Letter to the Editor | Council member debates title choice

By David Jacobson

The Northern Star is violating the intent of its stated goals. In reference to the Editorial Board’s comments in its Jan. 25 article, the Board fails to recognize the term alderman is not a pronoun; it is a duly elected title recognized within the Municipal Code and Illinois State Law. It is a title that is gender inclusive of males or females elected to the position and is no different than the term Manager — City Personger certainly would be an incorrect title.

In any case, the Star’s desired goals are to report accurate information and ask for an individual’s preference, out of respect, in how they wish to be identified. The City Council has held at least two public discussions in which it affirmed the titles of “alderman” and “aldermen,” in plural, as its preferred titles. In using other terminology, the Star is inappropriately and knowingly providing otherwise inaccurate information, which could act as a barrier to voter representation. There is no “Alderperson” category on a ballot.

It does so in direct contradiction to the stated wishes shared by the City Council and its members. I firmly support a policy of respecting an individual’s, or in this case group of individuals, preference in how they prefer to be referred to in print. I would ask the Star to set aside its disrespectful and presumably politically-motivated changing of titles and honor the intent of their policies — provide true and correct information and honor the wishes of their source.