In her first act as the newest member of the Southampton Town Board, Councilwoman Sally Pope is asking the New York State Board of Elections to officially rename the position of “councilman” and instead use a term that is gender neutral.
As it stands now, the official certificates of election, such as the one Ms. Pope received when she won a seat on the Town Board in November, list “councilman” as the elective office. The position of “councilman” is also listed on voting machines throughout the state and absentee paper ballots.
“We can laugh about it,” Ms. Pope said. “But candidates for public office are often female, not male.” The new face on the Town Board said her desire to change the listing of the position is about social justice and equality.
Her resolution, which is being sent to New York Governor David Paterson, State Senator Ken LaValle and State Assemblyman Fred Thiele as well as other state officials, recommends “town councilperson” or “Town Council member” as possible alternatives.