Officials in Sandusky, Ohio, didn’t want Columbus Day to be a thing anymore, so they thought they’d just eliminate it as a paid holiday for government workers. But employees and unions objected, so the city came up with a better idea: cancel Columbus Day and make Election Day a paid holiday instead. City manager Eric Wobser told NPR:
“We don’t have to wait necessarily for states or the federal government to make this change, but that ultimately cities can do it in a case by case basis,” he says. “And you never know — in a place like Ohio, which obviously can often be considered a swing state, if enough cities were to make a move like this, maybe that’s enough to tip the scales in an election one way or the other.”
The change so far only affects Sandusky’s 250 city workers. Wobser calls it a small gesture, but an important one.
“This will make it a little easier for them to vote, and potentially participate in democracy in other ways on Election Day. But we’re very hopeful that the message that it sends will be contagious.”
Here’s hoping other municipalities — and eventually states and the federal government — will follow Sandusky’s lead.