Brindle said Thursday.
Edina will begin reciting the pledge at meetings starting Aug. 7, according to a tweet from City Manager Scott Neal. The city hasn't recited the pledge at council meetings for at least eight years and likely much longer than that.
St. Louis Park has been flooded with comments and feedback from across the country since news of its decision to do away with the Pledge of Allegiance broke last month. President Donald Trump weighed in twice on Twitter, hotly criticizing the City Council's action.
In Edina, former City Council Member Josh Sprague had suggested in 2011 reciting the pledge at that city's meetings and it had been under consideration, Brindle said.
"I think the council at that time kind of just wanted to let it sit," she said. "I actually wanted to have a community conversation about it. But we did not at that time, and so it just faded.
"Then we didn't talk about it for a while. But it was always kind of under the surface."
Most city councils in Minnesota and the metro area recite the pledge at the start of meetings. So it caught many people by surprise when the St. Louis Park council decided to drop the pledge — an action that council members took because, they said, they believed the pledge intimidated newcomers to the community.
Protesters packed St. Louis Park's council chambers for meetings two weeks in a row, even though discussion of the pledge was not scheduled. On Monday, the council suspended its rules to discuss the pledge, and Council Member Thom Miller moved for a vote, saying that city staffers had been abused and harassed by people from outside the city. The council voted 7-0 to reinstate the pledge.
Brindle said that Edina city officials in the meantime had received messages both in support of adding the pledge to their agendas and keeping it off.
"This is something that is going to fill our inbox," Brindle said at Tuesday's meeting.
Council Member Ron Anderson spoke at the meeting of his adopted niece and how reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during her naturalization ceremony was the "proudest moment of her life."
Brindle said Thursday that she didn't object to saying the pledge but was aware that not everyone in the community shared her view.
"When you say it, everyone says it together and it's kind of unifying," Brindle said. "That's not unique to the pledge either. Other things you do together are unifying. But in this case, we are a public organization, part of government and it just feels like the right thing to do."