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Party honcho name change takes effect this year

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Chairman and committeeman are out, chair and committeeperson are in

Thanks to a 2018 change in Illinois law, county parties statewide now use gender-neutral language. The March primary will mark the first time the updated language will appear on the ballot when voters choose Democratic and Republican ward and township committeepeople.

Jacob Kaplan, executive director for the Cook County Democratic Party, welcomed the change, saying “I think it’s a good thing anywhere it happens.” […]

Still, the “people” holding the Democratic Party posts are still mostly male — 30 men represent the 50 city wards, and 24 of 30 townships are represented by men, according to the county party’s site. And only four of the ten members of the party’s executive committee are women.

But at the helm is Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who became the first woman, and the first African American, elected Cook County Democratic chair last year.

Discuss.

       

34 Comments
  1. - the Edge - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    Yippie; I’ve used that terminology for almost 10 years. Good to see they are updating the law.


  2. - Chili - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:44 am:

    More PC nonsense.


  3. - A State Employee Guy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:44 am:

    What’s there to discuss? Anyone actually think this is a bad thing?


  4. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:45 am:

    It’s nice that we can focus on window dressings like the name of the position, while at the same time the people who hold these positions are working with corrupt and disgraced politicians to appoint our leaders.

    How about maybe focusing on what really matters and kicking corruption to the curb, eh?


  5. - Centennial - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    In my experience, this has been common practice in the private sector for some time now.


  6. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    I’ve always preferred “caporegime.”


  7. - OutOfState - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    Glad they finally fixed the big problems… /s


  8. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    Speaking of gender neutrality, it’s nice to see someone finally giving former State Rep. John Anthony a fair shake. #HimToo


  9. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    This year will be extremely important for the Cook County Democratic Party to show that they are not irrelevant. If either Kim Foxx or Mike Carbonargi lose in the primary, I don’t see why any candidate would waste their time and money attempting to get slated anymore.


  10. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    I don’t think “Chair” does the position justice. I’d prefer “Lazy Boy” if it were gender-neutral, so how bout “Bark-a-lounger”?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    === I’ve always preferred “caporegime.”===

    (Chef kiss)

    There was *another* nickname-type term for your “sponsor” or the committeeman, that now isn’t the best term, but the term was used all the same.


  12. - Ok - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    Now let’s make sure we chastise anyone that slips and say committeeman. We liberals have to save the world.


  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    ===that now isn’t the best term===

    It’s not the preferred nomenclature dude. I never understood that one. What’s the connection anyway?

    To the post, good. It was awkward calling a woman committeeperson “committeeman.” This way just makes more sense.


  14. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    == How about maybe focusing on what really matters and kicking corruption to the curb, eh?==
    Because if we have one we can’t have the other? Why not have both?


  15. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Not a problem. If people are secure in themselves, why worry about how other people identify? So many bigger problems in the world, if we want to be upset about something.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    === What’s the connection anyway?===

    The Google has a story on it, not being dismissive, but informational. It’s there.

    To the post,

    Names change, but what is more changing is how the role/job/position has changed, even in 10 years.


  17. - Unpopular - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Ridiculous. But thats what Illinois is…so if the shoe fits.


  18. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    The only real change that would make a difference is if the current Mr Speaker is no longer in office


  19. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    === Names change, but what is more changing is how the role/job/position has changed, even in 10 years. ===

    Absolutely. At this point, the role/job/position is fighting for relevance.


  20. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Alderman Burke tried to make that point about gender neutral titles and Mayor Lightfoot shut him down? If I remember right, basically, she said that it’s established precedent that when someone refers to “man” that includes “woman.”


  21. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    ===if the current Mr Speaker ===

    IIRC, while Barb Currie was Majority Leader, the House changed the rules to eliminate the “Mr.” part - the title, and how the person is addressed, is just Speaker now, though plenty still use the old nomenclature


  22. - #5 - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    Not ridiculous. The language we use affects our perception. “Numerous studies have found higher gender inequality in countries with gendered languages, meaning our speech may indirectly impact the lives of women in just about every conceivable way.”

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/from-mouth-to-mind-how-language-governs-our-perceptions-of-gender


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    === At this point, the role/job/position is fighting for relevance.===

    Tasty stuff there. Yep.

    The reason I like “caporegime” because not too long ago the ward organizations most prolific, for better or worse, ran that way. That’s all fading away, and it like the name change also forces a look how it’s all changed.


  24. - JT11505 - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    Here’s a thought. If it’s a man - call him committeeman. If it’s a woman, call her committeewoman. Was that so hard?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    === committeewoman===

    In some parlance, it’s not just a title, it’s in the literal sense another job description in the political infrastructure.


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    ===Was that so hard? ===

    The law said committeeman. It was changed. Why is it so hard for you to say committeeperson?


  27. - Ebenezer - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    The mann’r of mens speach changeth ov’r time.
    It’s fine.


  28. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    OW is right. there was another title and job description informally for each political jurisdiction. committeewoman. this was, typically, the woman who planned the fashion show. Committeeperson is kinda unwieldy but we have to progress. For example, Congressman/woman should just be MC, member of Congress. Or could be Member of Council. Like in England, MP.


  29. - Levois J - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Going gender neutral is fine, just need better titles. Unless usage of everyday language off ballot is still OK.


  30. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    The only surprise here is that it took so long to make the change. Courts got rid of the title “Mr. Justice” some time ago as more and more women joined the ranks of reviewing courts. Even though there was the occasional “Mrs. or Ms. or Miss Justice” title, courts realized that identifying the sex of the Justice was unnecessary. Likewise, “Chair” replaced “Chairman” some time ago.


  31. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    “More PC nonsense.”

    I can’t tell if this is a very insipid comment or beautifully subtle wordplay.

    – MrJM


  32. - Spectre - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    I think that it’s totally unacceptable that people aren’t able to adapt. Especially since we know that Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself.


  33. - Hedda - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    =If it’s a man - call him committeeman. If it’s a woman, call her committeewoman. Was that so hard?=

    There are some folks who do not fall within the gender binary. Committeeperson seems to encompass everyone quite nicely.


  34. - Responsa - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 10:40 pm:

    It’s still OK to say “Bagman” though, isn’t it? Because Baglady has a completely different meaning. And Bagperson just doesn’t sound right.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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