PHILADELPHIA, February 14, 2019 – Today, members of City Council voted unanimously to pass Resolution No. 180834 and Bill No. 180820, introduced by Councilmember Derek S. Green (At-Large), that will present to voters during the May 21st Primary, an opportunity to amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to include non-gendered terms, such as “Councilmember,” instead of male gendered terms like “Councilman”.
“As the country and our city continue to deal with gendered assumptions, expectations and violence, it is critical that all people are seen, recognized and protected,” said Councilmember Green. “For too long, anachronistic assumptions about male power have been allowed to haunt our conversations – from the simplest direction to a bathroom to our governing documents, reinforcing oppressive societal norms. With this proposed charter change, Philadelphia will take one more step toward becoming a just and equitable city for all residents.”
This vote comes on the heels of hearings held earlier this month on gender neutrality by the Council Committee on Law and Government, and received widespread support from various stakeholders and advocates alike.
“We’re making progress, but we have a lot more to do; particularly at the state level,” added Councilmember Green. “Anything we can do here in Philadelphia to be proponents of further change throughout the Commonwealth, we will see that it gets done.”
If adopted, the proposed change – which will appear on the May 21st Primary ballot – would take effect in January 2020, coinciding with a newly sworn-in City Council.