St. Louis Park City Hall flooded with calls after council's Pledge of Allegiance vote

Updated: July 12, 2019 02:57 PM

"Due to a high volume of calls, we are unable to answer your calls. Voicemails are checked reguarly. Leave a message for a return call about city services." That's what you'll hear when you call St. Louis Park City Hall.

The front desk phone doesn't ring, it now goes straight to a voicemail switchboard. This comes after the St. Louis Park City Council voted to start their meetings without reciting the Pledge of Allegiance last month, leading to much backlash around from community and even President Donald Trump.


City employees told KSTP off camera that they've been verbally harassed, which is why the calls are being diverted through the automatic switchboard that was often previously used after-hours or during high call volume times.

The controversy got President Trump's attention when he called St. Louis Park out on Twitter on Tuesday, and then again Thursday.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted about the city, saying part, "People are sick and tired of this stupidity and disloyalty to our wonderful USA."

RELATED: Pledge of Allegiance debate draws big crowd at St. Louis Park City Council study session

But St. Louis Park isn't alone. Of the 26 most populous cities in Minnesota, KSTP found that other city councils don't routinely recite the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings.

A spokesperson for the city council also released a statement to KSTP saying:

"The City of St. Louis Park has received numerous calls and emails about the Pledge of Allegiance. While many of them are verbally abusive, hostile and harassing, we have not verified any credible threats. City staff continues to focus on providing quality services to its residents. The city routinely conducts due diligence to ensure the safety and security of its employees and visitors to city buildings.

The city council said it would consider having a conversation with residents about the Pledge of Allegiance and other civic expressions at a future date, but a meeting for that has not yet been set.

The St. Louis Park City Council will meet again Monday, but no decision has been made at this time as to when the Pledge will be discussed next.

Below is the list of the 26 most populous cities in the state.

  1. Minneapolis – No
  2. St. Paul – Yes
  3. Rochester – Yes
  4. Bloomington – Yes
  5. Duluth – Yes
  6. Brooklyn Park – Yes
  7. Plymouth – Yes
  8. Woodbury – Yes
  9. Eagan – Yes
  10. St. Cloud – Yes
  11. Maple Grove – Yes
  12. Blaine – Yes
  13. Eden Prairie – Yes
  14. Coon Rapids – Yes
  15. Burnsville – Yes
  16. Lakeville – Yes
  17. Minnetonka – Yes
  18. Edina – No
  19. Apple Valley – Yes
  20. St Louis Park – No
  21. Moorhead – Yes
  22. Mankato – Yes
  23. Shakopee – Yes
  24. Maplewood – Yes
  25. Richfield – Yes
  26. Cottage Grove – Yes

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Council does not recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The following metro counties, however, do recite it at meetings: Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Wright, Anoka, Carver and Washington counties.

Schools are required by state law to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, unless a district specifically cancels that order.

As for Congress, the U.S. Senate didn't start reciting it until 1999, while the House of Representatives started in 1988.

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Crystal Bui

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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