Friday, November 30, 2007

She is no alderMAN.

November 30 Update: Yesterday City alderman Dale Hodges began the debate of changing alderman to councillor. So it begins and so I will be writing to my ward representative. It's interesting that the herald notes two of the women on council as saying there's no point to changing it. Shame on them.

(November 21, 2007) I just received an exciting email. I have long been a proponent of changing Calgary's councillors' titles from Alderman to something a little less sexist. Granted, there are issues like poverty and infrastructure to be concerned with but language change garnishes consciousness raising and changing Alderman to Councillor is an important step in consciousness raising here in Calgary. Here is the email and op ed I received.
Colleagues and friends, There has been an article submitted as an op-ed that will likely be published in the Calgary Herald today on the "about time" change of name for our Calgary Council representatives to "Councillor." This change would bring Calgary into the 21st Century.We are asking like-minded supporters to push for this move.Regards, Janice Attached and below is an op-ed that the Herald says they’ll publish next week. (Thanks to Lynn Gaudet for taking the lead on this.) Knowing that there will be the usual ‘who cares’ responses, we’re asking you to send your own response once the piece comes out and also to circulate the piece and the request to others who might do likewise. (Don’t forget the supportive men!) We’re also asking everyone to phone or email their Council Rep and ask them to support a motion for change. We’re asking Joe Ceci and Bob Hawkesworth to bring the motion forward – they supported it last time around.Thanks for your help!An Open Letter to the New City Council

SHOULD “ALDERMAN” JUST BE FORGOT: Language and elected representatives

With fresh faces on Council, it’s time to do the right thing by women in this town. We challenge the new City Council to fix a historic wrong and change the title used for our civic representatives. Since 1977, citizens have tried to persuade Council to replace the outmoded alderman with the modern term councillor. Enough gnashing of teeth. Let’s just do it. OK, so it’s “small potatoes”; nobody is clamoring for it. OK, so changing this title will not put food on the table of a disabled mother on welfare. It won’t stop the violence; it won’t cure the cancer. But neither did Rosa Parks when she refused to sit at the back of the bus. Some things you just have to do on principle. And sometimes language changes first, and attitudes follow. Remember postmen and policemen?

Read the Full Op Ed here and contact your ward representative and others to push for this change to move City Council towards a less sexist rhetoric.

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