One of the first orders of business for the newly sworn in Bloomington City Council members will be to decide how they wish to be identified.
The council on Monday night will consider incorporating a more gender-neutral term such as council member or alderperson, as opposed to the current "official" title of alderman.
Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said several of the incoming council members raised the issue.
“There were discussions about nameplates and frankly we realize that different elected officials may want to be referred to differently and not necessarily based on the specific male-defined gender role,” Tyus said.
Five of the city's nine council members, including recently elected representatives Donna Boelen, Jenn Carrillo and Julie Emig, are women. The council has had a female majority since 2015.
Tyus said the city is striving for more inclusive terminology.
“If it’s important to you or to an elected official, to be referred to in a way you identify with, then I think it’s important we work as best we can to recognize that and be accepting of that,” he said.
The Illinois Municipal Code and city charter would still refer to them as "aldermen" so anyone running for the office would need to use that term on their nominating petitions.
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