Brookline Drops 'Men' From Board of Selectmen - NECN


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Brookline Drops 'Men' From Board of Selectmen



    Should Selectmen Be Selectwomen?

    Female leaders in Brookline, Massachusetts, want to change bylaws in the town to make the position "selectwoman" rather than "selectman."

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017)

    In a move towards gender neutrality, town officials in Brookline, Massachusetts have removed the 'men' from its governing panel's name.

    According to the Boston Globe, the Board of Selectmen became the Select Board following a Town Meeting vote on Tuesday night.

    The paper reported that the change also replaces the title of "selectman" with "select board member."

    The changes had been proposed by Alex Coleman, a member of Brookline's Commission for Diversity Inclusion & Community Relations.

    In September, a select board member told NBC Boston that she wanted to buck the trend in favor of female empowerment.

    "Ever since the November election I've realized that titles and symbols really do matter," said select board member Heather Hamilton.

    "There's been some recent interest in Massachusetts to change the name of board of selectmen to something that would be a bit more gender-neutral," added Michael Burstein, a town meeting member.

    Similar changes have been made in recent years in Newton and Amherst.

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