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City Hall says inclusivity is motivation behind proposal to change pronouns in its charter

Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 20:08:24-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — City Hall is looking to modernize its charter by changing the language, said assistant City Manager Ted Dearing.

He said they’d specifically like to change all the pronouns found in the over 33 sections of the charter.

“That’s dozens and dozens of changes in the charter but in every case it might be changing the he to a them or his to a their,” Dearing said during an interview with FOX 17 Friday morning. “It’s very minor language changes but it occurs at various locations throughout the charter.”

Dearing said changing the pronouns has been discussed for a few years. They’d like to include the proposal on the March 10 ballot.

“We have a female city manager and when every reference in the charter is to a male, then that’s probably not where you want to be of an inclusive community,” he said. “So I think it’s very important again, given what today’s dynamics look like to make people feel like hey they can be part of their city government, they can be part of the infrastructure here and that the charter reflects that.”

Dearing said the motivation behind the proposal is inclusivity. Back in October 2019, City Hall removed a stained glass window that depicted a Native American in a belittling way.

He said changing the language in the charter would be done in the same regard, to make the city more welcoming to it’s various residents.

“I think this is just an extension of the commitment from the city commission to be inclusive in not only their actions but in their language,” Dearing said.