City Council

Berkeley to Remove All Gendered Words From City Code

It will cost the city about $600 to update the municipal code

Berkeley is always leading the way when it comes to progressive laws and Wednesday it added another to the list.

The City Council is moving forward with a plan to remove all gendered words from the city code. That means personal pronouns like "he," "she," "him" and "her" will instead be "they" and "them." But it doesn’t just stop there.

Berkeley’s youngest city council member, Rigel Robinson, is behind the proposed change to the city’s municipal code.

"A male-centric municipal code doesn’t reflect the reality of the city of Berkeley," Robinson said.

Robinson asked the city manager for a plan to remove all the gendered pronouns and words and replace them with gender neutral words.

For example: "fireman" will become "firefighter." Out with "brother," in with "sibling." Forget "manpower," it’s "human effort" now.

"Language has power, this matters," Robinson said.

Some Berkeley residents say other issues matter more.

"That’s Berkeley!" a resident named Sara said. "I think they should put their time into figuring out homelessness."

There will be a second reading of the ordinance next week. If the council approves it, it will go into effect in late August.

It will cost the city about $600 to update the municipal code.

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